Five last-minute must-play golf courses around St Andrews

By July 13, 2010, 7:42 pm

 

Carnoustie Championship Links
Carnoustie Golf Links is only an hour from St. Andrews.

With the 139th British Open returning to the Old Course at St. Andrews, many of us wish to play the storied course that offers public access. But what if you didn't make the Old Course ballot this time around? It's to be expected, as chances usually range from one-in-two to one-in-four. That's why groups often book three or four days in St. Andrews alone.

Depending on the size of your group, you can wait around the starter shack and hope to be a walk-on. Also, the tee sheet is posted online at the Links Trust Web site, and sometimes you can spot some twosomes on the sheet with open space that are ripe to jump in.

But if you don't want to play the waiting game, it's a near certainty you can still play golf even if you didn't book weeks in advance. St. Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife have one of the richest pockets of links golf anywhere.

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New Course in St. Andrews
Playing right beside the Old, St. Andrews' New Course is managed by the Links Trust to especially cater to walk-on play by leaving most of the tee sheet open for groups on a first-come, first-serve basis.

It's no accident, the New was originally built in 1895 to relieve demand on the Old and serves this very purpose today.

And the New Course is no meager second fiddle like many other clubs' second course around the U.K. It's set on links land just as good as the Old, and some locals think it's actually harder from the daily yellow tees than the Old. It's also open on Sundays, unlike the Old Course.

Crail Golfing Society
Just a few miles from St. Andrews, Crail Golfing Society is one of the world's oldest, dating back to 1786.

The club also recognizes the Old Course is a big reason why so many golfers come to Fife in the first place, so they offer a system that caters to golfers: Book a round at Crail, and if you make the Old Course ballot the day of play, you can reschedule your tee time for later.

The historic Balcomie Links Course at Crail is a popular play, but the club offers a modern complimentary links, the Craighead, that opened in 1998. Both are coastal links with great views, and chances are there's an opening on one of them.

If you don't book Crail in advance, your chance at scoring a last-minute tee time varies depending on the day, but with two courses, your chances are often good on one of them.

'It's a potluck during the high season but usually we accommodate most walk-ons,' said David Roy, managing secretary at Crail.

Carnoustie Championship Course
If you're in Scotland for one reason only, to play Open Championship courses, you've got a second option beyond the Old Course nearby worth giving a try.

Carnoustie Golf Links is about an hour's drive from the Old Course in St. Andrews, and out of all the courses that host the Open in Scotland, Carnoustie is usually the easiest to get on because there are the least amount of visitor restrictions and less demand than the Old Course.

Carnoustie has two other courses next to the Championship links, but St. Andrews' complimentary courses such as the Jubilee and New are superior.

Fairmont St. Andrews Kittocks and Torrance
The past decade has seen redesigns and rebranding of the Fairmont St. Andrews Resort (formerly St. Andrews Bay) and golf courses; it's as good as it's ever been. The two courses here, both overlooking the coast, Torrance and Kittocks, are recently redesigned and now an Open Qualifying site for the 2010 Open.

You can also try Kingsbarns Golf Links, further down the road from Fairmont St. Andrews. Kingsbarns is a very popular course, but it's also one of Scotland's most expensive, so there may be holes in the tee sheet.

Duke's Golf Course
The Duke's Golf Course is both a benefit and victim of its St. Andrews address.

No other golf course can claim its official hotel as the Old Course Hotel, but it also gets lost in the mix because most visitors (from America, at least) are here to play links, and the Duke's is just a 'mere heathland.' But it's a very good one that keeps getting better as it continues to benefit from the golden Kohler touch.

The Duke's does receive a fair amount of corporate outings because buggies are available, but on days a large group doesn't have the course booked up, it can be easy to play last-minute and is still challenging with five sets of tees up to 7,500 yards – and unlike the Old, you can pick which set of tees you'd like to play.

-- by Brandon Tucker

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.