St Andrews Links Trust has announced a number of course improvements will be carried out on the Old Course in preparation for the 2015 Open Championship.

The Trust – which manages all seven courses at the Home of Golf – and the R&A Championship Committee have enlisted renowned course architect Martin Hawtree to make the modifications.

His remit was to assess potential changes – enhancing the challenge for elite players without unduly affecting amateurs – whilst remaining true to the special character of the Old Course.

Hawtree’s recommendations have been presented and agreed, with the first phase involving work on the 2nd, 7th, 11th and 17th holes.

The second phase – taking place in winter 2013/2014 – will focus on the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 15th holes.

Some of the changes include the widening of the road hole bunker, the re-contouring of the front portion of the 17th green and the creation of a number of additional bunkers throughout the course.

“The Old Course is renowned as one of the great Open venues and its continued prominence on the Open roster is crucially important to the economy and reputation of St Andrews,” said Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of the St Andrews Links Trust.

“The Old Course has evolved over time and the Links Trust is delighted to be working with the Championship Committee in order to maintain the challenge of the course, for both elite tournament players and the thousands of golfers who play here each year.”