St Andrews, the home of golf in Fife, Scotland, is the most famous golf course in the world. Hamilton’s St Andrews, otherwise known as the Hamilton Golf Club, gloriously bears the same title and also has some claims to fame. Five times it has hosted the New Zealand Open with two of Australia’s most illustrious golfers, Joe Kirkwood and Kel Nagle (who was successful in both 1958 and 1967), being among the winners. And a collection of New Zealand golf’s finest achievers, including current professionals David Smail and Steve Alker and stars of the past such as Tim Woon, Brian Boys, Stuart Reese and Jan Arnold all hail from the St Andrews Club.
Opened in 1913, the club was so named because when the original owner of the land, Harry Gillies, built the course he said it reminded him of the famous Scottish link. His enthusiasm was infectious. Not only the club but the suburb in which it sits was named St Andrews and many of the nearby streets bear golfassociated names.
Originally an inland links course, St Andrews today is picturesque with several of the holes bordering the Waikato River, especially the par-5 fourth, a short dogleg that gives players many options on the drive. The river is always lurking. The most renowned hole is the par-3 18th which is surrounded by bunkers; the 2.8-metre front bunker being the most intimidating. Par 71 (6179m). Green fees $50, or $30 if you are the guest of a member.
St Andrews Terrace, St Andrews, (07) 849 2069, standrews.co.nz