Golf courses near St Andrews and the surrounding area

First published: August 31, 2013
Last Updated: April 4, 2022

From the cerebral genius of the Old Course at St Andrews to the brutal majesty of Carnoustie, this peerless area has famous links golf covered.

If you were to describe a circle with a radius of 50 miles and its centre at St Andrews, you would incorporate the finest selection of quality golf courses anywhere in the world.

Narrow it down to 25 miles and still there are more than two dozen of the finest courses imaginable on offer – including two Open venues and half a dozen Open qualifying courses. There are six golf courses in St Andrews alone – seven if you count The Castle Course, just outside.

Discover the lesser known gems such as the Balcomie Links at Crail, where teeing off over the North Sea is a twice-enjoyed ‘treat’; or quirky Monifieth Links, which counts an historic railroad track as an out of bounds marker!

Perhaps the intricate Elie course could become a favourite – certainly the WWI periscope in the starter’s hut (used to check whether the fairway is clear) and the ubiquitous seals on the beach will be remembered.

But to play golf on the famed links golf courses in St Andrews is an ambition of golfers the world over. Other modern classics such as Kyle Phillips’s Kingsbarns and David McLay Kidd’s St Andrews Castle Course represent a contemporary take on the links classic; both golf courses are within 15 minutes of St Andrews and add true, modern classics to St Andrews’ golfing canon.

Such seaside experiences are the traditional fayre of Scottish Golf but the tight, tree-lined fairways of Ladybank or the majestic Kings Course of Gleneagles, offer a variety that is unmatched. Indeed the inland, five-star complex at Gleneagles – venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup – another reason to consider St Andrews as your personal hub for the finest golf course experience in the world.

Whatever your taste in course architecture, whatever your style of play, the golf courses near St Andrews and the surrounding area are able to deliver.

You can browse these golf courses by how near they are to St Andrews, allowing you to plan your tee time schedules and transfer times.

Planning a trip to St Andrews?

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Gleneagles
  • Old Course St Andrews 18th
    St Andrews Links, Old Course
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  • Kingsbarns Golf Links
    Kingsbarns Golf Links
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  • Crail Craighead 18th
    Crail Craighead Links
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  • Gleneagles King's Course
    Gleneagles King's Course
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  • Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course
    Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course
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  • Gleneagles Queen's
    Gleneagles Queen's Course
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  • Carnoustie Golf Links, Championship Course
    Carnoustie Golf Links, Championship Course
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  • Panmure
    Panmure Golf Club
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  • Monifieth 17th green from rear
    Monifieth Golf Links, Medal Course
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  • Downfield Golf Club
    Downfield Golf Club
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  • Ladybank Golf Club
    Ladybank Golf Club
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  • St Andrews Castle Course
    St Andrews Castle Course
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  • St Andrews Duke's Course
    St Andrews Duke's Course
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  • Crail Balcomie Links
    Crail Balcomie Links
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  • Elie
    Elie, Golf House Club
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  • St Andrews Links, New Course
    St Andrews Links, New Course
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  • St Andrews Links, Jubilee Course
    St Andrews Links, Jubilee Course
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  • Lundin Links
    Lundin Links Golf Course
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  • St Andrews Links, Eden Course
    St Andrews Links, Eden Course
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  • St Andrews Links, Strathtyrum Course
    St Andrews Links, Strathtyrum Course
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  • St Andrews Links, Balgove Course
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  • Leven Links
    Leven Links
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  • Scotscraig Golf Club
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  • Fairmont St Andrews, Torrance Course
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  • Fairmont St Andrews, Kittocks Course
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  • Charleton Golf Course
    Charleton Golf Course
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Beyond St Andrews

There is a wealth of Scottish golf courses beyond the St Andrews area. Some, like Cruden Bay make a terrific day trip from St Andrews, others are an overnight stay or golf trip in their own right.

If you would like more insight into how each compares to the Old Course as well as others in the area then take a read of ‘How tough is St Andrews Old Course?‘. Where I compare 30 of the best courses in the St Andrews area, including the Old Course, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns. With tables and charts to show how tough they are to play and what a good (scratch) and average (bogey) golfer might expect to score on each course.

If the Old Course is a ‘must play’ for your trip, then pre-planning and study is required. A guaranteed tee time, the Old Course Ballot or playing as a single golfer – I have you covered. Check out my extensive golfer resources, using unique research data and providing you with everything you need for a successful golf trip:

Remember – Scotland and St Andrews isn’t just for those with a low handicap. Not convinced? Take a look at these guides for those who are high handicappers, beginners or juniors.

And if you have never played on a links course then you might find this guide – Insights into playing Scottish links golf – a different game a useful read.

further resources

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Golf courses near St Andrews and the Surrounding Area October 8, 2014