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Scottish Links Golf

The Basics

Detailed information

AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course

Helpful Websites

Aberdeen &
Grampian Highlands

Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...

Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...

Northern Highlands
Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart, Brora, Nairn...

Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
Edinburgh area, Muirfield, Gullane, North Berwick...

St. Andrews area

Crail - Balcomie
Crail - Craighead
Duke's Course
Fairmont St Andrews
St. Andrews Old
St. Andrews New
St. Andrews Jubilee
St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Eden
St A Strathtyrum &
......Balgove Courses

St. Michaels

Out of the way, but worth a play
Machrihanish, Pitlochry..

Links Lite
Great links golf for everyone


What others say

East Neuk of Fife
Cllick for more info
Watercolor of Crail Harbour by Hugh Livingstone
The St. Andrews area is not complete without a visit to the East Neuk, with its charming villages and harbours. These are fishing villages that are also art villages, with many fine galleries. (Click on photo.)
See it on

St Andrews area

Independent golfing in the ancient Kingdom of Fife

For heavenly golf, come to the Kingdom...the Kingdom of Fife. And Fife is indeed a kingdom, made up of several royal burghs. Our base in Fife will be the legendary town of St. Andrews, for centuries a great centre for religious and academic life in Scotland and surrounded by more outstanding golf courses and more history than you can sample in one visit.

Where to play? Click the links on this page for the delightful courses in the St. Andrews area. For where to stay and (for the non-golfer) what to do all day in and around St. Andrews, see below. At the end of each golf course review you'll find additional recommendations for that specific town.

Where to stay in St. Andrews

We recommend these fine 3 & 4 star guesthouses, B&Bs and small hotels --

St Andrews is a medieval town

(Note* You don't dial the first "0" if phoning from outside the UK)

If you stay in town, you'll find a large concentration of lodging on a short street called Murray Park and in the area surrounding it. Very convenient to the St. Andrews Links golf courses and town centre, which is an easy 5 minute walk. The entire street (Murray Park) is lined with Guesthouses and B&Bs, and runs only one long block between The Scores (the road along the seafront) and North Street, one of the main streets of town. Most of the following locations are in the center of St. Andrews and you can walk to everything. Parking is generally on the street.

Lorimer House - 19 Murray Park. Run by a gracious couple, Chris and Michael. 1st class service in their carefully restored Victorian house, with a ground floor bedroom for those not wanting stairs.

Craigmore Guest House - 3 Murray Park

Glenderran Guest House - 9 Murray Park ...

Cameron House - 11 Murray Park .

Doune House - .5 Murray Place (tiny street just off Murray Park)

Aslar Guest House - 120 North Street ( just 30 seconds from Murray Park)

Beveridge House
- 25 North Street -- Homey and non-touristy, 1 guest room, very well-maintained with good-sized bedroom and large modern bathroom. Ideal for walking everywhere. Directly across from quaint St. Andrews Preservation and Trust Museum and Garden (see below).

Old Fishergate House - Beautiful 4-star well-located B&B. Two twin-bedded rooms, each with its own sitting room and bathroom. On a quiet street in the historic district, it's a short walk from almost everything, and consistently receives strong recommendations from their guests. Book early.

Queen's Terrace - 18 Queen's Terrace (quiet location, one block from town centre). Well recommended, very book early. tel/01334 47884. E-mail:

Ogstons on North Street - Boutique hotel in the heart of St. Andrews. Nominated for Small Hotel of the Year in 2009, this sylish small hotel is very popular, Location is tops and rates are excellent. In a class by itself. Highly recommended.,

The St Andrews Experience ......
"Apartment at Number 18"

Luxurious sellf-catering apartment steps from town centre. Perfect for 2 people. On ground floor with two bathrooms. Owners Paul and Sheila Briggs are masterful in creating and managing superior lodging.

On the other hand...

The Old Course Hotel -.If your preference is sheer luxury in a large resort hotel, look no further. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World, directly overlooking the infamous "Road Hole" of the Old Course. A landmark in St Andrews. .

Rufflets Country House Hotel
A gem, world apart yet only a five minutes drive from St Andrews. One of the top ten country house hotels in Scotland, privately owned. Highest standards of facilites, comfort, food and service.

The Golf Pad .... spectacular inside and out..
Overlooking the scenic Tay River, the accommodation is superb and the view is breathtaking. The Golf Pad is rented as a complete unit on a daily, weekly or long-term basis. Visit their website to learn how unusual and spectacular this place is. Numerous options for the entire house. Fractional ownership available ! Created and owned by Chris and Claire Toll, renowned for their previous St.Andrews Golfing Lodge. Easy drive to St Andrews or Carnoustie.

Hotel du VIn Luxury hotel and bistro across the street from the Old Course at St Andrews, with parking in front of hotel.
How great is that ?

