St Andrews New Course Review - The sister course to the Old is held in high regard, with some hailing it a stronger test

St Andrews New Course Review

Green Fee Range: £37-£80

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,625 Yards

Visitor Times: Every Day but Saturday (first come first serve)


St Andrews New Course Review

Some commentators believe that the New is better strategically than the Old. Regardless, it has plenty of strong holes such as the wonderful long par-3 9th beside the estuary and the tough par 4 that follows.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

The long par-3 ninth with the estuary on the left (Getty Images)

Designed by the legendary Tom Morris, the New Course at St Andrews was opened for play in 1895.

The St Andrews Links Trust describes it as: “The oldest ‘new’ course in the world.” It’s a traditional out-and-back links with classic, gorse-lined holes, narrow fairways, pot bunkers and undulating greens.

The front nine strikes out towards the Eden Estuary and the layout begins with a series of fairly straightforward holes.

The challenge mounts considerably at the 6th – this par 4 turns back towards St Andrews, often into the wind.

St Andrews New Course Review

It’s 445 yards with an extremely narrow fairway and, even if you can avoid gorse on either side, you’ll still face a long second shot into a difficult green with a fiendish run-off to the left side.

The track then turns back again towards the estuary and it reaches it by the 9th tee. This treacherous par 3 plays along the water’s edge to a partially sunken green. Any ball turning to the left off the tee can be confined to the dustbin of golfing history.

The run for home delivers many superb holes and some accurate and powerful hitting will be required to keep a score intact.

As with all the layouts at St Andrews, this course is maintained in absolutely perfect condition and the playing surfaces are as good as you’ll find at any links course in the country.

Course changes since previous ranking

According to Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping, “We’ve introduced a number of “sand scrapes” or waste areas in roughs where gorse used to dominate. These are between holes 6 and 7, holes 11 and 12, 2 areas to the right of 14 and an area between the 3rd, 6th and 15th greens. most of them are well out of play but a wild shot will land in them. At least now you have a chance of finding your ball rather than losing it in gorse which was beginning to dominate what should be an open landscape as well as becoming old and too “woody” as it reached the end of its life cycle. We built a “dune” down the left of the 15th hole to screen the area that is used as the TV Compound at tournaments from the 14th and 15th holes.”

Golf Monthly Verdict

A perfect complement to the Old and first-rate links in its own right