A bid has been launched to create a new golf course in St Andrews, in line to be one of the best in the world.
Owners of the luxury Fairmont Hotel resort want to create a new championship-grade course from the existing 18-hole Torrance and Kittocks courses.
Once completed, it is hoped the new site will continue to attract European Tour events and become one of the top 100 golf courses in the world.
St Andrews Bay Development, which bought the site in 2019, has applied to Fife Council for permission to extend the course, as well as for the construction work required to develop the site at St Andrews Bay, Kingask.
New world-class golf course
A planning statement accompanying the application said: “The vision for the resort is to create a world-class golf course which would become one of top 100 courses in the world.
“The creation of the championship course would be the first phase of the overall upgrade of all golfing facilities on the resort.
“At present the two existing golf courses are outstanding tests of golf and the resort as a whole is a well-established asset to the St Andrews and Fife-wide economy and tourism sector.
“As golf course design, technology and maintenance of golf courses have evolved there is an opportunity at St Andrews Bay to adjust and remodel the courses to establish the location as one of the ‘must-play’ courses in Scotland and the world, with the aim being to draw golfers from around the world.”
The vision is to take the best parts of the two existing courses, which wrap themselves around the Fairmont Hotel, to create a major new attraction.
With the resort already hosting European Tour events such as the Hero Open in July as well as being the venue for the forthcoming Open Championship Final Qualifying event to be played in June, the owners hope their plans will accelerate the resort’s standing within the golfing world.
Owners have now enlisted the help of renowned golf course design experts, Mackenzie & Ebert, who already work with seven of the top 10 British Open venues.
A number of improvements have been earmarked in the planning application, including remodelling of fairways, repositioning of greens and better use of the landscape to ‘significantly enhance’ the playing experience.
Major boost to tourism
The £50m resort, situated just two miles outside St Andrews, was first opened in 2001.
It underwent a £17m refurbishment in 2009 and was later bought by Kennedy Wilson Real Estate in 2014.
The 211-room five-star hotel and spa has been managed since 2006 by Fairmont Hotels which operates luxury resorts around the world.
The application is expected to go before councillors for determination in the coming months.