Golf courses near St Andrews and the surrounding area
Last Updated: April 13, 2023
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. 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.
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.
Planning a trip to St Andrews?
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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.
Beyond St Andrews
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.
How tough is the Old Course?
How does it compare with Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and other courses in the area?