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Old Course Hotel welcomes back The Open
June 14, 2010

The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, located on the iconic 17 th fairway of the Old Course is delighted to welcome back The Open Championship to St Andrews in July 2010 and to join in the celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of golf's oldest Major.

Recognised around the world as the 'Home of Golf', St Andrews retains a very special place in the heart of every golfer and in an Open year, the entire town is enveloped in a unique atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.

"Holding The Open Championship in St Andrews is always a challenging, yet exhilarating, year for the Old Course Hotel as we really feel we are at the heart of the event with our location alongside the Road Hole," says Debbie Taylor, Managing Director of the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa.

"During the week itself we can almost reach out and touch some of golf's top stars and we certainly have to watch our heads at times as the professionals attempt to cut across the 17 th fairway by driving over a corner of the Hotel!"

Indeed the Old Course Hotel will form an integral part of this year's eagerly-awaited Open as The R&A takes over the property for the week of the tournament to entertain VIPs, players and officials to ensure they all enjoy a five-star week of warm hospitality, fine dining and luxury accommodation.

Guests will also be able to enjoy probably the best view in St Andrews of the world's greatest golfing legends in action from the comfort of the newly-opened open air party deck, the Road Hole Bar and the Road Hole Restaurant - or from the privacy of their very own balcony in their room.

All the action will really get under way on the eve of the 2010 Championship when The Open's past Champions play four holes of the Old Course - the 1 st , 2 nd , 17 th and 18 th - to mark the 150 th anniversary.

Invitations have been extended to all 32 living Open Champions, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and of course Seve Ballesteros, for whom the golfing world is hoping will be well enough to participate.

"The Open Champions' Challenge in 2000 was a great success and we expect it to be so again a decade on in 2010," said David Hill, The R&A's Director of Championships. "We hope that the majority of our former Champions will accept the invitation and join us in St Andrews to help commemorate this very special occasion."

The staging of The Open over four days in St Andrews reignites almost every golfer's dream of playing a round over the hallowed turf of the Old Course. Playing this iconic links course in Fife on the east coast of Scotland, you follow in the footsteps of legends who have won The Open over these links such as Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and of course Tiger Woods (and of course if staying at the Old Course Hotel, you may even be sleeping in the very same room as one of these superstars!).

Traditionally the only way to secure a highly-coveted tee time over the historic Old Course is to enter the daily ballot. If you stay at the Old Course Hotel however, guests can take advantage of an agreement with the Links Trust that gives guaranteed tee times through the Hotel's Suite Golf package.

This unique arrangement allows guests to indulge in their passion for golf whilst enjoying luxurious accommodation overlooking the Old Course, the Grampian Mountains and St Andrews West Sands, made famous by the iconic Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire.

"St Andrews is a world-renowned golfing mecca and the best place from which to enjoy it is the luxurious Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, with views of the Old Course, the infamous buildings of The R&A Clubhouse and Hamilton Hall and the Scottish landscape beyond, making the experience all the more memorable," confirms Debbie Taylor.

Having ticked of the Old Course and perhaps taking on the new Castle Course, a round over The Duke's Course, a heathland jewel amongst the famous list of St Andrews links, is highly recommended.

Like the Old Course Hotel, The Duke's is owned by the Kohler Company making it easily accessible for hotel guests to play this championship course. Originally designed by the five-Open champion Peter Thomson (one of which was at St Andrews in 1955) in 1995, the course underwent some remodelling in 2006 by American Tim Liddy, a protégé of Pete Dye and acknowledged to be one of the most exciting designers of the modern era. 

Liddy's philosophy was one of allowing a golf course to 'grow out of the land' rather than be imposed upon it, and with five completely new holes and the addition of 118 rough-edged bunkers, the course now displays all the hallmarks of the great traditional heathland courses of the early 1920s.

"Tim's redesign has certainly strengthened the challenge and aesthetics of The Duke's course and now complements the five classic links courses along the St Andrew's coastline and enhances the area's standing as the world mecca for golfers," says David Scott, Manager of The Duke's Course which was named after HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, who officially opened the course in July 1995.

"With Tim's expertise, The Duke's has matured to offer a magnificent 18 holes in the delightful surrounding of Craigtoun Park with majestic views overlooking the historic university town and way up to the Grampian Mountains," continues Scott. "And in addition to rewarding golf, we are proud to offer a high level of personal service in the clubhouse to ensure The Duke's is a memorable, must-play experience."

Liddy's stunning transformation of The Duke's was rewarded when Golf World magazine included the course in its Top 100 Courses in the UK at the end of 2008. These influential rankings are widely regarded as the most authoritative and definitive guide to first class golf in the UK.

Off the course, there is no better way to relax in St Andrews than by spending some time back in the award-winning Old Course Hotel.

Firstly a relaxing visit to the Hotel's Kohler Waters Spa is recommended. The only one of its kind in the UK, the Spa offers a range of luxury treatments that harness the therapeutic benefits of water and is well equipped with a Thermal Suite, Hydrotherapy Pool, Plunge pool, Japanese Steam Room, a light therapy sauna, a indoor swimming pool and a rooftop deck that boasts a hot tub with views overlooking the Old Course.

After a little relaxation in the Spa, the Hotel's sumptuous suites, many designed by the acclaimed Frenchman Jacques Garcia, featuring unique Kohler chromatherapy (colour therapy) baths offer the perfect haven for some down time before supper.

Both The Road Hole Restaurant, the hotel's award-winning restaurant that boasts three AA rosettes, and the more informal Sands Restaurant offer delicious cuisine in a truly relaxed setting. Or if you prefer something even more casual you can always take the short stroll along to the Old Course Hotel's very own pub, The Jigger Inn.  Formerly the old Stationmaster's House (structurally nothing has changed since 1850 as the Jigger Inn is a listed building) , The Jigger is now a much-loved traditional Scottish pub with open-hearth fires and hearty Scottish pub food and is fondly regarded as the town's favourite 19 th hole.

Wherever you decide to dine, a nightcap in the hotel's famous Road Hole Bar is a perfect way to end the evening. The Bar, with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Old Course, boasts an unrivalled collection of almost 200 malt whiskies from every single distillery in Scotland. You can be assured that over the year's many of the world's top golfers have celebrated their triumphs with a wee dram in this unique bar before retiring to bed in the Hotel.

Though St Andrews is primarily known throughout the world for golf, this attractive town and its environs still has a lot more to offer. It has a unique atmosphere and its historical coastal setting boasts the ancient buildings of St Andrews Castle, the Cathedral ruins and the University of St Andrews, the oldest in Scotland.  Today St Andrews has a burgeoning cultural scene, with the award-winning Byre Theatre and museums, and is regarded as a thriving centre of excellence made popular by Prince William, Britain's future King, who chose to study there.

Around St Andrews there are many picturesque fishing villages, such as East Neuk, Crail and Anstruther, to explore as well as numerous country parks and nature trails such as the Fife coastal path that takes in 135 kilometers of stunning coastline. Or for something a little more action-packed, experience a spot of kiting, para-kiting or mountain boarding for a more adventurous approach.

What better time to fulfill the dream of driving off the first hole of the Old Course in the front of the R&A Clubhouse than the year of The Open Championship's 150th anniversary?

And make your visit complete by booking in to the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa,  enjoying its wonderful amenities and exploring the "Home of Golf".

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