And if you want to stay in Carnoustie --

Linksview Guest House -- Directly across the street from the Carnoustie Championship Course. See their website for details. A great addition to the town of Carnoustie.

Mary-Alice suggests....
What to do all day in St. Andrews

St. Andrews is a wonderful walking town, so much of it is accessible on foot. I could write pages and pages about it, but I'll try to keep it brief.

Market square in St Andrews with booksellers
On sunny days used books (some great finds here) and plants are sold in the Market Square, middle of Market Street

Tourist Information Centre -- 70 Market Street, which is one of the three main shopping streets along with North and South Sts. Excellent place for orienting yourself to the area. I always make this my first stop. Loads of free material as well as nice stuff to buy, most of it made in Scotland. Pick up a free local map. Tel/01334 472021.

St. Andrews Castle -- With its waveswept backdrop this was the scene of some of the bloodiest battles of the Reformation. See the Bottle Dungeon, hollowed out of rock, from which the only escape was death. History really comes alive here.

St. Andrews Cathedral -- Tour this yourself or go with an organized tour. Climb St. Rule's Tower for a sumptuous view of the town and area. At one time this was Scotland's largest cathedral.

Take a tour of the University-- You no longer can catch a glimpse of Prince William here as he has graduated. But St. Andrews University was a renowned and beautiful academic centre long before William's arrival. Scotland's oldest university, it was an ancient seat of learning and is set amongst elegant ivy-clad buildings and delightful quadrangles and gardens. You are welcome to walk the grounds here at any time and you can also take a student-guided tour during the summer.

St Andrews University ...... walk the grounds of St Andrews University ...... St Andrews university
Enjoying strolling in the lovely grounds of St. Andrews University.

Walkies -- An excellent little booklet available in the Tourist Information Centre is "St.Andrews and East Fife VIllages on Foot." I love this little guide. So many beautiful places to walk here. Our favorite evening stroll is down Murray Park (street with all those B & Bs) to the seafront. If you turn left, you walk along The Scores (street along the seafront) and come to the Old Course. Since in the summer it stays light until very late, there are always golfers coming back down the 17th and 18th holes. The long shadows make the course look magical. On the other hand, If you turn right at The Scores, you come to the University and then the Castle and the harbour.

Shopping -- Market and South Streets are the main shopping streets. It's fun just to stroll up and down both. Here are a few things I've singled out, but you will discover many more as you browse.

Market Street --

St.Andrews Health Foods, with owners Susanne and Hugh Livingstone #149 is Highland House Kiltmaker. Also on Market Street is Tesco (supermarket), Boots (pharmacy), and an excellent health food store owned by a most helpful and knowledgeable couple, Susanne and Hugh Livingstone. (Hugh is also a fine artist.)

The Tourist Information Centre (see above) is on Market Street, and is a good place to begin your day.

Market Street is lined with a panoply of shops and eateries--something for everyone. The street is very short so start anywhere and walk up and down both sides.

South Street -- is the other rewarding shopping street. Again, quite short, so browse along both sides of the street. Many quaint and interesting shops line the street. A good example of why people like to come to Scotland.

#201 South Street is another example of the traditional "High Street shop." This delectable little produce shop features local items. (The Scottish strawberries are YUM.)

St. Andrews Preservation Trust Museum & Garden, at 12 North Street, is a charming 16th Century house with interesting displays regarding the town's history. There's a lovely little garden where you can sit and relax in this hidden beauty spot.

Guided Walks -- Tourist Information Centre has further details.
St Andrews is filled with tiny lanes St. Andrews is very picturesque and fascinating, so these walks are enjoyable as well as informative.

Led by qualified guides who cover such highlights as the Old Course, Cathedral, Castle, University, etc., the walks last 1-1/2 hours
View of St Andrews


Old Course Guided Tour --
Ideal for the non-golfer who wants to beome more familiar with the legendary St. Andrews Old Course. The interesting little tour covers the first hole (not all 18) and other aspects you will enjoy knowing about. Saturdays & Sundays in June, and daily in July & August. Tours go every hour from 11-4, and start at the golf shop behind the 18th hole of the Old Course. Small admission fee. The Tourist Info Centre has a little brochure on it.

Byre Theatre -- check with the Tourist Info Centre for schedule. This is a fine theatre, right in town, presenting plays year round. We've seen several well-done productions here.

Craigtoun County Park -- lovely to look at and fun to visit, with boating, a little train, and lots of other outdoor activities. On the outskirts of town, take a bus to it or drive (see your town map).

St. Andrews Botanical Gardens, at the Cannongate. This also you can drive to or take a bus, although many people walk to it. It's clearly signposted and anyone can direct you. Indicated on your town map. Internationally acclaimed 18 acres of eye-filling plants.

