The Torrance championship golf course at Fairmont St Andrews has begun an extensive renovation program with a targeted re-opening in early spring 2009. The Torrance was the first design by the victorious 2002 European Ryder Cup captain, Sam Torrance, and this par 72 course incorporates cliff-edge holes and stunning views over the North Sea and the medieval skyline of St Andrews. The course renovation complements a £10 million capital investment program currently underway at the resort.
The refurbishment program, supervised by architect Gary Stephenson, includes the rebuilding of every tee to improve drainage and turf conditions, and relocation of some tees to enhance hole playability.
The project will also include new irrigation systems and drainage to improve turf consistency and the player experience. In addition to the relocation of specific tees, design enhancements will be made on a number of the existing holes. The Stephenson redesign will include classic revetted bunkering throughout the course.
The course will undergo a planting program for gorse, fescue and other native plants as well as enhanced wetland and wildlife habitat areas on the course. Through all these changes, the length of the Torrance will remain from 5,200 at the front tees to slightly over 7,000 yards at the championship tees.
Since opening in 2001, the Torrance has been named as the Final Qualifying course for the 2010 Open Championship and has hosted many internationally recognized events.
Gary Stephenson, founder of ‘The Linksmen’ golf design, has an extensive golf design resume, having worked with David Graham, Gary Panks, Byron Nelson, Phil Mickelson, and Steve Jones. Signature projects have included the Talon Course at Grayhawk Golf Club, Teton Springs Golf and Casting Club, Whisper Rock Golf Club, and a number of international locations.
Located a few miles south of St Andrews, the acclaimed “home of golf”, the 209-room Fairmont St Andrews features five dining outlets, a 3,500 square foot spa and health club and a second 18-hole golf course – The Devlin (created by Bruce Devlin) where the breathtaking Fife coastline is an intrinsic feature of the layout of this par 72 7,049 yard championship course. Within a short drive of the town are another 20 golf courses, including the venerated Old Course.
Throughout the work on the Torrance Course, the Devlin will continue to operate fully, providing 18 scenic holes from 5,195 to over 7,400 yards. The Devlin, open since 2002, was the vision of Australian Bruce Devlin, Dennis Griffiths and the Grand Slam winner Gene Sarazen, and takes full advantage of its extensive coastal hugging location to provide panoramic views of St. Andrews Bay, the Eden Estuary, the North Sea and the historic town of St Andrews.
Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, a leading global hotel company with over 80 hotels worldwide.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts www.fairmont.com