0 St Andrews Links' new Castle Course reports busy opening month

A busy opening month for The Castle Course saw more than 4000 rounds of golf played at the new seventh course at St Andrews Links.

Both local and visiting golfers have been taking up times at the new clifftop layout leading to it being fully booked on many days. Since it opened for play on June 28 the course has drawn visitors from as far afield as Australia, Japan, Dubai and the USA.

The course, designed by young Scottish architect David McLay Kidd, has attracted widespread praise from the national and international golf and travel media and has already won a prestigious award for its outstanding conditioning.

With a large number of bookings already received for the remainder of its first season until October 31, the course has exceeded the expectations of St Andrews Links Trust, which manages and maintains The Castle Course and the six existing public courses in the town including the famous Old Course.

Alan McGregor, general manager, said, "It has been an excellent first month of operation for The Castle Course and it has been pleasing to see so many local and visiting golfers enjoying the new addition to golf in St Andrews. Given the changeable weather it is even more remarkable that so many days have been fully booked.

"We have received much positive feedback from both local and visiting golfers which suggests that people have welcomed the opportunity to play golf on an exciting new course which offers some stunning vistas of St Andrews and out to the North Sea."

The Castle Course has been named 2008 Turf Professional Project of the Year for the quality of the greenkeeping work which has gone into preparing the course for play. The award is decided by a panel which includes representatives from the Institute of Groundsmanship, the British Golf Greenkeepers' Association and leading turfcare journalists. Previous winners in this category include Ascot Racecourse and Lords Crickect Ground. It has also been praised for its "truly exceptional" turf quality by the Sports Turf Research Institute.

The Castle Course has five tees on every hole to make it suitable for golfers of most abilities and features wide fairways and generous landing areas. The large undulating greens are pure fescue and are receptive to a variety of approach shots.

As well as adding to the golf offering in St Andrews, The Castle Course has brought economic benefits to the town creating jobs for 40 people across the greenkeeping, reception, retail and food and beverage departments and helping to encourage visitors to stay longer and play more golf.

The Castle Course's first season runs until October 31. Tee times can be booked by contacting Reservations on 0044 (0)1334 466666, by emailing reservations@standrews.org.uk or online at www.standrews.org.uk.

St Andrews Links Trust is a charitable organisation responsible for the management and maintenance of the Links courses at St Andrews, including the famous Old Course, host of the 2010 Open Championship. The Trust was established in 1974. It employs more than 200 permanent staff and seasonal workers during the high season. It manages a number of additional facilities including two clubhouses, a golf practice centre and golf academy and three shops.

More than 200,000 rounds are played over six public courses, which feature two additional championship courses (the New and the Jubilee), two 18-hole courses (the Eden and the Strathtyrum) and a nine-hole course (the Balgove). A seventh course, The Castle Course, has opened on a site to the south-east of St Andrews.

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07919 946064

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