Located west of the Old, New and Jubilee courses and north of the Strathtyrum and Balgove courses, the 6,112-yard, par 70, Eden course is a fine links on which to enjoy a round of golf at St Andrews.
Designed by Harry Colt in 1914, the Eden bears many of his hallmarks – more strategic than punishing – especially with the greens which established the benchmark for modern putting surface design. Colt built contoured greens to allow good drainage and the putting surfaces of the Eden course are said to be the most undulating of any of the St Andrews Links Trust courses.
Colt also included partially buried field boundary walls in the Eden design with a result that the routing is very natural and flowing. Deep pot bunkers are scattered liberally around the course to catch errant tee shots or approaches to the green.
In fairness, most fairways are generously proportioned; though out of bounds threaten wayward strokes on many of the holes. A sliced shot on the 417-yard, par four 3rd, for instance, will see you out of bounds and onto the Old course – don’t linger too long looking for it though as their marshals will soon know that you’ve gate crashed your way onto the tourist course!
The Eden may be one of the few low-scoring opportunities to be had at St Andrews, however, between the sloping greens, strategically placed bunkers and fairway humps and hollows, above average approach play and a good game plan will be required to make a net score around par.
Several holes are worthy of consideration: The green of the 144-yard, par three 5th has two tiers, with a seven feet slope in between that will severely test the very best of putters. The 350-yard, par four 14th and 170-yard, par three 15th feature a pond – added in 1985 – which is the only inland water hazard on all of the St Andrews Links Trust courses.
The toughest hole on the course is the 432-yard, par 4 17th which is routed along the curve of the old railway line with out of bounds to the right of the fairway. The line for the tee shot is the most distant visible bunker. The green is relatively deep but there is not much room between the protecting bunker left and the out of bounds right.
One other good point about playing the Eden course is the use of the new Eden and Strathtyrum Clubhouse which affords a quiet respite from the masses who flock to the nearby clubhouse for the Old, New, and Jubilee courses.
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Average Reviewers Score:
There is a charm about the Eden which is lacking in the New, Jubilee and (especially) the Castle courses. The outward nine, featuring the original Colt greens, does not contain one unsatisfactory hole. The inward nine begins well with another good par three. Holes 12 through 15 at the far end of the course are less links-like and involve a pond. However, the finish is good with a genuine three shotter, an excellent four and a good, possible birdie chance, to finish.
Ive played the Eden a few times but after playing it on New Years day I felt compelled to write a review. The first 8 holes do not contain a single weak hole, and you might even say not even an average one. Holes 1 and 4 are the 'easy hole' antidotes to the diffucult 2nd & 3rd. The 5th & 8th are superb par 3's - the best in all of St Andrews links with the possible exception of the 11th on the Old. I have to say when I got to the turn I though "This is the best front 9 of all the St Andrews Links courses" and I would still defend this point of view although that might be slightly harsh on the Jubilee. The back 9 is more maligned but I thought it started really well with a tough par 3 and 3 excellent par 4s. That got us to the lake holes (14 & 15) and whilst I agree the feature is very un-St Andrews, I thought the two holes as stand alone holes were very good. 16 is a bit of a slog but 17 is the best hole on the course for me and the 18th is a nice gentle finish and a great birdie chance. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my round due to the incredible variety that the course offered. The condition was out of this world considering it had been shut for the previous 10 days and I think this round has shunted the course 10 or so places up my personal favourite golf courses.
The Eden is a very under rated golf course. With the exception of the 14th and 15th this is a very good track.
The front nine is reasonably tight off the tee, the greens are usually heavily contoured on the outward nine, with the first being a prime example. The back nine is not as good with the newer holes 14 and 15 being a let down. The turf is not as springy or links like and the pond is hideous but does add a new dimension to the holes, th pond is probably there for drainage as the area is quite marshy. My personal favorites were the par 3 5th and par 3 8th, both played from the same tee.
The eden is very under rated, this may not be as good as The old, or New courses, but it is a quality golf course and well worth a visit.
The Eden is a classic afternoon course, the ideal 2nd part of a 36 hole day when the legs are tiring. This in no way is meant to be a disparaging remark as the Eden is a decent track although, in my opinion it is the weakest of all the Trust courses that I have played (I have Strathtyrum, Balgove and The Castle still to play). That said Eden does have some good holes but not enough in my opinion to elevate it above average although, the humps and hollows on the greens and fairways will keep you entertained a prime example being the first green which is a devil to read. Par here is always gratefully accepted. As for the shepherds cottage to the rear of the green well, I thought that was marvellous.
You soon begin to realise that keeping the ball in play is everything here as out of bounds is a real possibility on numerous holes as is the estuary which comes in to play at the 3rd, 7th, 13th and 14th so don’t be tempted to use the big stick if you don’t have to. As other reviews have stated make sure you are on the right level on the 5th green or you are entering a putting lottery.
Now, dear friends, we come to the 14th and 15th and the addition of the pond, which I think is horrible. It looks to me like an after thought that being said, it does make you stop and think.
Eden leaves the best till last with two decent holes to finish. The 17th, the best on the course in my opinion, is a tight driving hole with ob right and bunkers left. Par is well earned here. The 18th is a shortish par 4 with gorse all the way up the right side and a hedge potentially obscuring the green if you are too far left so just right of centre is the way to go.
As ever, I like to finish on a positive and that comes in the shape of the new clubhouse which serves the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove which is beautifully fitted out and is all a golfer could ever need. MPPJ
There are lots of great greens on The Eden, not just the 1st. In fact all of the originals are superb. It's the Donald Steel redesign holes that are a real shame...the pond is an awful addition. The Links Trust should be ashamed of tearing up this Colt course. Still its deifinitely worth playing for the original holes...it's better than Jubilee.
I was really looking forward to playing the Eden but it did not impress me nearly as much as I had hoped. I played in the middle of December with a snell, biting wind blowing across the links from the west which did not help matters, I suppose but the early promise of a wonderfully contoured green on the opening hole was not sustained throughout the next seventeen, unfortunately. The 5th green too was wickedly contoured but many were pretty nondescript and, frankly, some of the holes – the 4th and 12th in particular – were pretty bland. I liked a couple of old fashioned features – the fairways of the par three 5th and 8th holes criss-crossing and the blind drives to be played at holes 6 and 13. I even liked the pond between the 14th and 15th holes at the far end of the course (the surrounding land is very marshy at that part so I suppose a water feature was relatively sensible) - forgive me, fellow links lovers for that comment! - and water really pressurises the approach to both holes. A few holes, notably the ninth, had lovely sets of angled cross bunkers protecting the approach to the putting surface though bunkering immediately adjacent to greens was very light throughout. A disappointment was when I found out that there was one winter green on, at the par 5 seventeenth hole, which had had a number of fairway bunkers relined and some (artificial looking) mounding installed either side of the fairway. All in all, considering the time of year and the recent wet weather, the greens were in astonishingly good condition – classic design will always shine through, I suppose. By all means play the Eden as a warm up before the serious business of playing the Old, New or Jubilee but don’t expect it to present the same test as the others. Jim McCann
Perhaps the Eden is the most enjoyable and fun course of all the St Andrews tracks. It’s not the most exacting course but there’s something really engaging about it that makes you want to come back for more. This is one of those experiences that you really shouldn’t tell too many people about or they will put the green fee up. If you can keep it out of the rough and have a decent day with the putter on these super, true greens then you could have the time of your life.