West Sands -- the beach running next to the St. Andrews golf courses is not only fun to walk on, horses are often exercised here as well. But it's famous most of all because this is where the great race scene in "Chariots of Fire" was filmed.

West Sands of St Andrews, where Chariots of Fire was filmed
The West Sands, looking out onto the beach where Chariots of Fire was filmed, and (below) looking back at town.
St Andrews beach

Just northwest of St. Andrews - in Leuchars (follow the A919)

12th Century Norman Church -- St Athernase
Historic architecture
"The second finest piece of Norman work in the whole of Breat Britain." Built in 1187 by a crusader, much of the church remains just as the stonemasons left it over 800 years ago.
Open April to October, with guided tours on Tuesdays, when their Coach House Cafe is also open. Admission is free, but the upkeep on this architectural treasure is sizable and therefore donations are always welcome.

Mary-Alice suggests....

I cover other towns when Richard reviews their golf courses, and have more suggestions for you there. Lots of worthwhile things to see and do near St. Andrews. Especially see my notes on Crail Craighead ..

When you're hungry in St. Andrews

There is something for everyone here. A few minutes spent browsing through the town will give you many options. I'm listing a few choices for you, but you'll discover many others. Special Note - Tay River salmon is some of the world's best. Many of the restaurants serve it. (The Tay River is very near St. Andrews.)

Nahm-Jim - Excellent Thai food served in a beautiful 17th Century townhouse in the centre of St. Andrews. At #11 Crails Lane. Turn right out of the Tourist Info Centre and then right again at a tiny alley (Crails Lane) just a few steps away. Very nice. Very popular, so bookings are strongly recommended. Tel: 01334 474000.

Vine Leaf Restaurant - 131 South Street. Fine food at higher end prices.

Doll's House - 3 Church Square, next to the library. Good food, interesting menu.

Russell Hotel - 26 The Scores, corner of Murray Park and The Scores. Popular with golfers. Friendly staff.

Byre Theatre - has a very nice restaurant with good wine selection.

And a personal favorite of ours -- St. Andrews Links Clubhouse. Although they have a very good restaurant, we prefer the Lounge, where they serve light meals in a very relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. Food is above average, prices reasonable, and the ambience is tops--a large, cheerful, bright room with huge windows in almost every direction, looking out over the Jubilee and New Courses with the North Sea just beyond. The inside can offer interesting views as well, because it's filled with golfers, some of them famous.

St. Andrews Golf Courses now have a second clubhouse, the St. Andrews Eden Clubhouse, also open to the public. An informal restaurant offering great views over the links, especially from upstairs. Light meals served all day.

And if you feel like going a few miles out of town, we can recommend these --

We especially like the Upper Largo Hotel & Restaurant -- The motto of this old country inn is "good food served all day, every day," and it's true. The Upper Largo serves delicious Scottish meals (good seafood is a specialty) with something for everyone, offering excellent value for your money. You can dine in the pub room or in the glass-enclosed conservatory (our own favorite), but either way the ambience is appealing and very relaxed. Easy to find, the Upper Largo Hotel & Restaurant is in the tiny village of Upper Largo, right on the main road (A915) from St. Andrews to Largo, Leven and Lundin Links. The restaurant will be on your left as you round the bend in Upper Largo. Lots of parking. Only about 20 minutes from St.. Andrews. But if you're playing Lundin or Leven golf course, you're only a couple of minutes from this enjoyable place. Telephone 01333 360236.

Dreel Tavern - Picturesque 16th Century inn serving good bar lunches and evening meals. In the heart of Anstruther, at 16 High Street West. Phone 01333 310727 for bookings.

Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant - 42 Shore Street in Anstruther, down on the East Neuk. Worth the 25-minute drive if you want a basic fish and chips place and don't care about the atmosphere. They serve haddock instead of the usual cod, and have won numerous awards for it. If you are already in the Crail area, it's just a short hop along the coast to Anstruther.

Drumoig Golf Hotel
- The view is quite lovely, the ambience pleasant, and the meals are good. Prices are right, too. Worth the 10 minute drive.

One of our favorite out-of-town restaurants is the Ship Inn in Elie. Down on the south coast of Fife, it is located right on the harbour, has great seafood and nice ambience. Several rooms to choose from. We don't mind the 20-minute drive at all. And if you happen to be in the Leven, Crail, Lunden Links, Elie area for golf anyway, the Ship Inn is nearby. (See photo on Elie page.

Special Note - The "picturebook" fishing villages along the East Neuk southern coast offer many nice tea rooms and small restaurants within art galleries. Pittenweem, Crail, Anstruther and St. Monans are all walking towns, and you will discover delights no matter which way you turn.