Kinkell by St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 8PL, Scotland
72, SSS 74
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Golf Course Says
The St Andrews Castle Course was opened by the Links Trust in 2008. Situated to the east of the town on the Kinkell Braes, the designer David McLay Kidd has created a modern links style course was fantastic views back to St Andrews. The Castle course offers the choice of 5 tees to change the length from 5300 to 7200 yards and there is a superb clubhouse and practice facilities. The underlating greens offer the traditional links challenges of pitching or running the ball in and golfers of all levels will enjoy a great round with fantastic views.
Golfalot Review of St Andrews Castle Course
The St Andrews Castle Course has divided opinion since its inception and it is easy to see why. Almost all of the greens seem to have not one, but several elephants buried beneath them and the random mounds in the fairways, which thankfully don't have rough on them anymore, accurately recreates the unfairness of traditional links courses. Despite this we really liked the Castle course. Yes the greens are mad and you dont wan't to play the Castle Course with a card in your hand, but we enjoyed the challenge they provided. The slopes make the effective areas around the flags very small and better players will appreciate the skill this requires to get it close and the course management decisions that need to be made.
Most of the trouble around the greens is long so play short and putt up those slopes and you will find it is manageable. Greens aside this is a marvellous layout. Unlike the overrated Kingsbarns, there are no weak holes here and the bunkering looks great and they are deep enough to cost you a shot, even on the fairway. The views on every hole are magnificent as you are that much closer to the town and the 2 stretches of holes by the coast from 6 to 9 and 16 to 18 offer dramatic views and even more dramatic shots over the cliffs. The clubhouse is beautifully laid out too, although the 'broom cupboard' showers could do with a rethink. The only other issue is the price. Unless you are a mmeber at a Scottish Golf Club, the green fee will be only a few pounds less than the Old Course, which is way too much. Howevere if you can afford it, then the Castle Course is well worth playing.
One of those courses you just have to play. The views are simply out of this world. McLay Kidd's adventure is brought to a pulsating par five conclusion, the dramatic final double green precariously overlooking the frothing seas way down below. The Castle Course is full of its own surprises. It is quirky and unpredictable which is a strength rather than a weakness.
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