Old Course Caddie Walks Us Through Holes 7-12

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, July 17th, 2015
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipEuropean TourPGA TourPro Golf
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Note: This is part two, a repost of a 3-part walk through of The Old Course at St. Andrews by my good friend and Old Course caddie John Boyne (Boynie) of Caddie Golf Tours.  I asked John to give us these hole by hole descriptions for the 2010 (British) Open Championship and he kindly obliged because, well, he’s a hell of a good guy. Check out holes 1-6 here and watch for holes 13-18 coming up next. Many thanks to Boynie for doing this special piece just for Hooked On Golf Blog ~Tony Korologos

7th, High (Out), 371 yards, Par4

One of The Old Course’s quirky holes the 7th fairway criss-crosses with the tee shot for the par 3 11th with which it shares the green. Generally a lot of confusion abounds here with players waiting for others to putt out on the par 3 before they hit their approach shot to the same green. This can be the beginning of the reason why the round, of just 18 holes, will take close to six hours! Unbelievable.

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Old Course Caddie Walks Us Through Holes 1-6

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Categories: (British) Open ChampionshipGolfGolf CoursesPro Golf
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Note: This is a repost of a 3-part walk through of The Old Course at St. Andrews by my good friend and Old Course caddie John Boyne (Boynie) of Caddie Golf Tours.  I asked John to give us these hole by hole descriptions for the 2010 (British) Open Championship and he kindly obliged because, well, he’s a hell of a good guy. Watch for the next two posts covering holes 7-12 and holes 13-18 respectively. Many thanks to Boynie for doing this special piece just for Hooked On Golf Blog ~Tony Korologos

The descriptions for the holes that I summarise on the Old Course at St. Andrews will be as if the golfer has found the perfect day for golf on the links – no wind!

1st, Burn, 376 yards, Par4

Should be a relatively straight forward par 4 with the tee shot heading down the widest fairway in golf – 143 yds across the walkway Granny Clarks Wynd – No excuses for missing it really!

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Review: Fairmont Hotel St. Andrews, Scotland

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Categories: GolfGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel
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St. Andrews is my 2nd home.  I’m so happy there.  The golf, the history, the pubs, the people.  No I didn’t mention the food.  Four out of five ain’t bad…  The “auld grey toon.”  There’s no place like it.

Most of St. Andrews’ offerings for lodging, like the Ardgowan Hotel, are very old 2-3 story buildings with cramped space and tough access through tight doors and stairways.  They’re just fine, and most are located walking distance from the Old Course.

Fairmont Hotel

The Fairmont Hotel offers something quite different than those old cramped rooms.  Space.  The Fairmont is a very large hotel a few minutes drive from the Old Course and about eight other courses.  The hotel provides extremely spacious rooms and every amenity one might want or need when on a Scottish golf trip.

Fairmont Hotel - St. Andrews, Scotland

Fairmont Hotel – St. Andrews, Scotland – As seen from the Torrance Course – click to see full gallery

The hotel is located on the Scottish coast, featuring fantastic views.  The property occupies some 520 acres.

Rooms

The Fairmont offers several different types of accommodations:  Standard rooms available with four different views, five different suite configurations, two family style rooms, and manor homes.

Even the smallest offering, the standard room, has about 4-5 times the space of the smaller hotels in town.  In fact, I’d venture to guess that the bathroom in my room at the Fairmont on my last golf trip to Scotland had more square footage than my room at the Ardgowan.

fairmont hotel

Warm and comfortable rooms at the Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews

From the robes to the heated towel racks in the bathroom, the standard room amenities are but a dream compared to the old town’s offerings.

The manor homes, which I’d love to try out the next time I’m in St. Andrews, are stand-alone homes which are over 4,000 square feet.  Perfect for a golf group.

Spa/Pool/Fitness

The Fairmont offers full spa treatments and unique packages which would come in handy after a long cold (yes it can be cold in Scotland) day on the links.

Fairmont Hotel pool

Hot tub and pool. I’ll be here next visit to St. Andrews!

I personally found the hot tub and swimming pool to be such a fantastic treatment for all the stiff muscles in my back and my aching lower body, a result of playing some 6-7 straight days of 36-holes.  If you’ve never golfed in Scotland, there are no carts (buggies as they’re called in the UK).  All golf is walked and the ground is as hard as Interstate 5.  Your feet and knees WILL ache after a few rounds.  Book it.

Food & Beverage

After a long day of chasing the white spheroid, a good meal and a “wee pint” are in order.  The Fairmont has numerous culinary offerings and plenty of great places to enjoy a splash of scotch or a wee pint of Belhaven Best, a local brew I’ve come to love.  My group spent quite a bit of time in the Kittocks Den & Bar, celebrating our triumphant shots on the Old Course, and lamenting over the not-so-triumphant ones.

Fairmont bar

May I help you? “Yes. A wee pint of Belhaven Best please!” Splendid

Each morning the hotel offers a fantastic breakfast buffet fit for a king, or a monarch.  Check your Scottish history on that one.  The dining area for breakfast was the gigantic atrium area, seen below.

