January 9, 2008
St Andrews – The Torrance championship golf course at Fairmont St Andrews is to benefit from an extensive capital investment infusion in 2008 enhancing its status as one of Scotland’s top courses.
The refurbishment programme, which is being supervised by architect Gary Stephenson, will add to the player experience and will see the Torrance build on its already impressive credentials.
Since opening in 2001, the course has been named as the Final Qualifying course for the 2010 Open Championship and has hosted many internationally recognized events, including the Vagliano Trophy, the BUSA Championships, WaterAid and two Europro Tour events. In 2007 Fairmont St Andrews was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler (US) on its Top 100 Golf Resorts, a newcomer to the list.
The Torrance closed on the 7th January 2008 with work beginning immediately, with a targeted re-opening in early spring 2009. The extent of the works being completed includes rebuilding of every tee to improve drainage and turf conditions, and relocation of some tees to enhance hole playability. The project will also include new irrigation systems and drainage to improve turf consistency and the player experience.
In addition to the relocation of specific tees, design enhancements will be made on a number of the existing holes. The Stephenson redesign will include classic revetted bunkering throughout the course. These steps will be complemented by an extensive planting programme for gorse, fescue and other native plants; as well as enhanced wetland and wildlife habitat areas on the course. Through all these changes, the length of the Torrance will remain from 5,200 at the front tees to slightly over 7,000 yards at the championship tees.
Gary Stephenson, founder of ‘The Linksmen’ golf design, has an extensive golf design resume, having worked with David Graham, Gary Panks, Byron Nelson, Phil Mickelson, and Steve Jones. Signature projects have included the Talon Course at Grayhawk Golf Club, Teton Springs Golf and Casting Club, Whisper Rock Golf Club, and a number of international locations.
General Manager Charles Head said: “Since opening, The Torrance has gained recognition as one of Scotland’s leading courses and we are delighted to have this opportunity to build on its excellent reputation. This of course complements the £10 million capital investment within the hotel that is now underway.
It is further evidence of the commitment that our owners, Apollo Real Estate, have shown to the Resort and will make 2008 another exciting year for Fairmont St Andrews.
Work is starting immediately on The Torrance. With access to the superb Devlin Course throughout, we are confident there will be minimal impact on the local community and visitors to the Resort.”
Charles added: “We are thrilled that the Torrance Course has been selected as a Regional Final Qualifying Course for the 2010 Open, and look forward to showcasing these exciting enhancements when the eyes of the golfing world return to St Andrews at that time.”
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of the R&A, reinforced the value of The Torrance project by commenting: “The R&A is delighted to see such a substantial investment in an Open Championship qualifying venue. This Torrance Course upgrade will give a great boost to its golfing challenge and playing quality.”
The Fairmont St Andrews is blessed with two recognized and renowned golf courses – the Torrance and The Devlin. Throughout the work on the Torrance Course, the Devlin will continue to operate fully, providing 18 scenic holes from 5,195 to over 7,400 yards. The Devlin, open since 2002, was the vision of Australian Bruce Devlin, Dennis Griffiths and the Grand Slam winner Gene Sarazen, and takes full advantage of its extensive coastal hugging location to provide panoramic views of St. Andrews Bay, the Eden Estuary, the North Sea and the historic town of St Andrews.
For more information on St Andrews as a destination, please visit www.standrewsgolf.org
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