St. Andrews Links - Balgove Course
The Balgove Course - nine holes, stretching to 2,085 yards - was opened in February 1972. It was to have a short life, for part of it was to be taken over in the 1989-90 remodelling of the Eden Course. The Links Trust gave a promise that a redesigned Balgove course would be constructed in the future. Plans for the new course were announced by the Trust in September 1990, showing that it was to have nine holes, a length of 1,700 yards and a par of 31.
The course was constructed at the same time as the new 18-hole course, the Strathtyrum, and it was opened on the 20th of June, 1993 at 5pm by members of the St Andrews Children's Golf Club. It had to be shortened slightly to 1,520 yards, and the par reduced to 30, but to children it was a real course with proper tees, greens and even two greenside bunkers. The old Balgove had been little more than a field, and the contrast was obvious.
In the event, the course proved so popular with adults as well as children, that the Links Management Committee had to introduce a special rule. During school summer holidays, adults could only play the course when accompanied by a child.
Directions: Directions from Edinburgh and the south to St Andrews: Travel north on the M90 over the Forth Bridge. Leave the Motorway at Junction 3 and follow the A92 to its junction with the A914 north of Glenrothes. Take the A914 to the next roundabout, turn right and continue on the A91 through Cupar to St Andrews.
Fun for a casual walk
Having been to St. Andrews a few times prior, this was the first opportunity I had to visit the Balgove Course. It's a very basic and flat 9-hole course with holes between 100 and 300 yards. It's fun to see all the juniors and families out there. After 18 on the Jubilee, we brought three clubs here to keep it interesting. The layout doesn't really have a memorable hole, they are all straightforward and designed for beginners with accessible greens. But the turf quality was just as good as the rest of the courses.
There is a little starter shed that is near the Eden Clubhouse which has more amenities. If you're in the area with your family and they'd like something more than the Himalayas and don't want to hit balls at the Academy, head to Balgove.
Enjoyable Afternoon Alternative
Walked over to the Balgove from the Rusacks after playing the Jubilee Course in the morning. What a great place for a leisurely 9-hole round with the kids or a 3-club challenge to settle bets with your buddies. The layout is very flat, so it would be interesting to see a bit more character, especially something that is more indicative of all the great shots you’ll encounter at the rest of the Links Trust courses. That said, we had a lot of fun and hit the Old Course Hotel for a pint on the walk back to town.