The "other" St Andrew courses?


Hi guys. Heading to Scotland in June for a golf trip. We’re playing North Berwick on Day 1 after we land, then have another 3 days that we’re planning on heading to the St Andrews area.

If we do not win a ballot, we’re still leaning on buying the 3-day pass and playing Castle, Jubilee, New Course and Eden. How do these courses hold up on their own?

The alternative plan would be Crail and Elie, though we wouldn’t get the unlimited golf the 3-day pass would give us.

Also, does anyone know if you buy the 3-day pass and win the ballot, can you just pay the difference for the Old Course price?



if you’re in the area, you should definitely try to play kingsbarns. it’s 20 mins from the old course and a fantastic experience. carnoustie would be awesome too with the open coming up in just a few months and it’s only about 45 mins north. when we went, we got lucky enough to hit the ballot our first day so didn’t have to shuffle rounds. between the old course, kingsbarns and carnoustie, we played three world class courses in three days all within 45 mins of st. andrews. as far as the other st. andrews courses, we didn’t play any so can’t speak from experience. tom doak gave the castle course a zero in his confidential guide and while i’d imagine i wouldn’t agree with him there, it’s something to think about


Thanks for the reply! While I’d love to play Kingsbarn and Carnoustie, we’re unfortunately on somewhat of a budget. With the potential of the Old Course and North Berwick, we were thinking the 3-day pass would give us a good value to offset some of the trip costs. It’s around 73 gbp to play unlimited golf each day at the other St Andrews courses…but if they aren’t very good then it’s still not really money well spent.


I like the Crail/Elie play plus New Course. More flexibility with the prospect of the old course time also. All three should be accommodating.


Thanks Ru, I appreciate the comment.

Should my travel mates push for the other St Andrew courses, are they still enjoyable tracks? I read Graylon’s reviews and am interested on your thoughts.


The short answer is all the courses at St Andrews are awesome. They all have their own personalities and if they were not in the shadow of the Old, would be much more celebrated in their own right.

If you don’t win the ballot then your next best option is to queue up early in the morning. There are plenty of tips on google. We’ve done it twice and had a blast. You probably won’t get on as a 4ball but singles and twos have a great chance.

As for the other courses… Castle is the newest and is love or hate. DMK took a flat piece of land and used every trick he could, shame he didn’t just refine it back a bit. If it is your first time to SA I would recommend this is the last course you play.

The New course (still 130 years old) is the Old Course’s better looking twin. It doesn’t have the quirkiness of the Old and is tighter but is a top tier course in its own right.

Jubilee is a gem, 6800 yards of dunes heaven with some incredible views of the Bay. For many it is the toughest of the original St Andrews courses.

Eden is a HS Colt classic. A pretty barren piece of land but you need to play a strategic game and not try to overpower it.