For only the sixth time in 600 years of history a new golf course opened at St Andrews Links, the Home of Golf, today.
The Castle Course was opened by the Duke of York at a special ceremony attended by around 150 leading figures from the world of golf and from golf clubs and organizations in St Andrews.
Continuing a line which began when the first track was cut through the gorse to create what became the Old Course, The Castle Course is the seventh course run by St Andrews Links Trust and the first championship-length 18-hole golf course to open at the Links for more than 100 years.
The Duke of York, a former captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, unveiled a commemorative plaque at the first tee of The Castle Course and declared the course officially open for play.
The first tee shot was struck by Edwin Burtnett, from Tampa, Florida, who won the worldwide competition to name the course which was held in November 2006. Edwin was one of 12 people out of more than 4000 entries to suggest The Castle Course. He and his wife Tiffany were invited to the opening ceremony as guests of honour.
Stuart Maxwell, the Scottish Minister for Communities and Sport, attended the ceremony as did the Lord Lieutenant for Fife Margaret Dean and Provost of Fife and St Andrews Links Trustee Frances Melville.
The Duke of York was given a short tour of the course by designer David McLay Kidd and later attended a reception in The Castle Course Clubhouse.
St Andrews Links Trust chairman Alastair Dempster said, We are honoured to have The Duke of York conduct the official opening of The Castle Course. This is a historic occasion not just for golf in St Andrews but for Scotland as a whole. It is the most substantial project undertaken by the Links Trust and we are very pleased with the outcome. We believe The Castle Course will be an excellent addition to the Scottish golf scene and will attract golfers from near and far for many years to come.
General Manager Alan McGregor said, The brief for The Castle Course was to design an enjoyable and challenging course which would make the most of the splendid location here on the cliff tops overlooking St Andrews. I think David and his co-designer Paul Kimber have achieved that goal. The course boasts some wonderful holes which offer views out over the ancient town of St Andrews, out to the North Sea and to the Angus coast and the Grampian mountains in the distance. The Castle Course will provide a different test of golf to the other courses in St Andrews. We hope it will encourage visiting golfers to spend longer in town as well as offering something new to local golfers.
Edwin came up with the name after reading about Kinkell Castle which occupied part of the site, near the current location of the clubhouse, in the late Middle Ages. The course logo is adapted from a Scottish peers helmet which forms part of the Monnypenny family crest. The Monnypennys of Pitmillie owned the land in this period.
After hitting the first ceremonial drive, Edwin said, It was pretty nerve-wracking with so many people watching but it is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. I love golf and have been fascinated by St Andrews and the courses here since my first visit a few years ago. This is a wonderful golf course and I am very proud to have played a part in naming it.
The Castle Course sits on 220 acre site above Kinkell Braes to the south-east of St Andrews. The par 71 course has five tees on every hole which vary the length from 5460 to 6759 yards. The championship length is 7188 yards.
The clubhouse features a striking circular design and has a glass-fronted restaurant overlooking Kinkell Ness, the furthest outcrop of the cliffs. The building has a geothermal heating and cooling system which generates energy from the earth using 150m deep boreholes and heat pumps. The installation of the system received support from the Scottish Communities and Households Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) which is funded by the Scottish Executive through the Energy Saving Trust.
The Castle Course is open for public play and its first season runs until 31 October. Next year it will open from April to October. Tee times can be booked online at www.standrews.org.uk or by contacting the Reservations department on 001334 466666 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Andrews Links Trust
St Andrews Unveils First New Course in 100 Years - COPIED
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry