St Andrews Links Trust Responds To Swilcan Bridge Concerns

The trust has responded after a number of users criticised the changes made to the iconic bridge

The Swilcan Bridge in front of the clubhouse at St Andrews
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following a number of social media posts about the recent changes made to the iconic Swilcan Bridge at the Old Course, St Andrew Links Trust has responded to the criticism, with the Old Course addressing concerns in a lengthy statement. 

Work was seen taking place on Tuesday after St Andrews confirmed it would be removed, with the 'patio' seen to be removed by a digger and the area ready to be re-turfed.

In the release, it statee that: "We would like to address some concerns that have been raised regarding works that are currently underway on the approach area to the Swilcan Bridge. For the avoidance of any doubt, we can categorically state that no works have been undertaken to the bridge itself."

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It goes on to add that "the ongoing works are solely focussed on the turfed approach area to the bridge, which regularly falls into disrepair due to the significant foot traffic by tens of thousands of golfers and countless other visitors seeking to have their photograph taken at the landmark.

"In order to avoid having to close the bridge to foot traffic during certain periods of the year, a number of solutions have been attempted previously. These include installation of hybrid and synthetic artificial turf and the regular replacement, reseed and support of natural turf, but none have proven to be successful in adequately protecting the area from the significant wear and tear.

"Historically the bridge has previously seen a stone pathway leading onto it and the current works are designed to see if we can replicate this while being fit for purpose for the amount of foot traffic it has to endure. The shape of the current installation covers the ground that receives the most traffic as the area where the majority of photographs are taken of people on the bridge. It should be noted that the works are not yet complete and ongoing efforts are being undertaken to ensure any final installation, including size, shape and material, is in keeping with its surroundings ahead of the growing season in Scotland.

"We recognise that as such an iconic landmark in golf, the Swilcan Bridge retains a special place in the heart of many golfers and as such can be an emotive topic. We are confident we will find the best ongoing solution to preserve the iconic nature of the Swilcan Bridge and its surroundings while ensuring that as many people as possible can continue to visit the site year round."

In the tweet, there is also a photo attached of the Swilcan Bridge with the turf ripped up around it, with the caption reading: "The image from October 2022 highlights the issue of wear & tear in the area and the problem we are seeking to resolve to ensure the bridge remains accessible for all golfers and visitors throughout the year."

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Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x