Fairmont St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.
By DG Scotland Editor, Kevin Markham.
Fairmont St Andrews is a five star resort with all the glamour and facilities any golfer could ask for. It boasts 36 holes with many of these overlooking St. Andrews, and perched high above the North Sea.
Fairmont St Andrews (Kittocks)
Of the two courses, Kittocks has more shape and elevation to its holes. From the clubhouse and on the way to the 1st tee you will get a real taste for this with several holes on display… but you still haven’t seen the best the course has to offer as they are hidden away beyond a deep fissure, known as Kittock’s Den, and even closer to the sea.
Course maintenance is fabulous, the sleeper-faced bunkers look the part, as does the golden fescue, and the two double greens are a smart tip of the hat to the Old Course. After a smooth start, the thrills quickly build as holes move from higher ground down to the low cliffs. The drives on holes 7 and 9 are towering shots towards the sea, while the 11th which slides in between, shows off the old stone walls that weave over this landscape. Trees are sporadic and very noticeable when they appear but what really stands out is the variety of holes created by the terrain. The closing four holes, next to the clubhouse and overlooking the North Sea, promise an exhilarating finish.
Did you know: Fairmont St Andrews is the only course in Scotland to rent out golf boards.
Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance)
The name says it all, although Sam Torrance didn’t do it alone… being ably assisted by Denis Griffiths and Gene Sarazen. The course opened in the 1990s and has been designed to resemble a links. You get a wonderful flavour for the Torrance as you drive passed the hotel and see several of the holes spread across the resort’s 520 acres.
It’s a strong appetiser and while the opening holes are on the higher slopes, near the hotel, the back nine stretches away towards St Andrews and down to the clifftops. Fairmont’s two courses bear similarities (conditioning and the golden grasses, most notably), but some deep revetted bunkers and slippery greens make the Torrance a tougher proposition than the Kittocks. The Torrance is long (par 72, 7,320 yards) although the mortal tees for men are 6,600 and 6,051 yards, with the ladies at 5,400, so picking the correct tee will be crucial to your enjoyment.
Smart routing makes the back nine an interesting affair, especially when you play the downhill par four 16th. The green sits well below you with the sea stretching beyond. Pause for a moment and look towards St Andrews – it’s an impressive site. There are plenty of stone walls on the Torrance, too, and they frame the par three 17th in such a way that this will be the favourite hole of many.
Did you know? Fairmont St Andrews is the only 36-hole venue in Fife to allow golf carts on both courses.
For more information visit: https://www.fairmont.com/st-andrews-scotland/