The Fairmont St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland (Remodel)

In May 2007, Gary Stephenson was hired to remodel the two courses at the Fairmont St. Andrews (formerly known as St. Andrews Bay). These courses were less than six years old, but were already experiencing significant difficulties with drainage, poor turf health, and faulty irrigation. There were also many questions with regards to strategy, playability, overall enjoyment of the courses, and the semi-American style of design in Scotland. In additon to these issues was the fact that the Torrance Course was scheduled to be the qualifying course for the 2010 British Open, which will be held at the Old Course in St. Andrews. All remodel work had to be done under the watchful eye of the prestigious R&A, and the course must be open for play one year before the qualifying date.

To remedy the issues, Stephenson developed a grading plan of a series of basins that would be designed not only as drainage and flood control, but also as beautiful wetlands and wildlife habitat. Completely new fairway drainage and irrigation systems have been installed. Dramatic, rugged mounding has been built to create separation between golf holes. To change the pattern of the traditionally weak first eight holes, two holes were swapped and rebuilt between the Torrance and the Kittocks course to create a better mix of golf holes. The result has been a much more creative front nine on the Torrance Course, and a more enjoyable and beautiful finish to the Kittocks Course.

Two of the most dramatic elements of the remodel have been the conversion of the semi-American style sand bunkers to the traditional Scottish sod-wall (revet) style, and the redirection and reshaping burns running through the site. These transformations have created a visually stunning golf course that is more challenging, while also being more enjoyable to the players.

The R&A representatives have expressed great satisfaction with the remodel, and they are confident a worthy golfer will advance from the 2010 British Open Championship qualifying tournament at The Fairmont St. Andrews.

Building drainage detention basins, wetland habitat, and dramatic mounding
for physical and visual separation.


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