Eight courses within a five-mile radius of the luxury Fairmont St Andrews have been named in Golf World‘s 2015 Top 100 Scottish Golf Courses ranking – and two are actually at the five-star resort itself.
Fairmont St Andrews’ two championship courses – The Torrance and The Kittocks – have both made the cut in the top 100, and are joined by the St Andrews Links Trust’s Old, New, Jubilee and Eden courses, and the nearby Duke’s and Castle Course.
And, sitting in a majestic cliff-top location overlooking the North Sea and the historic ‘Auld Grey Toon’, Fairmont St Andrews is the ideal luxury accommodation to visit any or all of the courses.
The 7,191-yard Kittocks Course – formerly known as the Devlin – was ranked 95. It has been redesigned to offer a contemporary layout with a closing four-hole stretch the equal of anything in the region.
Offering spectacular views of the Eden Estuary and North Sea, the Kittocks – named after Kittock’s Den, a rugged SSSI area of land which can be seen from a number of holes – has two man-made lakes, but, with a nod to the heritage of the nearby Old Course, two double greens and deep pot bunkers.
The 7,320-yard Torrance – which made the list at number 73 – re-opened in July 2009 following an extensive refurbishment program under the direction of architect Gary Stephenson and eponymous former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance.
In contrast to The Kittocks, it now offers a more traditional, Scottish, links-style feel, with deep, revetted bunkers. It is the Torrance which has hosted both final qualifying for the Open and the Scottish Seniors Open, and it offers a number of outstanding risk/reward holes.
Another reason why Fairmont St Andrews proves so popular with visiting golfers is that it is an all-year-round destination – it does not utilise winter greens or winter mats, ensuring a proper golfing experience 52 weeks a year.
And, what’s more, the resort’s owner, US-based Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate, has decided that visiting golfers should not pay more for a round of golf than residents at the hotel, capping the 2015 green-fee rate at just £80 for either course – almost halving the peak-period rate of 2014 on the Torrance.
The resort also features a state-of-the-art Signature Spa – one of the largest in Scotland – with pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and 12 luxurious treatment rooms, offering a range of treatments that include locally-themed massages, facial and relaxation therapies.
Award-winning dining options – including the brasserie-style Squire restaurant; the Italian La Cucina; informal dining in the sports bar, Rock & Spindle; and the clubhouse, which is a steak and seafood restaurant by night – complement the luxurious accommodation.
The hotel offers 209 rooms, 17 suites – including the Kingdom of Fife Suite used by the likes of the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan – and two spacious, self-catering, four bedroom Manor Homes, overlooking the golf courses.
Just a few minutes’ drive from the historic Old Course, the resort sits, castle-like, in an elevated position overlooking the Home of Golf and provides easy access to the charms of the old town courtesy of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus.
It was voted IAGTO’s European Golf Resort of the Year in 2012 and won the award for ‘best large hotel’ in the 2014 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.
Among the special offers currently available at the resort is the ‘Divots & Drams’ package which brings together Scotland’s two great passions: golf and whisky.
Available until the end of September, it offers a round of golf on either of the resort’s two famed courses and a tour of the nearby Kingsbarns Distillery, one of Scotland’s newest, with a visit to the exhibition therein and a tasting, with advice and assistance from a tour guide.
In addition, the deal, which costs from £199 per person (based on double occupancy), also includes overnight B&B accommodation and a three-course dinner – including a dram of the Wemyss whisky, one of the family-owned malts available at the distillery – in the resort’s newly refurbished clubhouse restaurant, which affords stunning views of the bay.