The Castle Course in St Andrews has received three prestigious international awards in its inaugural season.
The course has been recognised by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine in America as the New Course of the Year. It was also named International Development of the Year by Golf Inc magazine in America pipping the Els Club in Dubai to the title.
In August, the course was recognised by the Institute of Groundsmanship, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and some leading turfcare journalists as the 2008 Turf Professional Project of the Year.
The Castle Course opened for play on 28 June and after only a few months was included in the authoritative Golf World Top 100 rankings, an impressive achievement for a new golf course.
By 31 October when it closed down for the winter, 14,000 rounds had been played on The Castle Course and bookings have already been coming in for its first full season from 1 April to 31 October next year.
As the seventh course at the Home of Golf, The Castle Course has attracted a great deal of media interest from around the world since the project started and an international naming competition for the course was held through the St Andrews Links website www.standrews.org.uk.
Alan McGregor, general manager of the Trust, said, “For a new golf course to receive this level of recognition at such an early stage is quite remarkable. When we began working with the architects David Kidd and Paul Kimber we knew we were going to create a special course but I don’t think anyone realised just how dramatic and eye-catching it was going to be.
“It has been a successful first half-season with many golfers from near and far playing the course. We have received a large amount of positive feedback and, it is fair to say, some questions about the challenging nature of the course. We had always anticipated making some changes as the course matures and we will be working on it over the winter. But overall we are absolutely delighted with how the course is progressing and we are looking forward to next season.”
The Castle Course sits on a spectacular cliff top location overlooking the ancient town of St Andrews. It has been designed as a links-like course with undulating fairways and landforms and crisp, sandy lies. Over the winter some of the mounds in the fairways will be cut back and reduced and some adjustments will be made to the green surrounds on a few holes.
As well as adding to the golf offering in St Andrews, The Castle Course has brought economic benefits to the town creating jobs for 40 people across the greenkeeping, reception, retail and food and beverage departments and helping to encourage visitors to stay longer and play more golf.
Tee times for The Castle Course from 1 April to 31 October, 2009 can be booked by contacting 0044 1334 466666 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.