St andrews (NEW COurse) -
OK, first things first. No-one is every going to travel halfway across the world just to play the New Course at St Andrews. Sure it has the same turf as the Old, it has greens that run just as true and views of the town which look mightily similar. What it doesn't have is the history of The Old Course, the memories and the wow factor. But what you will get at the New Course is a good, solid links experience which is a perfectly acceptable warm up for the main event.
The course is just under 6,400 from the yellow tees with a good range of hole lengths so you will find plenty to test the whole bag here. It is almost impossible to describe around here without making comparisons to the illustrious neighbour. The course is less 'quirky' than The Old Course which fewer deep follows or tricky run off areas - both the fairways and greens are flatter than next door and therefore the course has less character but it probably an easier 'first play'. That having been said there are some tough holes - the 9th is a 225 yard par 3 that played into the wind when we played with oob on the left and gorse on the right, tougher than any par 3 on The Old.
The video here gives a nice idea of what you are facing - with the Old Course to the left. The course itself isn't a straight and back layout with a few holes double backing on the last one on the way but it does generally follow the Old Course out before turning back, the 18th finished in front of the Links Trust clubhouse.
So, it's a nice course which you will enjoy playing at the time and has a few talking points while you're going around but won't have you talking about it for years to come.
BOOKING THE COURSE
See the Old Course page for details of how to get a tee time there.
If you have put an entry in for a round on the Old Course in the previous September as detailed there then you have to nominate a second course to play while there, therefore if you want to add the New Course on (rather than one of the many other courses in St Andrews) just do so there.
If you are not booking in conjunction with an Old Course tee time then you can book here if you are booking more than 2 days out, otherwise you need to call. If you don't see the time you are looking for though it is well worth giving them a call anyway as they don't make everything available on the online booking tool. The green fee ranges from £40 in the winter to £80 in the summer which is great value.
Here's a link to the St Andrew website which explains it all - http://www.standrews.org.uk/Play
St Andrews pretty much exists for two things - golf and the university. Accommodation can be pretty expensive though so it is well worth considering staying in university accommodation if you're staying in the summer months. It's cheap, close to the town centre and absolutely fine for a couple of nights. At the other extreme The Old Course Hotel will give you a spectacular view, but at quite a cost. There is plenty in between and Tripadvisor will help you find something right for you.
When it comes to drinking there would be two obvious choices. The Dunvegan Hotel is very close to the 18th green and has a bar full of memorabilia and good drink on tap - there are also rooms available. It would be criminal to finish a round and not end up there for a pint.
Another place to seek out is The Jigger Inn. OK, it's far from an authentic Scottish boozer as it's owned by the Old Course Hotel but just to be able to sit alongside the 17th fairway and watch players come by is a great experience. But as for the pub itself, it's a Scottish pub as the Old Course Hotel think Americans would want it. Have one there and move on into town!
There are plenty of other pubs in St Andrews happy to take your money. I have been to a few but local ex-Student Graylyn Loomis has been to a lot more. Here's a link to his guide - http://www.graylynloomis.com/the-best-pubs-in-st-andrews/. There's lots of great stuff on Graylyn's pages about St Andrews so if you are looking for inside tips its a really good resource. http://www.graylynloomis.com/st-andrews/
In terms of your round itself, don't expect too much myth and mystery in the clubhouse. It's a new build, visitor-centric clubhouse which is a changing room, shop, average bar and average food.
When it comes to other course you are clearly spoilt for choice in Fife. If I was planning a trip just there and want to go for the ultimate experience I would do the Old and New, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie which is only 40 minutes away. However, if you want to tone it down a bit, but still play some cracking courses, then Dukes, Ladybank, Crail and Lundin all have great reputations.
St Andrew New Course
Tel - +44 (0) 1334 466666
Web - http://www.standrews.org.uk
CONSIDER ALSO -