Which Course to Play at St Andrews (not Old Course)

BiMGuy

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I’ll be up around the area of St Andrews in spring next year.

So while there I’m looking to play a round of golf.

Other than TOC which I have no interest in playing and won’t be able to pick a specific time and date.

Which other course would people recommend? I’m currently leaning the Castle course.
 

Albo

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I’ve been yearly for the last few years on the 3 day ticket, which includes all courses with the exception of the Old.

The short answer is, it depends what you want.
The Castle is very high octane, big elevation changes and more a dune links course than a ‘traditional’ one.
The New is argued by some to be a better course than the old, but without the obvious prestige, it’s more traditional links in the vein of the old.
The Jubilee, again more traditional links than the Castle, talking with some of the members up there, it’s rated very highly and considered to have the hardest finishing 6 holes of all the courses.
The Eden is a lovely little course, but not as much of a challenge as the above 3, and loses itself a bit on the new holes round the pond!?! But always fun.
The Strathtyrum is a short course and wide open, if I were playing a single course I’d not choose this one, but we usually combine this in the morning and the Castle in the afternoon, it’s a good warm up course and you can score well on it.
Lastly the Balgrove I do not rate at all! 9holes played in a cow field with a bunch of greens. Avoid at all costs.

If it were me, wanting the best test of golf, I’d go Castle, but don’t expect traditional links, think Trump Aberdeen if you have played that. The 17th is worth the entrance money alone.
If I wanted the St Andrews experience the New.
 

Jimaroid

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Albo’s pretty spot on there. The only thing I’ll add is to maybe think about the time of year and the best choice might well depend on the weather we get through Jan,Feb,Mar next year. So prepare to adjust plan.

Earlier this year, after an extensively grey and damp winter, the Castle was a bog in many places early in its season. Greens were fine but fairways were pretty grim in lots of places.

The links courses are fine through the winter and spring so I’d choose the Jubilee if it were me. It’s still my favourite course that’s not The Old.
 

BiMGuy

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I’ve been yearly for the last few years on the 3 day ticket, which includes all courses with the exception of the Old.

The short answer is, it depends what you want.
The Castle is very high octane, big elevation changes and more a dune links course than a ‘traditional’ one.
The New is argued by some to be a better course than the old, but without the obvious prestige, it’s more traditional links in the vein of the old.
The Jubilee, again more traditional links than the Castle, talking with some of the members up there, it’s rated very highly and considered to have the hardest finishing 6 holes of all the courses.
The Eden is a lovely little course, but not as much of a challenge as the above 3, and loses itself a bit on the new holes round the pond!?! But always fun.
The Strathtyrum is a short course and wide open, if I were playing a single course I’d not choose this one, but we usually combine this in the morning and the Castle in the afternoon, it’s a good warm up course and you can score well on it.
Lastly the Balgrove I do not rate at all! 9holes played in a cow field with a bunch of greens. Avoid at all costs.

If it were me, wanting the best test of golf, I’d go Castle, but don’t expect traditional links, think Trump Aberdeen if you have played that. The 17th is worth the entrance money alone.
If I wanted the St Andrews experience the New.
Thanks.

I’ve played traditional links courses and they don’t do much for me.
I’m more interested in the dramatic big dunes and elevation changes as I’ve never played on a links like that.
 

Albo

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Thanks.

I’ve played traditional links courses and they don’t do much for me.
I’m more interested in the dramatic big dunes and elevation changes as I’ve never played on a links like that.
In that case definitely the Castle.
I’d also recommend Trump Aberdeen for the same thing
 

Backache

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I wouldn't say the Castle has big dunes.
It's a cliff top course and not links at all without dunes. It's a really enjoyable course if you're playing well but it's not got Sand dunes on it.
Jubilee probably has the most dunes.
 

abjectplop

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If traditional links isn't your thing, consider The Dukes as an alternative. Great course but inland so the condition will of course be dependent on weather at that time of year.
 

Albo

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I wouldn't say the Castle has big dunes.
It's a cliff top course and not links at all without dunes. It's a really enjoyable course if you're playing well but it's not got Sand dunes on it.
Jubilee probably has the most dunes.
The first hole
Is literally played to a Green surrounded by dunes, and many many other holes have dunes, practically all of the ones towards the top of the course, yes the lower holes by the sea don’t, but overall there are plenty of dunes
 

Backache

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The first hole
Is literally played to a Green surrounded by dunes, and many many other holes have dunes, practically all of the ones towards the top of the course, yes the lower holes by the sea don’t, but overall there are plenty of dunes
There are mounds but are they dunes?
My understanding is that the course was built on farmland with sand brought In for the fairways. I would doubt they are dunes that far above the sea.
 

doublebogey7

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Having just come back from a few days in St Andrew's utilising the links three day ticket, I can confirm that the Castle is in no way a links course, no course built on sand would need to close for six months of the year. Never the less you are no a lover of traditional links (I am), then I would say you would enjoy the experience, if you don't mind the severely undulating greens (I do). Did not play the New this time as it was reserved for the R&A all week, but I would say that it is the hardest of the 7 courses. The jubilee is not dissimilar but I little more forgiving, a good balance between test and enjoyment. The Eden is shorter and very much more forgiving, good fun but my least favorite of those I've played.
 

Bratty

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I played the castle in full har. We couldn't see more than 100 yards in front of ourselves! Had to call when we were clear the fairway and clear the green on 14 holes. It then lifted just enough to see the 17th green when we recahed it.
So beware the weather!
 

Backache

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The link above gives an idea of how the course was created. Bulldozed on flat farmland.
Links and dunes it isn't.

I am not by the way trying to criticize it I really enjoyed my visit there and think it's a very good course. But if you're wanting something with dunes or links like you may be surprised.
 

Jimaroid

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The castle is a great course but they are definitely not dunes. It’s an ex potato field. Mounds of tilth is more accurate.
 
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Is the Dukes covered by the ticket? Very good course although not links but worth playing.
 
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