"St. Andrews, Where Golf Began" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Andrews by Goner

Saint Andrews Travel Guide: 163 reviews and 328 photos

For the Golfers

St. Andrews lies on Scotland's east coast 55 miles north of Edinburgh on a promontory of land that juts out into the North Sea between the waters of the Firth of Forth and the long estuary of the River Tay. It’s a small town of a mere 15,000 residents all contained within a very few square miles. It doesn't take much more than a bicycle or small car to soon be out in the surrounding farms and villages of East Fife. A hike along the Fife Coastal Path will take you out along the beautiful cliffs and beaches.

If you're a golfer making a pilgrimage to the land where golf began - when the golfing is done, take time to see what a pretty medieval town this is.

A Little History

The ancient city on Scotland's east coast has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Legend claims that the bones of St Andrew were brought from Patras in Greece by a monk called Regulus in about AD 390. Historical evidence says the relics came with a bishop fleeing from England almost 400 years later. The city which took his name brought pilgrims from all parts of the world. St. Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland and the city grew in size, prestige and wealth. As early as 1123 the famous stretch of linksland which had been left by the receding waters of the North Sea was granted by King David I to the bishops who controlled St Andrews.

And Then Came Golf

The country's oldest university was founded here in 1413 and golf was believed to be a popular sport at that time. In 1457 King James II banned the game by act of the Scottish Parliament because archery practice was neglected and archery was their major defense against their enemies.

By the beginning of the 16th century the population had grown to 14,000 and at times of religious and commercial festivals more than 300 ships would fill the small harbour and crowd St Andrews Bay. Local golfers shared the links with monarchs, ambassadors, bishops and university academics. Mary Queen of Scots and James VI were both visitors to the town.

Yet the reformation stripped St Andrews of its religious significance, the university was in danger of being moved to Perth and the cathedral once attended by Robert the Bruce lay in ruins when the Society of St Andrews Golfers, later to become the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, was formed in 1754.

Within a century the fortunes of the ancient city had been restored and its reputation as the Home of Golf firmly established. Today it attracts golfers who want to play on the oldes surviving golf course.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Where Golf Began
  • Cons:Pretty Windy Course
  • In a nutshell:Every Golfer Should Visit St. Andrews
  • Last visit to Saint Andrews: Oct 1994
  • Intro Updated Mar 30, 2004
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Reviews (10)

Comments (7)

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    I agree, although it seems to be the Mekka for Golfers it also has a lot to offer for ordinary people as well !

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2005 at 2:43 PM

    not only for Golfers, walking along the Coast, watching Tiger *..* well once a year. great page,fine job Nancy

  • rossandkelli's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2005 at 2:50 PM

    Great pics and pages. Looking forward to the secret bunker on our visit.

  • MeZuGa's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2005 at 4:51 AM

    Thank you, great pics, i like Saint Andrews...

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2004 at 9:33 PM

    Excellent page. I like especially Scotland's Secret Off The Beaten Path tip - thanks for sharing. Have a great Sunday :-)

  • annk's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2004 at 6:04 AM

    A definite "must see" for the avid golfer yet there is so much more to the town. Excellent job Nancy.....you ought to show this to Doug.

  • Sonador3's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2004 at 10:12 PM

    I don't geddit!!?? where are the windmills and dragons? I see the hills, but where is the video arcade??? You call this golf??? :-P Really lovely pages, Nancy!!!

Goner

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