Any scratch golfer lists St. Andrews as the absolute pinnacle of play. Even Tiger Woods has stated it’s the “coolest place on earth.” Scotland’s birthplace of golf—which today blends legacy links with modern playgrounds—is preparing to host the 150th Open Championship (July 2022). As the countdown to the most lauded rounds of golf begins, here’s how to visit St. Andrews and play like a pro. With a history that reaches back to medieval times and a food and whiskey scene to impress even the most discerning foodie, this destination is full of good-for-the-soul temptation.
Scotland is the cradle of par and play, as visitors to the birthplace of golf strive for bucket-list bragging rights. As such, tee time is a top priority. Club Members can work with their Concierge to reserve tee times on the famous Old Course at St. Andrews. (Note: Tee times for the Old Course are awarded through a lottery system and will be made no more than 48 hours in advance).
SIP & SAVOR
Your headquarters? The Eden Club Residences at Pittormie Castle. Situated less than 15 minutes from The Old Course at St. Andrews and an hour and a half from historic Edinburgh, The Eden Club is worth a trip across the Atlantic. With Michelin-starred Chef Russell Robertson helming the Pittormie kitchen, savor private dining in the Stag Room or Dining Room, fine dining in 1596 Restaurant, or casual cuisine at Highlands Bar. Your nightcap is a whisky tasting at the Eden Club’s famous Whisky Bar.
Located adjacent to the famous St. Andrews Old Course, the Seafood Ristorante is a glass marvel dishing classic Scottish fare with a modern Italian twist. With sweeping views of the North Sea, this resto should top any foodie’s wish list. Order the Steamed Pittenweem Day Boat Halibut with braised girolle mushrooms, young leeks, horseradish, and muscle sauce, or the grilled Anstruther Lobster with garlic butter.
If taking a day trip to Edinburgh, refuel at IJ Mellis. As a cheesemonger, IJ Mellis tempts both locals and visitors to the hopping Morningside area. Treat yourself to artisanal cheeses, local jams, and organic honey. The UK’s version of a buzzy wine bar, this favorite restaurant up-levels rustic charm.
St. Andrews Cathedral & St. Andrews Museum
Discover the remains of St. Andrews Cathedral, formerly Scotland’s largest church. Explore a collection of medieval sculptures and ascend the 12th-century St Rule’s Tower, where you’ll be rewarded with views across St. Andrews and Fife. Located in a Victorian mansion in Kinburn Park, the St. Andrews Museum houses a permanent exhibition titled “St. Andrews A – Z.”
For 400 years, St. Andrews was one of the main pilgrimage destinations in Medieval Europe. Trek the Fife Pilgrim Way—a long walking trail that follows one of the routes taken by countless pilgrims to Scotland’s holy mecca.
Located just a 30-minute drive away, Dundee is lesser-known compared to Scotland’s top destinations, yet worth the effort. Its secret gem is the RRS Discovery—a three-masted vessel built-in 1901 that forged exploration in Antarctica. A self-led tour documents Discovery’s legacy—from her birth in Dundee to the crews that helmed her decks.
As a bigger commitment (4-hour drive or 45-minute direct flight), visit the Mull of Kintyre and Machrihanish Dunes. After a brief drive along this romantic finger of land, arrive at the tiny town of Machrihanish and your headquarters, The Ugadale Hotel at The Village at Machrihanish Dunes. Opened in 2009 on links designed by the famous David McLay Kidd, “Mach Dunes,” as it is affectionately known, was quickly named a Great Britain and Ireland Top 100 course within a year of opening. The Ugadale Hotel is a charming Scottish outpost, with adjoining cottages and haggis fare served in the Old Clubhouse pub.
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
At Pittormie Castle, experience horseback riding, salmon fishing, and falconry, in addition to accessing the many courses located in and around the birthplace of golf. The castle’s extensive amenities include a private indoor swimming pool, spa therapy rooms, a fully-equipped fitness center, tennis courts, chipping greens, and formal gardens.
Pittormie Residences: 5 | Bedrooms: 2 | Baths: 2.5 | Accommodates: 5