The oldest golf course in the world has many remarkable features which help make it very special to golfers around the world. A place where golf was first played 600 years ago, it is considered “the home of golf”, and yet still remains a real test of golf for today’s best golfers.
The course is well-known for its unique physical features, most notably the 112 bunkers, some of which are especially famous: the ‘Hell’ bunker on the long 14th hole, ‘Strath’ on the short 11th, and the ‘Road Bunker’, at what is probably the most famous golf hole in the world, the 17th.
The Old Course is also unusual in that it starts and finishes in the town, but its truly most remarkable feature is that in today’s modern golfing world, it is a course which has evolved over six centuries and remains a true test of championship golf.
- 73.3 rating/139 slope
- 6840 total yards from championship tees
- 18 holes, Par 72
Golf has been played at St. Andrews since at least 1457, when King James II banned it on the grounds that it interfered with archery practice.
The course originally consisted of twenty-two holes, eleven out and eleven back. After completing a hole, the player would tee up his ball within two club lengths of the previous hole and use a handful of sand to form a tee.
In 1764, the Society of St Andrews Golfers, (which later became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club) decided that some holes were too short and combined them — reducing the course to eighteen holes and creating what was to become the standard around the world.