Fairmont Hotel atrium

Atrium area… Breakfast buffet

I think I could hit a full sand wedge and not hit the ceiling in the atrium.

Golf

Nearby golf courses include the Old Course, New Course, Kingsbarns, Castle Course, Srathtyrum Course, Eden Course, Jubilee Course, and Balcomie Links a short drive away.

To supplement the property and the great local courses, the Fairmont has two on-site courses, the Kittocks Course and the Torrance Course.  I had the pleasure of playing the Torrance Course (pictured below), a wee combination of Scottish and American golf architecture.  A mere walk from my room at the Fairmont, the on-site courses feature fantastic views of the nearby sea and the town of St. Andrews.

torrance course st andrews golf

The Old Town serves as a backdrop for this approach shot on the Torrance Course

Conclusion

The Fairmont offers a different, more luxurious type of lodging and experience than the old salty rooms found in downtown St. Andrews.  A far cry from a small room with a bed.

The hot tub alone is worth booking the Fairmont.  It was a life-saver on the achy bones, which walked over 100 MILES of golf the last week I was in St. Andrews.

Yes, over 100 miles.

Related Links

Fairmont St. Andrews photo gallery.

Ardgowan Hotel review.

Kingsbarns Golf Links review.

Castle Course photo gallery.

Old Course photo gallery.

New Course photo gallery.

Carnoustie Golf Links review.


Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Categories: GolfHOG World TourReviewsTravel
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Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews

Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews

In the previous post I announced the gallery of images of the biggest hotel in St Andrews, the Fairmont.  The Fairmont is a short drive from downtown St Andrews and from the Old Course.  It is a very posh place with large rooms/suites.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Ardgowan Hotel, built in 1847.

Location Location Location

The key feature to the Ardgowan is its location along with a more affordable price as compared to the Fairmont or other more fancy places in the “Auld Grey Toon.”   The Ardgowan is located about a 30 second walk from the 18th green and 1st tee of the Old Course, and a 20 second walk from the most famous pub in town, the Dunvegan.  I’ve made that 20 second walk home from the Dunvegan at 2 a.m. on many a night. I’m guessing it was a little longer than 20 seconds, but then again I don’t really remember.

Rooms

The Ardgowan’s 29 rooms are quite small but clean.  They’re so small and the stairway to get to them so tight that most golfers store their clubs in the locker behind the hotel’s front desk.

There are a few different room options which feature single or double beds.

Features

The Ardgowan features the minimum I need as a traveling golfer and nothing more: a place to store my clubs, a bed, a bathroom, a desk with wireless internet connection (for emailing pictures of the Old Course back home to my jealous friends), and a pub/restaurant in the basement (see first image).

Top Floor?

I have to share a slightly embarrassing and funny story.  One of my stays at the Ardgowan was in the top floor in a single-bed room.  The architecture of the building is that of a Georgian townhouse, and most buildings on North Street share the same slanted roof style.  The top floor room is basically in the attic, so part of the room “features” a slanted ceiling (see image below).

Ardgowan Hotel Room - St Andrews, Scotland

Ardgowan Hotel Room – St Andrews, Scotland

In the wee hours of the morning and after a few too many wee pints at the Dunvegan, I had the sudden need to get to the bathroom and quick.  An urgent need, if you catch my drift.  One or two too many wee pints I suppose.  When I very quickly got up from bed in the dark I didn’t realize the ceiling was slanted.  I hit my head so hard getting up fast that I nearly knocked myself out.

That morning I had to cancel my tee time at the New Course and sleep off the wee pints and the cranial impact.  I did however enjoy the rest of the morning exploring the St Andrews castle while my pals were off golfing.

Conclusion

The Ardgowan serves purpose and does it well.  It provides a perfect lodging location within walking distance of the Old Course, New Course, Jubilee Course. Strathtyrum Course, and Eden Course.  No car required and that’s a good thing.  Parking in the Auld Grey Toon can be tough.

This is not the Ritz Carlton.  If that’s your fancy, perhaps consider the Old Course Hotel or the Fairmont.  If location is important, the Ardgowan is one of the best lodging options in St Andrews.


New Photo Gallery: Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Categories: GolfGolf CoursesGolf LifestyleHOG World TourSite NewsTravel
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I’ll be posting a full review of the Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland soon. In preparation for that review, I’ve processed a gallery of Fairmont Hotel Scotland photos and posted in the Hooked On Golf Blog photo gallery. Click the photo below to see the full gallery.

Fairmont Hotel - St. Andrews, Scotland

Fairmont Hotel – St. Andrews, Scotland – As seen from the Torrance Course – click to see full gallery

The Fairmont is quite a place. Very large. The rooms are so much bigger at the Fairmont than the tiny rooms at the hotels close to the Old Course. In fact, I’d guess that my room at the Ardgowan last time was the same square footage as the bathroom in my suite at the Fairmont.

Stay tuned for my Fairmont Hotel St. Andrews review coming soon.


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