Most of the talk of St Andrews in the last couple of years has been about the new Castle Course – and there’s no doubt it is a quality lay-out. But then it’s hard to find fault with any of the 11 courses which make up the paradise that is the home of golf.
Before the Castle Course and Kingsbarns, The Duke’s Course was the new kid on the block and was always different. It still is, being a heathland course set among the links lay-outs which dominate this unique tract of golfing land.
Originally designed by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson, The Duke’s has always been a wonderful test and since its extensive remodelling which includes a much better finish and some truly stunning bunkers, it has become a real joy.
With its setting at Craigtoun Park above St Andrews, there are some truly magnificent panoramic views over the surrounding countryside to the sea and with five separate tee positions at every hole it has the flexibility and challenge to appeal to golfers at every level.
Despite its unrivalled position on the edge of the famous Road Hole at St Andrews, the Old Course Hotel has no privileged access to the Old Course – no hotel has – but it does own The Dukes, which is only a short transfer from the hotel.
Revised and renovated by Tim Liddy in 2006 with five completely new holes and revamping of some 100 bunkers, plus another 350 yards to make it 7,512 off the back tees, The Duke’s is truly an experience.