At the beginning of October, I went on my annual trip to St Andrews, Scotland. Now, if you haven’t been there before… then this is your sign to go! If you love golf, the sea, good food & history, this is a place to put on your bucket list. It is wonderful year round, but going in the first week of October, when The Dunhill Links Tournament is on is a unique chance to see Professionals partner with celebrities playing to win! And even better, it is FREE entry to walk round and watch from the Wednesday – Saturday.
What to do in St Andrews?
|When I go into to St Andrews, I like to park up in the town close to the old cathedral. By the side of it is a lovely walk overlooking the sea and ruins. Then there is around a 15 minute walk which takes you all the way down the side of the 18th Hole, where you can go and take the famous picture of yourself on the Swilcan Bridge (just check there is no one playing on the 17th Green). After this I will then walk back up the side of the 18th, where if you are after some souvenirs pop into The Open shop or The Old Course Shop, by the 18th green. After that I always have a mooch around the lovely boutiques and the many pro shops it has, especially Auchterlonies!
|The town itself is surrounded by stunning golf courses. I have been very lucky over the years to have played some of them, my favourite so far being The Castle course. If you want to come and play golf around this area, be mindful that it does come with a price tag. However, in my opinion I am yet to play a course that isn’t worth its value. If you get the chance to play on a links course, my top 5 tips would be:
- Bring more layers to wear than you realise, even on sunny days the wind can be fierce!
- Learn how to hit low shots, Punch shots as well as chip and running the ball onto the greens.
- Get some bunker practice in. The links courses have pot bunkers, which are small and steep to get out of.
- Take in the scenery on your way round, enjoy the course and views.
- Expect blind tee shots! If you can get a course planner or have a look on the course website before playing to see where to hit it.
Now let’s talk food… We will start with the famous Fudge doughnuts of St Andrews from Fisher & Donaldson.. just one word.. YUMMY! If that’s not quite your thing, their bakery is full of amazing goodies sweet and savoury. Then we have I.J Mellis Cheesemonger. If you love cheeses, breads & Scotch eggs, this is the place to go. My favourite is the cheese and leek bread. If you fancy going somewhere to sit and have some food and a drink, I love the Niblick , St Andrews. It overlooks the Old course, where you can watch people tee off on the first hole. Also, underneath is the R&A Museum if you fancied learning a little about the history of golf. My last recommendation for a lovely experience would be going to have a drink at the famous Jigger Inn, it's full of character and a tick off the list of places to visit in St Andrews.
Anyway, all in all, St Andrews is such a special place for me. Walking along the cobbled streets, admiring the old buildings, seeing the hustle and bustle of the students running between lectures or grabbing a coffee, the quirky narrow side streets and just soaking up the atmosphere of this historic town is why I love it so much.