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Mailbag Extra: Where to stay in St. Andrews

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Recently on Morning Drive, Matt Ginella answered viewer travel questions, including best places to stay in St. Andrews. Brandon Tucker chimes in with some more details on staying in the birthplace of golf: 

I've been fortunate enough to stay and play golf in St. Andrews more times than anyone really should before they turn 30, and I've had the pleasure of staying at a different hotel every time. A big reason why St. Andrews is such a great base camp for golf groups is that it's not a large, busy city like nearby Edinburgh, but the town is much more alive all year round compared to smaller Scottish towns like Dornoch or Gullane. You can stay out all night (like Bill Murray has been known to do) with the college kids if you're up for it. Here's where I have stayed -- and I recommend them all:


Ginella answers mailbag questions on Scotland and Phoenix


Fairmont St. Andrews: Just up the road a couple miles from the town center, Fairmont St. Andrews is the only true golf resort in the area, set on 520 acres with 36 holes onsite, plus a huge practice facility. It has the amenities the smaller hotels in town don't, like a full spa and indoor pool. The two golf courses, both modern links designs, offer a unique perspective of the Medieval skyline.

Old Course Hotel: There are a lot of great hotels in St. Andrews, but only one can boast a property that actually comes into play on the Old Course. I had a balcony room overlooking the 17th fairway for a couple nights. The view is one-of-a-kind (so is the new balcony bar they opened a few years back). This Kohler-operated hotel features 5-star dining and a luxury spa, but what I remember most is the darn good club sandwich I had after my round on the Old Course next door at the Jigger Inn (also run by Kohler).


Guest rooms at the Old Course Hotel have a front row seat to Road Hole action in St. Andrews. 


Macdonald Rusacks Hotel I'll hold Rusacks near and dear to my heart because it was the first hotel I stayed in while in St. Andrews and I was fortunate to get the Young Tom Morris Suite, complete with a balcony overlooking the 18th green. Having a front row seat to the 18th green and first tee (and all the nerves and follies that accompany just an hour of viewing groups from this perch) is special in itself. But it's also a MacDonald Hotel group 4-star hotel with a fantastic breakfast, bar and dining area overlooking the course. The property is also a comfortable, midsize scale compared to the Old Course Hotel and Fairmont St. Andrews.

Six Murray Park: Just a street over from the 18th green is Six Murray Park, a small, very affordable guest house right in the heart of town. I rented a single room in this 9-room, Victorian Townhouse that's been entirely updated inside. My narrow room came with a twin bed, modern furnishings and a hearty Scottish breakfast in the morning. These guest houses are great because of the personalized service. If you have large, budget-conscious group with you, consider renting out a whole guest house like this one rather than occupy a handful rooms at a larger hotel.

As for golf in St. Andrews, you know where to start: the Old Course and Kingsbarns. But a couple area courses that fly a little under the radar but are personal favorites of mine s are the St. Andrews Jubilee Course and Crail's Balcomie Links, while I also really like the scenery and hole variety at the more modern Kittocks Course at Fairmont St. Andrews.