St Andrews -The Duke
With a spectacular setting above St Andrews, the championship course at The Duke’s gives magnificent panoramic views over the surrounding countryside to the sea. The Duke’s is the course belonging to the famous Old Course Hotel and it’s the only non-links course in St Andrews. Five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson, who was affectionately nicknamed the Melbourne Tiger, designed The Duke’s course.
The Duke’s is highly regarded as one of the finest heathland championship courses in the British Isles and a must-play course for any golfer. Its style ranks alongside the great inland challenges, which demand accuracy and inventive play as well as power golf. The Aussie’s motto is that “a golf course should be a bit wild” and Peter certainly created a seriously challenging layout, which measures 7,512 yards from the tips, but with five tee boxes the Duke’s is manageable for all golfers. The Duke’s opened for play in 1995 and the name presumably came from Prince Andrew the Duke of York who hit the first tee shot in an opening match with former Scotland Rugby Captain Gavin Hastings.
A gentle opening par five called “Highland” takes you quickly away from the luxurious clubhouse with the first real challenge coming at the 2nd, a hole called “Drumcarrow”. This tough par four is flanked by trees and a solid drive down the left will leave a tricky long approach shot to a long, narrow green which is very difficult to find in regulation.
When you reach the turn, spectacular views open up over St Andrews town and the sea beyond. “Braw View”, the par four 13th, is one of the most scenic holes in St Andrews. Panoramic views to the north and of the “Auld Grey Toon” might make your mind wander but beware as you will require an accurate tee shot to a bottleneck fairway, avoiding fairway bunkers on the left and right, to set up the best approach shot that requires precise clubbing to hold this small, downhill green.
The 18th provides a great climax to an enjoyable round. “Ice House” is a challenging uphill par four, an accurate drive is required followed by an approach shot to an elevated green that will require an extra club. Enjoy the view of St Andrews before heading for the sanctuary of the 19th hole.
St Andrews, Fife KY16 8NX,
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