Played by NCG: Fairmont St Andrews Golf Club
Reason for a Fairmont St Andrews Golf Club
An excursion to Fife, that golfing paradise, had been booked in for early November. After hearing great things about the Torrance course it was a must-play on the trip as we embarked on four rounds over six days.
Where is it?
The Fairmont St Andrews Torrance course is at the St Andrews Fairmont resort, just a short drive from the Auld Grey Toun itself and the famous Home of Golf. St Andrews Bay, as it is widely known, boasts a luxury five-star hotel and spa along with two courses (the Torrance and Kittocks), which opened in 2001.
What to expect
The complex itself certainly impresses as you drive through the grounds towards the clubhouse with a towering hotel and flag sticks as far as the eyes can see.
Although not a traditional links test, the Torrance offers a unique challenge. Despite being only 15 years old it certainly holds its own among some elite company in the area.
Even if you can keep the ball in play from the tee, a rather daunting task given the gorse and water hazards on the opening few holes, you will still be faced with some stern second shots with pot bunkers and undulating greens staring back at you.
As the round progresses it is clear that hitting fairways (obvious, I know!) is key to a solid showing with a number of long par 4s and a few monster par 5s that can easily result in an eye-watering score if you’re errant from the tee or fairway.
My best bit
I can safely say in my admittedly fairly sheltered golfing career to date that the Torrance course boasts some of the best, if not the best, greens I have ever played on.
Considering the time of year it was difficult to believe the condition that they were in. Unfortunately, for the most part they got the better of me during my visit.
What to look out for at Fairmont St Andrews Torrance
The closing three holes are a joy to behold. The 16th, 17th and 18th offer completely different challenges from each tee box and perhaps that is what makes them so special and leaves you yearning for more.
The 16th is a relatively straightforward downhill par 4, but the North Sea looms large behind the flag stick and I can assure you that every golfer is fully aware that anything over the back of the green is into the abyss and gone forever.
The 17th is one of the most picturesque par 3s I have played with an out-of-bounds wall to the left. A pot bunker protects the front of the green so there are no prizes for anything short.
Then, as you amble to the 18th the 527-yard par 5 gawps back at you with a vengeance. If you have the length you could certainly give reaching the green in two a try but after pulling my tee shot left into a mountain of gorse (no joke!) I walked off brimming from ear-to-ear having saved a bogey.
When I go back…
Must. Putt. Better.
For full information on booking a trip to the Fairmont resort please visit the website.