St Andrews has always laid claim to be the home of golf. Now it has a new honour – as the location of Scotland’s favourite golf hole.
The 18th at St Andrew’s Old Course has been voted the best golf hole in Scotland.
The poll, undertaken by VisitScotland, set out to discover which golf holes in Scotland exhibited the national tourism organisation’s Spirit of Scotland campaign.
It asked golfers to vote for the best opening and closing holes, a best Par 3, 4 and 5, as well as a best view and a best overall hole from a selection of shortlisted holes across the country.
Tom Morris, St Andrews’ iconic final hole and home to the Valley of Sin, took the award for the best hole and best closing hole, while its neighbouring 17th hole was voted the best Par 4 in Scotland.
The 9th hole at Cruden Bay Golf Club on the Aberdeenshire coast claimed the award for best view. The course, which boasts stirring views across the Bay of Cruden and Slains Castle, beat out competition from the Castle Course at St Andrews, Machrihanish Dunes and Gullane Golf Club.
The category included nominations for more than 300 individual holes, testament to the wealth of stunning views across Scotland’s courses.
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re thrilled that the golfing public have taken the time to put their support behind their favourite courses in Scotland, from local favourites to the home of golf itself, St Andrews.
“Every club plays it part in making Scotland the essential golfing destination, so we’re proud to honour such a diverse range of our spectacular courses.”
The Machrihanish Golf Club confirmed its status as the owners of the best opening hole in the world. The Battery, whose tee box already features a plaque to that effect, received over 1,000 votes as the best opening hole in Scotland.
Machrihanish and Cruden Bay weren’t the only local courses to perform better in the poll than some of their more well-known compatriots. Moray Golf Club’s closing hole, overlooking the Moray Firth, came second in its category, ahead of both Carnoustie and Turnberry.
The 12th hole at neighbouring Hopeman Golf Club, received more than 120 votes for the best view, despite not being shortlisted.
The Postage Stamp (8th) at Troon was voted the best par 3 in Scotland, while the 12th hole at Kingsbarns Golf Club on the Fife Coast was voted the best Par 5. The neighbour of St Andrews finished ahead of holes from Castle Stuart (18th), 2014 Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles (16th) and the recently redesigned Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry (10th).
The final results of the poll were as follows:
Best Hole – Tom Morris, 18th at the Old Course, St Andrews (799 votes, 27% share)
Best Opening Hole – The Battery, 1st at Machrihanish Golf Club (1025 votes, 30% share)
Best Closing Hole – Tom Morris, 18th at the Old Course, St Andrews (825 votes, 24% share)
Best Par 3 – The Postage Stamp, 8th at Royal Troon (891 votes, 26% share)
Best Par 4 – Road, 17th at the Old Course, St Andrews (1176 votes, 36% share)
Best Par 5 – Orrdeal, 12th at Kingsbarns Golf Club (654 votes, 19% share)
Best View – 9th at Championship Course, Cruden Bay Golf Club (662 votes, 20% share)