Golf Advisor Icon
Rating Index Rating
Tooltip Information Icon
4.4
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.3
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.7
Amenities
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
0
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
0
Value
0
Layout
0
Friendliness
0
Pace
0
Amenities
0
0%
Recommend this course
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
0
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
0
Value
0
Layout
0
Friendliness
0
Pace
0
Amenities
0
0%
Recommend this course
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Style Links
Par 71
Length 6759 yards
Slope 139
Rating 73.6

Also known as course No. 7 of the famed St. Andrews Link Trust, the Castle course adds to the brilliance of possibly the world's best collection of links golf courses. Opening in the summer of 2008, the Castle course was designed by David McLay Kidd, the designer of the heralded Bandon Dunes course in Oregon in the U.S.

The Castle course follows the coastline east of St. Andrews and is just two miles from the center of town. Kidd has worked wonders with the already brilliant landscape, making the Castle course a perfect fit to the Trust's other six golf courses, with outstanding scenery and a challenging level of play.

Playing to more than 7,000 yards from the back tees, the Castle course has golfers around the globe excited to try out the newest golf course in one of golf's premier vacation destinations. Following the coastline east of St Andrews, The Castle Course is two miles from the town center. Work on the ground began early in 2005.

Course Details

Year Built 2008
Golf Season Low 11/1-3/31; High 4/18-10/16
Architect David McLay Kidd (2008)

Rentals/Services

Carts No
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Walking Allowed Yes

Reviews

4.4
7 Reviews (7)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 100 Contributor
First Time Playing

Hope for no wind

First time playing Castle as all the negative feedback in publications and some locals had pushed us away in the past. It’s a solid layout that is very scenic and can play very tough. It’s hard to believe that some of the green complexes have actually been softened over the years. This is generally not a Links course but still quite interesting to play. We were blessed with light winds the morning we played and still shot our highest rounds during 2 weeks in St. Andrews. With the wind up, some of the holes likely become near impossible. 17th is a classic par 3 (keep your tee shot left). Definitely recommend caddies if your first trip around the course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Cold weather
Walked

Coming into its own

It's been about seven years since I last played the Castle Course in St. Andrews. This time around it was a much better experience. The course has been softened over the years and off the tee, despite sometimes looking a bit intimidating, it is quite generous. 92 "spill-offs" have been removed since the course opened in 2008. The greens are also a little more receptive. I actually had a really good round going until 17 and 18 when I fell apart.

While the Castle is the newest part of the St. Andrews Links Trust courses, I tend to compare it to Scotland's other modern links like Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart and Crail's Craighead, or Kidd's Tetherow or Bandon Dunes designs. The Castle doesn't hang with Kingsbarns or Castle Stuart or Bandon, but it is also a lot more affordable. Ultimately I think the Castle is a successful complement to the town courses. I should also say that the clubhouse is the coolest of the bunch and worth the trip alone. It has a great menu for food and drink and the locker rooms are sharp, too.

If you're opposed to the Castle because of what you've heard in the past, just know that the course has rounded into form and is only getting better and better, thanks in part to one of the best operations in golf's stewardship. Bring your camera, it's by far the most scenic from 1 to 18 between the town and Kingsbarns.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Golf Channel
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

The castle on the hill

The Castle Course was really intriguing to me as we made our way to St. Andrews. I knew about David McClay Kidd and the work he had done at Bandon Dunes. Was also aware of the rating that The Castle Course received in Tom Doak’s Confidential Guide. I am happy to say that the round far exceeded my expectations. From my research, the course has been softened a bit since its opening about 10 years ago. The course is located a few miles from town up on a hill overlooking the sea and the town of St. Andrews. The course is built on a meadow, but you wouldn’t know it based on the finished product that includes severe undulations in the fairways and one the greens. You really need to plot your way around this track and are far better off playing conservative because you will lose balls. The best way to make your way around is with the course guide and a laser. Have a good look at the book before picking your target.If you play, make sure to hit it further left on the tee balls at both 17 and 18, everything feeds severely to the right. As for the off course elements, the clubhouse is shaped like a spaceship and offers great views and a solid place for lunch and a pint.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

This Beauty is a Beast

So many negative things have been written about the Castle Course at St. Andrews. Everyone says the course and the greens are just too hard. First off they're right, I've never played a course that difficult, but the greens weren't awful by any means. I had a few circus putts but they were cool. To put in perspective how hard it is, I had two pars and I am a 9 handicap. My round was filled with bogeys. However I have zero regrets. This course was one of the most beautiful I'd ever played. Having played the Old Course twice the day before, I knew I couldn't have the same expectations, but this course was just gorgeous. I really enjoyed a few holes. The 17th is an all-world Par 3 (which I luckily got one of my two Pars on). I think the bottom line for this course has to be not comparing it to the Old Course or Kingsbarns and just appreciating it for what it is. The best thing I've heard about the Castle was "leave the scorecard in the bag and take out the camera."

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Don't overlook this one while in town

So pleasantly surprised by how great this golf course was. It's beautiful from beginning to end and the variety is terrific. This day was extremely windy, making the round challenging but it still was a great thrill to play.

The views are great also. You can see into St. Andrews and down by the ruins of the old cathedral and the par-3, 17th hole is just the best place on the whole course.

The Old and the New always top the list, but if you have time, take a ride over to the Castle. You won't regret it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

Toughest course Ive ever played!

So excited to play this course! Views are stunning and the course was no doubt the toughest course I have ever had the chance to play, and I would play it again in a heart beat! Massive bunkers, extremely undulated, deep fescue, and more elevation changes then expected. The views over the course are amazing and the view of the sea and the town of St Andrews are priceless. Not a very easy course to walk, probably worth getting a caddie or if your able, pay the extra coin for a golf cart. It is a very challenging course and not everyone in our group enjoyed it, but if you enjoy a challenge this is a course fore you! Maybe throw a few extra balls in your bag for this course, there are some forced carries that are on the long side, and a few holes run along the cliffs with straight drops to the water! Stunning!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Denver Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing
Good weather
Walked

An American in Scotland.

The Castle Course is different than the other courses at St. Andrews. It does have the best views. A handful of holes play alongside the cliffs and on those greens you can see over the bay into town.

I found that this was the most difficult course in St. Andrews. Many of the greens were elevated and heavily contoured. All of the locals seemed to like this one the least. I found that it had the feel of an American Resort. The staff was accommodating, the rounds played about 4:15 each, there was a place to get food on the turn, etc.

Due to the views and non-links play, I felt like a was playing an American Faux-Links. Called a links because it was by the sea. The tee shots did seem links-like with plenty of roll. It was on the approach shots that I felt like an aerial game was best. There were a few holes with bump and run or putt off the green options, but not many.

The course itself is a very good one. There is a good mix of long and short par 3s and 4s. The holes on the cliff-tops are breathtaking. It might have been the most challenging of my trip. I wouldn't want to find out how difficult it would be in a wind. Many locals were telling me that they shoot a half dozen shots over their handicap. If you are looking for a genuine Scottish links experience, then I would say to avoid this. If this course was in the States, then I would be tempted to give it 5 stars. It is just that when in Scotland, I want an authentic links. If you want to do something different, or you miss the resort feel, then this might be your course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging

Stay & Play Offers

From $100
Valid dates: Dec 05, 2019 - Nov 01, 2020
Escape to Tennessee's 'Hidden Gem' RiverWatch Golf Club with the perfect Stay and Play Package, starting at $100/night for lodging and UNLIMITED golf.
Now Reading
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE