Duke's St Andrews - Fife - Scotland

The Duke's St Andrews,
St Andrews,
Fife,
KY16 8NS,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1334 474371

  • David Scott

  • Peter Thomson, Tim Liddy

  • David Scott


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The Duke’s is the course belonging to the famous Old Course Hotel and it’s the only non-links course in St Andrews. The Duke’s is situated a couple of miles inland but, if you are lucky enough to stay at the hotel, they’ll provide transportation to and from the course. Despite the hotel being strategically sited next to the infamous Road Hole, no hotel can guarantee tee times on the Old course. Naturally, the Old Course Hotel decided to build their very own course.  

Five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson, who was affectionately nicknamed the Melbourne Tiger, designed The Duke’s course. The Aussie’s motto is that “a golf course should be a bit wild” and he’s certainly created a seriously challenging layout, which measures 7,512 yards from the tips, but with five tee boxes the Duke’s is manageable for all golfers. The Duke’s opened for play in 1995 and the name presumably came from Prince Andrew the Duke of York who hit the first tee shot in an opening match with former Scotland Rugby Captain Gavin Hastings.  

A gentle opening par five called “Highland” takes you quickly away from the luxurious clubhouse with the first real challenge coming at the 2nd, a hole called “Drumcarrow”. This tough par four is flanked by trees and a solid drive down the left will leave a tricky long approach shot to a long, narrow green which is very difficult to find in regulation. When you reach the turn, spectacular views open up over St Andrews town and the sea beyond. 

“Braw View”, the par four 13th, is one of the most scenic holes in St Andrews. Panoramic views to the north and of the “Auld Grey Toon” might make your mind wander but beware as you will require an accurate tee shot to a bottleneck fairway, avoiding fairway bunkers on the left and right, to set up the best approach shot that requires precise clubbing to hold this small, downhill green. The 18th provides a great climax to an enjoyable round. “Ice House” is a challenging uphill par four, an accurate drive is required followed by an approach shot to an elevated green that will require an extra club. Enjoy the view of St Andrews before heading for the sanctuary of the 19th hole. 

The Duke's course was revised and renovated in 2006 by Tim Liddy, an understudy of the renowned golf course architect Pete Dye. Significant bunker changes were implemented coupled with three new closing holes and alterations to the greensites on holes 13, 14 and 15. Additionally, the club has made significant improvements to fairway drainage such that the course now plays in a more traditional heathland style.  

In 2009, complimentary use of the driving range was introduced for all golfers and strategic areas of rough cut back to allow a wider latitude for play, making for greatly improved scoring and enjoyment.  

St Andrews is one of only a few places in the world whereby you can enjoy stunning links golf and, just a couple of miles away in the shape of the Duke’s course, outstanding inland golf. Let’s hear it for St Andrews – the Home of Golf.

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Reviews for Duke's St Andrews

Av. Reviewers Score:

We played Duke's in early April on a whim since we arrived a day early in St Andrews, and ringing the club house got a great price for a game.

Nice bag tag, and a quick round on the long and testing course.

Very interesting first hole leads into a real challenge, and in the back nine there are some marked elevation changes.

It was early season, so one could forgive some damp fairways and puddingy greens, but an inland links this isn't.

As one would expect of a course owned by the Old Course Hotel, the facilities are really good and the bar classy and pricey.

If one were looking for an inland game in the area it would be Ladybank every time for its charm and Old Tom connections, but for better golfers the longer Duke's would definitely fit the bill.

September 23, 2016


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Been away for a week playing Berwick Goswick Links, Carnoustie (all three courses), Arbroath and Cruden Bay (WOW) so well into the links golf and to be honest after 9 rounds in 7 days and knowing the course was long and tree-lined I was wondering why I had booked it when we tee'd off - especially as I lost two balls off the tee right after rushing on to the tee !!

However a run of 13 holes one over par proved that it is playable and even through rose tinted playing well specs it is certainly a lovely looking and well deigned and well presented track with a great variety of challenges.

Starter and halfway house staff very good as were the shop and bar/catering who were excellent - thank you all !!

Eventually (back on the course) the trees run out for a while but you still have a great variety of challenges (and a good variety of tees to chose from too).

Happy to brag that I scored 37 point with two blobs (the first and 3 in a bunker that I REALLY shouldn't have been in on the back nine) as I dont manage that very often but also want to qualify that I will ALWAYS rave about a good course even if I play a shocker.

This was a win win as played well on a really nice course which offers and great variety of course alongside the more typical links in the area.

Just as when visiting Carnoustie you should also play Downfield, when visiting St Andrews you should also visit Dukes (and Castle) !

Food was good after and gave Amex card a battering in the shop as all clothing 25% off too.

GREAT END TO A GREAT WEEK thank you Dukes

September 18, 2016


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I must say that Dukes seems to divide opinions. Some put in the absolute top of their Fife Experience and some, including me, in the lower region. I just put in a review on Ladybank since I felt it seemed unfair (to me) that it has lost ground in the rankings. And one of the courses that in the same time has been raising is Dukes. On the positive side you have to put the bunkering. It is great to look at and many times they are positioned in the right place. But take them away and you have a qiute dull course. Sure - there is a couple of great holes but i felt like several holes were to much alike. Like playing the same hole over and over. So it´s good thing that the bunkering makes the course look visually appealing. I was really looking forward to this course during our trip but it got the same feeling as Castle Course or the Stadium Course at Glenegales .. A bit to fabricated, very good looking but not a whole lot of funny to hang around with. So the old Lady Ladybank may have it´s downsides, but it feels real. Guess I should quit playing the new "BIG" courses and stay on the Links and one or 2 rounds at courses like Ladybank :-)

July 13, 2016


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What a fantastic course, and in lovely condition in mid October. Our first round in a nine day trip to St Andrews, and it did not disappoint...in fact at the end of the trip it was still one of my three favorite courses played, the others being Gleneagles King's Course and Royal Aberdeen. Beautiful fall colors on the trees lining the fairways, touch of heathland here and there...reminded me very much of Blackwolf Run. If ever I make it back to St Andrews, The Duke's will be at the top of my list...I had also played the Old/New/Eden/Castle courses as well on this, so that should give an idea of my personal preference. I've lived in England now going on four years and the heathland courses are my favorites...Sunningdale, Woodhall Spa, Walton Heath, Notts, The Duke's, Luffenham Heath, Woodbridge, & Ipswich just to name a few.
November 09, 2014


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Good layout. As many pointed out, this is one of the underrated courses in the area. As green and tee are quite apart, taking a powered cart is recommended. For 36 everyday duffers like myself, this is a great relief. At the time I played, green was a bit slow.
May 26, 2014


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A handful of memorable trips to St Andrews have been savoured over the years but this was our first visit to the Duke’s. The course is a joy to play and offers an excellent heathland alternative to the familiar links courses just up the road. The layout is attractive throughout but the magnificent bunkering is the star of the show here. I would go as far as saying that they are probably as good as Duke's St Andrews Golf Course - Photo by revieweranything I’ve experienced on my travels in Britain. Beautiful to look at without doubt but many are brutal and therefore good scoring will require skill as you plot way around them. As with most modern designs there are a variety of tees from which to choose, ranging from just over 6100 to 7500 yards. For maximum enjoyment choose carefully. Numerous stands of mature pine trees certainly add to the feeling of grandeur on the course and nowhere is this more noticeable than on the opening par 5 first which is a real cracker to get your round underway. All four of the par threes are very attractive, the uphill 8th and downhill 16th being my favourites. There are many highlights amongst the longer holes and great variety also with doglegs, burns to be cleared, testing greens and enough undulation to be interesting without testing your stamina too much. Walking down the 13th fairway you get the chance to look beyond the green over the famous old town and out to sea….. magnificent. The finishing holes continue to impress culminating in the excellent uphill 18th sitting beneath the clubhouse. For me worthy of a place in the Top 100 and most certainly a class act. Brian W
April 06, 2014


