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The Loop

What's New In St. Andrews . . .

October 13, 2008

I received a series of press releases about the new Kittocks Course at the Fairmont St. Andrews (opened Oct. 1). I've edited down the information and thought I'd pass on. I also included some personal experience of staying at the Fairmont as well as calling the hotel and going through the booking process of their advertised "Winter Golf Package."

Here's the press release:


*ST. ANDREWS, FIFE, UK--The Fairmont St. Andrews, a 5-star cliff-top resort in St. Andrews, Scotland opened its new Kittocks Course on Oct. 1. The Kittocks Course is the result of an extensive redesign of an older golf course on the property, formerly known as the Devlin Course.

They are celebrating the opening of the new Kittocks Course by offering all the tee times on Tuesday, Oct. 21 for free. Those interested in playing golf on the Kittocks course for free on this date should call 011.44.1334.837.023.



In addition to free golf, those attending Opening Day will be able to enjoy 50 percent off luxury spa treatments in the five star hotel's new signature spa. To book a spa treatment for Tuesday, Oct. 21, call 011.44.1334.837.045 in advance.

Players who can't make it to Fairmont St. Andrews on that day will find other great values on the Kittocks Course throughout the winter season, including rates as low as 99 pounds per foursome.

"Kittocks is a fantastic course that hugs over a mile of St. Andrews coastline," said Gary Slatter, director of golf for Fairmont St Andrews.

The Kittocks course is a coastal golf course, with stunning views over the Eden Estuary and beaches of St. Andrews. The former Devlin course that reminded Gene Sarazen of Pebble Beach, has been rerouted with two holes coming from the Torrance course.

The rerouting of the two courses is part of an overall 13.5 million pounds upgrade for the hotel including refurbished rooms, a new sports bar with large LCD televisions, pool table plus a sensational signature spa.

The hotel also has a wide choice of bars and restaurants, including the award winning fine dining restaurant, Esperante and the Clubhouse which has sensational views out to sea and over to St. Andrews.

For those seeking the ultimate weekend break, the hotel has its own private helipad and arrival by helicopter can be arranged from Scotland's major airports.

The redesign work of the Kittocks Course was overseen by U.S. golf course designer Gary Stephenson, who created the Lower Course at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale.

Additional projects underway as part of the remediation include a renovation of the Fairmont St. Andrews' Torrance Course (with a planned reopening in summer 2009 and its announcement as the final Open qualifying course for 2010 Open championship).

I've stayed at the Fairmont St. Andrews in 2005--the weekend of the British Open. It was new and Amercianized, which is to say I had good food, wireless Internet access, a big comfortable bed and efficient bathroom necessities. If you've ever been across the pond, you know what I'm talking about (high shower heads, hot and cold water come out of the sink together instead of separately and a hardy flush from the toilet). That being said, I wasn't flush enough financially to utilize the helipad.

The Fairmont St. Andrews is only a few miles up the road from the town of St. Andrews, which is one of my favorite small towns in the world. The people, the pubs and all the gift shops make for fun foot tours.

I went to the Fairmont St. Andrews website and noticed a special "Winter Golf Package" running through November and December. I called and I'm working on a fake itinerary to stay and play Dec. 10-13. They say the package guarantees a round at the Old Course of St. Andrews and I'm also working on a round at the new seventh course at St. Andrews, the Castle Course, opened earlier this year and designed by David MacLay Kidd, who also designed Bandon Dunes in Ore. I haven't heard great things from some trusted sources about the Castle Course, but if I do eventually get over there I'll want to see it for myself.

The only prices I've been quoted so far is a double occupancy standard room rate at the Fairmont of 159 pounds per night (includes breakfast) and a round of golf at Kittocks on Dec. 10 of 40 pounds per player (doesn't include a cart).

They sent my reservations to the Old Course and I'm waiting to hear back about tee times and costs for the Old Course and Castle Course. Look in the "Comments" box below for an update in the next few days.

--Matty G.