Destinations Scotland

Course Features of St Andrews Old Course

Wide double fairways, seven extensive double greens, and a multitude of intimidating bunkers are just some of the unique features you will encounter.

Ask Nicklaus, or Jones, or Tiger, or Seve.  You’re there in the shadow of the R&A, with the Valley of Sin on your left and a gallery of locals, tourists and other players looking on.  When your name is called to the tee your knees will know it, and what was the simplest tee shot suddenly feels like a sudden death playoff.  Our best advice is to take a line 20-30 yards left of the green, slow yourself down, and play for 225-250 yards off the tee. While a tee shot in the short grass is certainly favorable, slow yourself down as this is a moment to savor forever.

One unique feature of the links is that it can be played in either direction – both clockwise and counter clockwise. Only the 1st, 9th, 17th, and 18th holes have their own greens. The remaining 14 holes are shared by seven extensive double greens, with the hole numbers adding up to 18 on each green (i.e. hole 2 and 16, 3 and 15, etc.). The famous Swilcan Bridge has been a famous icon of the Old Course for the 700 years of its existence. Spanning the 1st and 18th holes, it has had both the world’s best golfers and most avid golfers walk across it, almost always stopping on it and posing for a picture to add in the collection.

The Old Course has 112 bunkers, each of which are uniquely named with its respective story. The two most famous of these daunting pot bunkers are the 10 foot deep “Hell Bunker” on the 14th hole and of course the “Road Hole Bunker” on the 17th hole. This is not the only reason the par-4 17th, Road Hole is considered one of the world’s most famous golf holes. Another notable feature is the blind tee shot that must be hit over the Old Course Hotel. Watch PerryGolf’s Colin Dalgleish hit this tee shot on the Road Hole here, and see the entire hole played here.


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