Play Like the Pros: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Edition
Boasting perhaps the most unique format on the European Tour and hosted at three magnificent courses in and around the birthplace of the ancient game – The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns – the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is truly a special event, heralded as one of the best on Tour by the professionals.
By the way, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded over 250 years ago in 1754. We have a special connection to St. Andrews as J.B. Carr – the founder of Carr Golf – was the first Irishman to captain the R&A.
Since more than a dozen of our clients here at Carr Golf played in the Dunhill this go-round, we thought it would be fun to create an itinerary inspired by their fantastic performances in the team format of the tournament. This fantastic trip is anchored by four nights at The Old Course Hotel, right on the 17th fairway of the famous “Road Hole” on St. Andrews. The five-star hotel offers luxurious accommodations and unforgettable views of West Sands Beach, and a bird’s-eye view of the bevy of courses flanking The Old on this incredible swath of golfing land.
Begin your trip to “Golf’s Mecca” with a round on the splendid Jubilee Course, arguably the most challenging of St. Andrews’ seven layouts. Situated between the New Course and the sea, Jubilee was originally used mainly by beginners and women before it was converted into a tough championship layout in 1988. A decent score on this stern test of golf will make that post round “wee dram” taste even sweeter.
After a relaxing night in your comfortable accommodations, it’s time to wake up and savor the ultimate thrill in the game, a round on the iconic Old Course at St. Andrews. No matter what you shoot, playing the Old Course is likely to be the highlight of your golfing career. It’s the oldest and most revered layout in the world. There is simply nothing else like it. Be sure to get a photo of yourself on the Swilcan Bridge when walking up the 18th. Every great golfer for generations has trod those very steps.
After your round, stop by The Jigger Inn – St. Andrews’ iconic 19th hole – for an extensive selection of Scottish beers. If you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure to try the Cullen Skink, a thick Scottish soup made with smoked Haddock, potato and onion. Now fortified, take the short walk into town and spend the afternoon exploring the charming burgh. Be sure to visit the campus of the University of St. Andrews –founded in 1413 – as well the numerous shops, restaurants and pubs.
Play the third round of your Scottish golf vacation at Kingsbarns Golf Links. A top 100-ranked course in the world, Kingsbarns hosted the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open in August. The traditional Scottish links sits along the picturesque coastline less than 10 miles south from St. Andrews. Its signature hole, the par-5 12th, bends around the North Sea in a memorable half-moon shape.
Round out your golf vacation at Carnoustie Golf Links, host of the 2018 Open. The Championship Course is one of the few in the U.K. to have hosted seven Open Championships, one Ladies Open and two Senior Opens. The scene of where one of Ireland’s favorite sons, Padraig Harrington won hist first major championship ten years ago is generally regarded as one of the toughest and fairest Open venues. The closing stretch of holes is all the golf you’ll ever want and makes it the ideal venue to close out your trip. Now let’s remind ourselves of Harrington sinking that winning putt to claim his first of three majors……
Those who want to extend the trip after the Dunhill Links itinerary may want to journey south to spend a couple nights in the Greywalls Hotel, an elegant Scottish Edwardian country house conveniently situated on the edge of Muirfield championship golf course. Built in 1901, the property still retains its original charm and features delightful walled gardens complete with a hard and grass tennis court, croquet lawn and putting green. The interior contains elegant drawing rooms and charming dining areas in addition to its 23 en suite bedrooms.
Kick off your visit to East Lothian with a round at the joyous North Berwick Golf Club. The traditional links starts and finishes at the clubhouse right in town. The sea comes into play on six holes with the beach becoming a long and unforgiving hazard, especially when the tide is in. North Berwick is also home to the original Redan hole, the most copied par-3 in the game. It also boasts breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth and islands of Bass Rock, Craigleith, Lama and Fidra and the town of North Berwick itself.
As the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers since 1744, East Lothian’s Muirfield has hosted 42 national and international competitions – including 16 Open Championships – averaging one approximately every three years. Like the Old Course, it’s a true “must-play” at least once in a golfing life. The layout was originally 16 holes, but expanded to 18 before hosting its first Open in 1892.
Renovated by Harry Colt in 1923, this Tom Morris design features two concentric rings comprised of the challenging front and back nines. The front runs clockwise along the outer ring of the dramatic topography, while the back nine runs counterclockwise ending at the stately clubhouse. This unique feature ensures a wide variety of wind conditions.
Those who embark on this journey will quickly see why St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns were chosen to host the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Throw in North Berwick and Muirfield and you’ll have a golf adventure to talk about forever.
Enquire about the Alfred Dunhill Links Edition here.