St. Andrews Links - The Castle Course

4.6862941176 4.7 stars from 5 (5)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 71
  • Length: 6759 yards
  • Slope: 139
  • Rating: 73.6
  • Layout

Rentals/Services

Carts: No
Pull-carts: Yes
Clubs: Yes
Caddies: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving range: Yes
Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes
Golf school / academy: Yes

Policies

Walking allowed: Yes

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
White 71 6759 yards 73.6 139
Yellow 71 6376 yards 71.9 135
Red (W) 71 5460 yards 73.0 131

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.

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.7 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.8 stars from 5
Value: 4.3 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.9 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 5.0 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.4 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.8 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 5 Reviews
5 stars:
3
4 stars:
2
3 stars:
0
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
0

recommend this course

5 out of 5 reviews


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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Coming into its own"


BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/19/2018
Previously played Walked Cold weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course



"This Beauty is a Beast"


anditsasnaphook's avatar
Age:  Under 25
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  5-9

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 04/17/2018
First time playing Walked Windy weather

Reviewed on

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."


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Don't overlook this one while in town"


JayCoffinGC's avatar
Golf Channel
Age:  35-44
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a month
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/28/2017
First time playing Walked Windy weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"Toughest course Ive ever played!"


Colin468's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/13/2016
First time playing Walked Played 18 holes Excellent weather

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



"An American in Scotland."


JeffArenson's avatar
Top 50 Contributor
Denver Advisor
Age:  45-54
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/20/2014
First time playing Paired up at course Walked Played 18 holes Good weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Quality of food & beverage: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course



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