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Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

Nature is responsible for marking the boundaries of each of the courses.

St Andrews, open for play

It only happens twice a year. It’s not a meteorological phenomenon, but golf fans mark St Andrews Golf Week in red on their calendars.
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Photo: Tony Bowler / Shutterstock.com

Famous figures from the world of golf like Tiger Woods have won at St Andrews.
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The announcement arouses as much expectation as the most prestigious catwalks from the world of fashion. For two weeks a year, golf players can feel the same emotion than British Open competitors at the Scottish course of St Andrews, one of the oldest in the world. The exclusive St. Andrews Golf Week runs this year from 10 to 16 April and from 16 to 22 October. Although they can play the course throughout the rest of the year, it is a great chance to feel like a pro on the Old Course for players who don’t fulfil the requirement of having a handicap of under 24 for men and under 36 for women.

Places sell out quickly for this event, which was first held in 1974. The number of participants is limited: 80 in April and 40 in October. For those who have been left without tickets this year, the dates for the 2017 event have already been published. St Andrews Golf Week includes the chance to improve your playing standards by attending golf lessons given by professionals from the PGA, organisers of the American golf tour. Once you’ve improved your technique, it’s time to put it to the test in the individual and team competitions that are held daily.

St Andrews Golf Week includes the chance to improve your playing standards by attending golf lessons.

Sunday rest

The Old Course rests on Sundays. The golf course closes on Sunday to players and opens its doors to local residents so that they can enjoy walking the grounds. This rule is only broken in exceptional circumstances, such as the final round of the British Open.

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Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

The set of courses at St Andrews are known as the ‘St Andrews Links'.

Your ticket entitles you to play on the most famous course, the Old Course. Boasting six centuries of history, this course has seen victories by players who represent the essential spirit of golf, such as Severiano Ballesteros, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. As well as the legendary Old Course, St Andrews has four other courses: The New Course, The Jubilee Course, Kingsbarns Golf Links and The Castle Course. All of them defy conventional design and architectural limitations and form a natural part of the scenery.

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Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

The British Golf Museum is, of course, located in St Andrews.

Beyond the green

West Sands beach is almost as famous as St Andrews golf course. This was where the slow-motion race of the athletes in ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed. Its three kilometres of dunes are 15 minutes from the city centre.

The historic Scottish city is completely given over to St Andrews Golf Week during the event in order to satisfy the accommodation, dining and entertainment needs of the players, who often extend their stay to enjoy the surroundings. The University of St Andrews is the oldest in Scotland. Prince William of England studied there. Its cathedral, now in ruins, was the largest church in Great Britain.

The contrast of the green fields of ‘the home of golf’ with the blue of the sea, together with its charming old buildings, make St Andrews an enjoyable destination whether you are a golf enthusiast or not.

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Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

St Andrews golf course has hosted the British Open on 28 occasions.

Credits of the featured image: Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

Story: Erika González

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