Seventh Course St. Andrews Opens


For only the sixth time in 600 years a new golf course has opened at St. Andrews Links. The debut of the Castle Course July 3rd was overseen by the Duke of York at a special ceremony attended by 150 leading figures from the world of golf and from golf clubs and organizations in St. Andrews.

Continuing a line which began when the first track was cut through the gorse to create what became the Old Course, the Castle Course is the seventh course run by St. Andrews Links Trust and the first championship-length 18-hole golf course to open at the Links in more than 100 years.

The Duke of York, a former captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, unveiled a commemorative plaque at the first tee of the Castle Course and declared the layout officially open for play.

The first tee shot was struck by Edwin Burtnett from Tampa, Fla., who won the worldwide competition held in November 2006 to name the course. Burtnett was one of 12 out of more than 4,000 entries to suggest the Castle Course. He and his wife Tiffany were invited to the opening ceremony as guests of honor.

Stuart Maxwell, the Scottish Minister for Communities and Sport, attended the ceremony as did the Lord Lieutenant for Fife Margaret Dean and Provost of Fife and St Andrews Links Trustee Frances Melville. The Duke of York was given a short tour of the course by its designer, David McLay Kidd, and later attended a reception in new clubhouse.

St. Andrews Links Trust chairman Alastair Dempster said, "We are honored to have the Duke of York conduct the official opening of the Castle Course. This is a historic occasion not just for golf in St. Andrews but for Scotland as a whole. It is the most substantial project undertaken by the Links Trust and we are very pleased with the outcome. We believe the Castle Course will be an excellent addition to the Scottish golf scene and will attract golfers from near and far for many years to come."

General manager Alan McGregor added: "The brief for the Castle Course was to design an enjoyable and challenging course which would make the most of the splendid location here on the cliff tops overlooking St. Andrews. I think David and his co-designer Paul Kimber have achieved that goal. The course boasts some wonderful holes which offer views out over the ancient town of St. Andrews, out to the North Sea and to the Angus Coast and the Grampian Mountains in the distance. The Castle Course will provide a different test of golf to the other courses in St. Andrews. We hope it will encourage visiting golfers to spend longer in town as well as offering something new to local golfers."

Burtnett came up with the name after reading about Kinkell Castle, which occupied the current location of the clubhouse, in the late Middle Ages. The course logo is adapted from a Scottish peer's helmet, which forms part of the Monnypenny family crest. The Monnypennys of Pitmillie owned the land during this period.

After hitting the ceremonial first drive, Burtnett said, "It was pretty nerve-wracking with so many people watching, but it is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. I love golf and have been fascinated by St. Andrews and the courses here since my first visit a few years ago. This is a wonderful golf course and I am very proud to have played a part in naming it."

The Castle Course sits on 220-acre site above Kinkell Braes to the southeast of St. Andrews. The par-71 track has five tees on every hole, which vary the length from 5,460 to 6,759 yards. From the tips the course measures 7,188 yards.

The clubhouse features a circular design and has a glass-fronted restaurant overlooking Kinkell Ness, the furthest outcrop of the cliffs. The building has a geothermal heating and cooling system that generates energy from the earth using 150-meter-deep boreholes and heat pumps. The installation of the system received support from the Scottish Communities and Households Renewables Initiative (SCHRI), which is funded by the Scottish Executive through the Energy Saving Trust.

The St. Andrews Links Trust is a charitable organization responsible for the management and maintenance of the links courses at St. Andrews, including the Old Course, site of the 2010 Open Championship. The trust was established in 1974 and now employs more than 200 permanent staff and seasonal workers during the high season. It manages a number of additional facilities including two clubhouses, a golf practice center and three shops.

More than 200,000 rounds are played over six public courses, which feature two additional championship courses (the New and the Jubilee), two 18-hole courses (the Eden and the Strathtyrum) and the nine-hole Balgove.

The Castle Course is open to the public play; its first season runs until October 31st. Next year it will be open from April to October. Tee times can be booked online at http://www.standrews.org.uk/ or by calling Reservations at 001334 466666 or emailing reservations@standrews.org.uk.


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