Two of the courses at the ‘Home of Golf’ have improved their standing in the UK’s top 100 courses as ranked in Golf World magazine’s bi-annual assessment. The 80 judges in the ranking panel moved the Old Course closer to the number one position, making it the 4th best course in the country (up from 8th) and the New Course 38th, up 9 places.
“These promotions are considerable achievements for both courses for different reasons,” said Alan McGregor, general manager of St Andrews Links Trust, which is responsible for the six public courses at St Andrews. “The worldwide reputation of the Old Course means that the challenge is to maintain and improve its position, while lying in its shadow is the New Course, which has now received the recognition it has long deserved.”
The 107-year-old ‘New’ Course is a classical links course, designed to make use of the natural contours of the land. It was shaped by Old Tom Morris, much more than its more famous neighbour, and has shared fairways, numerous bunkers and a double green (3rd and 15th). At over 6,600 yards (par 71), the course is a popular choice among local and visiting golfers and regularly hosts the top amateur strokeplay tournament, St Andrews Links Trophy.
The Links Trust has also won a prestigious award in the tourism industry’s Scottish Thistle Awards, seen as the benchmark for excellence in tourism.
The Trust was one of three finalists in the Skills For Success category, open to companies with over 20 staff. Among the Trust’s recent activities praised by the judges were achieving Investors in People, creating a new in-house customer care training course and developing the first ever formal training scheme for caddies.
“This award underlines our long-term commitment to supporting our staff and encouraging teamwork in order to deliver a high level of service to our customers,” said Alan McGregor. “With around 250 staff based in different locations around the Links and 250 licensed caddies, it is a challenge to ensure we are performing consistently and well. We strive constantly to exceed the expectations of our customers before, during and after their visit to St Andrews Links.”
St Andrews Links Trust www.standrews.org.uk.