It's all change at top 200-years-old Scottish course

Published:

Historic Scotscraig - 200-years-old this year - has unveiled a comprehensive renovation project that has reinstated many original features of the famous layout.

Founded in 1817, Fife's Scotscraig is the 13th oldest golf club in the world boasting an 18-hole championship course originally laid out under the guidance of Old Tom Morris and later by James Braid.

It features a championship course in a traditional loop that has undergone an extensive development programme which has returned all of the greenside and fairway bunkers to their original size and removed and controlled extensive areas of gorse.

Also, the 4th, 12th and 16th holes have also undergone significant changes, which have collectively resulted in one of the most important development plans completed in the club’s 200-year history.

“With changes happening on the course and a full diary of events planned for the 200th, this is an exciting year for the club,” said John Rankin, Scotscraig’s captain.

“The bicentenary project has taken more than two years to plan and deliver and is the most extensive ever to be undertaken at Scotscraig. It illustrates the club’s commitment to continually improving our golf offering and re-establishing many of the features that made the course special in the first place.”

The first round of improvements were completed last year and involved rebuilding 21 greenside bunkers and a comprehensive redesign, rebuild and expansion of the fourth green and its associated sand trap.

The second stage has seen 26 fairway and approach bunkers rebuilt in a more natural form and four new bunkers introduced on the par five 16th. New bunkers were also added at the 11th and 12th holes and two new championship tees will be unveiled on the finishing holes later this year.

 “We want to bring the course back to a proper heathland and links layout,” explained Brian Gofton, greens convenor at Scotscraig. “We want to bring the course back to the original design ethos followed by Tom Morris and James Braid when Scotscraig was originally conceived. That is what we are striving for.”

Scotscraig, located 15mins from St Andrews and just 10mins from Dundee airport, is currently putting the finishes touches to a series of events planned for its bicentennial festivities in 2017. These range from special tournaments and open days to Grand Matches and opportunities to play the course.