Old Course Changes

The proposed changes to the design of the Old Course certainly caused quite a stir in the media recently. The ScotAGCA standpoint is that no course should be immune from design improvements. The game of golf has constantly evolved and consequently the courses have evolved with it. The key word here is of course "improvements" and it is crucial that any course embarking on design improvements should consult a professional Golf Course Architect.

In the case of the Old Course the R&A and St Andrews Links Trust have done this and they are in the best position to decide the criteria that determines where improvements need to be considered.  The Old Course is in a unique position in that it is managed and run by St Andrews Links Trust while the R & A use the course for some of its competitions including 'The Open'. These two bodies work hard to ensure the courses are available to the public on a day to day basis and are ready to host major amateur and professional tournaments on a regular basis. No decision to make alterations is undertaken lightly but if we want to see the Old Course continue to be used for major tournaments as well as everyday play then improvements will be necessary. The Old Course has been changed several times in the past and we anticipate it will continue to happen in the future.

It is more important that all golf courses strive to maintain the quality of design appropriate to modern day golf and we believe that the original designer(s) would have wanted it this way. What ScotAGCA does want to see is the involvement of professional designers to ensure that any modifications are  improvements. Whether or not there is universal agreement to the eventual changes that are made is another question and clearly, regardless of who suggests the changes, there will always be those in agreement and those less so. Once the changes to a course have been made and tested during play another debate can then be had and I am sure that, in the case of the Old Course, the R&A and St Andrews Links Trust will be at the forefront of any decision to make any appropriate adjustments. 


« back to news