Anyone who has read my blog today will know I’m up in St Andrews for a few days playing in the Writer Cup. As part of the warm up to tomorrow’s matches kicking-off, players from both sides visited the new Castle Course (formerly know as No7 Course) just outside of St Andrews to get a feel for the site which will open for play in summer 2008.
And, having just returned, I can say it’s going to be a spectacular addition to the great tracks already on offer in this part of Fife. The course sits on cliffs a few miles out of town heading south towards Crail. In fact for those who know the area and courses well it sits immediately adjacent to the Torrance Course at St Andrews Bay and has views back towards town.
Designed by Scottish Architect David McClay Kidd (who created the highly regarded Bandon Dunes in the US) the course has a links feel with undulating fairways bordered by high fescue grasses and greensites that feature heavily contoured putting surfaces and sharp run offs.
We were lucky enough to meet McClay Kidd who had just played some holes with the links trustees and talked us through his design philosophy.
For his sins (or perhaps sadistic pleasure) he watched on as the writers had an impromptu nearest the pin competition at the 17th which is played across 170 odd yards of yawning chasm. In three efforts I manged one on the green, one semi top into the rocky inlet below and one dumped in a bail out bunker left!
Even walking just a handful of holes you got an impression that this course has to become a real ‘must play’ track even in an area where there are so many great courses.