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One of the biggest obstacles the Duke’s course has is that it will always be in battle with the many coastal courses just a few miles away and rightly or wrongly those are the ones that visitors (especially from overseas) choose first. If I can help in anyway with this review to see if the Duke’s can be added to golfer’s radar, then I will (n.b. I do not have any connection with the club at all). Obviously Scotland is world famous for many golf courses and these are going to be loosely split into coastal and inland. Although the sea is in view from parts of the Duke’s course, this is an inland course and one of the country’s very best. My top five in this category would be 1st Loch Lomond, equal 2nd Spey Valley and Duke’s and then the Kings and Queens at Gleneagles. I find it difficult to find any faults at all really, the bunkering is bold and good looking, well placed and memorable on every hole – the course has been built on beautiful land with fantastic trees all around and there is a tough job to play to handicap on every hole - those qualities all add up to a must-play course. My two favourite holes are; the 10th – a par-4 dog-legging left with a burn in play at driving length and then the closing hole, a tough par-4 that plays uphill and ends with a great green-site with deep bunkering, great views over St. Andrews and the elegant clubhouse to the right just a short wedge away. In summary, if I was visiting St. Andrews for six rounds, the Duke’s course would be on my list along with five of the obvious coastal names.
November 20, 2013


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The Golf Course has a beautiful layout and offers amazing views over the bay of St. Andrews. The course is very well maintained. Duke's St Andrews Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe Greens and Fairways were in an excellent condition. I am wondering why this Course ist not ranked higher in the Top 100 Courses list. The Course can be played by "normal players" or Pros. The Club-House offers 5 stars amenities and the staff assists in every possible way. There is an excellent menu that fulfils all the wishes of a hungry golfer plus when staying at the Old Course Hotel you can use the service of the "Golf-Steward". They drive you up to the Course and organize the Teetime. Hope that many more golfers are able to enjoy the Course the way I did. A true pleasure for every Golfer. It is a must play if you visit St. Andrews
September 17, 2013


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My friends and I were blown away by The Dukes. We went there on a June night to sneak in a final nine before returning home to the US the next morning. As we had not heard much about the course our expectations were quite low- particularly as our rota had included courses like Dornoch, Trump, The Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns etc. The bunkering was beautiful and seemed to have touches of Pine Valley, Bethpage Black and Sunningdale. The conditioning was great and the course is one very long stiff test. The 35 pound twilight rate made it one of the best golf values I have ever seen. Visitors to St. Andrews who come here for links style golf, probably tend to miss the Dukes because of its parkland character and that is a pity. The views of the auld grey town give the place a unique atmosphere that should not be missed. I was not surprised to learn that they will be hosting the European Amateur next year.
July 01, 2013


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Andy N
September 20, 2013
Glad you enjoyed the Duke's - and you have made some great comparisons with world ranked courses. We are next visting in Oct 2013...
The Duke’s has moved up a number of notches in the Scottish listings since last year but some might still find it hard to believe there are four inland tracks in the country ranked higher than this place. Returning here just over a year since my last visit, Duke's St Andrews Golf Course - Photo by reviewerthe Duke’s enthralled me once again from start to finish. It’s such an expansive course on a massive property overlooking the “Grey Auld Toon” that you can easily become overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all – so choose your tees correctly and you’ll enjoy the fair challenge of a top track where the bold bunkering is quite simply the best that I have experienced in all of Scotland, bar none. It’s really unfair to single out any holes from such a strong card but the par three 8th is a terrific short hole, especially as it’s often so difficult to generate interest in an uphill par three. On the back nine, the par five 11th - where the two-tiered green sits behind an intimidating burn - is well worthy of its stroke index 1 classification. Our group of four were well catered for in the clubhouse with bacon butties before our round then soup and sandwiches afterwards so absolutely no complaints on that front from us. If you like your golf on a grand scale then the Duke’s is an absolute must play. Jim McCann.
October 04, 2012


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