American style resort “Links” designed by Sam Torrance, the Scottish former Ryder Cup player/captain
Round £95. Par 72. Value (out of 5) – 3.5
The Torrance is one of two courses on the Fairmont hotel complex just outside St Andrews. The resort was opened as the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa by the American pharmaceutical entrepreneur Dan Panoz in 2001, but has transferred ownership a number of times since. The sister course is the Kitticks which I previously blogged. Both courses are championship venues and have hosted major qualifying and senior events, albeit the Torrance is regarded the senior course, and is named after its designer the Scottish golfer Sam Torrance..
Both courses previously had a headline Summer rate of £140, although new management has repriced it at “only” £95. I say “only” to highlight how crazy, in my opinion, golf prices in Scotland have become at the higher end of the market – Kingsbarns, only a couple of miles away, is £275 for a 2019 summer round! Assessing “value”, my key course assessment, is inevitably subjective, especially considering the different types of golfers each course targets – Kingsbarns starter box has a toll free American number! Comparing “value” between Kingsbarns (£275), St Andrews New (£90), Scotscraig (£70), Tain (£65), or the Kittocks at £95, is highly debatable….but good fun! (all 2019 prices)
Although playing in mid-December full tees and greens were in play, and the course was in good condition. Like its sister Kittocks course, it is quite open with wide fairways. The greens are generally very large and fast.
The Torrance course meanders around the hotel and takes in some great views, of the North Sea, the Tay Estuary towards the Angus coastline and from the 11th has great views across to St Andrews.
It is worth noting that, in my opinion, its not a true links as the turf is more arable, and certainly in other that the height of summer, the course wont necessitate any running links approach shots.
Best holes for me were the risk/reward par four 7th, which could be driven, otherwise a straight forward dog leg right requiring a hybrid off the tee; the dog leg right 10th hole, which the prevailing westerly wind will challenge the strongest driver, and; for the view, the short 11th with “The Auld Toon” in the background.
I played and scored better on The Torrance than I had on The Kittocks the year before. I shot 96, but only 44 on the front nine, which was my best nine holes of the year.
If you are looking for a golf resort whilst in St Andrews, the Fairmont offers a great location with the fees for unlimited golf on both courses during your stay being very reasonable and much better value than a single round. I got a good deal with a winter fee of only £30, but my score of 3.5 represents a value at £95 per round.
Course Type: Links
Par 72 (4 par 5, 10 par 4s, 4 par 3s)
Distance (yellow): 6051
Moly’s Gross score: 96