Historic R&A clubhouse in St Andrews set for major renovation

Plans to renovate the iconic R&A clubhouse at the Old Course in St Andrews have been given the green light.

Artist's impressions of the work planned for the R & A clubhouse in St Andrews
Artist's impressions of the work planned for the R & A clubhouse in St Andrews

Fife Council has given the go ahead to proposals to alter the historic clubhouse.

These will see the female locker rooms located within the main clubhouse for the very first time.

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They are currently in a separate building.

St Andrews Old Course R&A Fife Council issued promo shot

The renovations will take place mainly underground, so there will be little change to the view of the imposing building, but the extensive work will almost triple its accommodation space.

That makes it the biggest development at the clubhouse since its foundation stone was laid in 1853.

The work - due to start next year - includes extending its basement by digging below the car park, as well as making significant changes to the area around it.

These include the formation of a new car parking area, the erection of new walls and railings, and new ramps and stairs.

A statement by the club noted the “existing golfing facilities need to be reconsidered to improve its nature and extent”.

It added: “It has been established that the clubhouse is more frequently used by members throughout the year than has been the case in the past, and that the facilities are no longer adequate to cope with demand during the spring and autumn meetings hosted by the club.”

At present, women can only use a locker room at Forgan House and the club considers it “imperative” that all members can use facilities in the clubhouse.

The new facilities will include 450 lockers, with adequate bench and hanging space in dedicated locker rooms. At the moment there are just 120 full size lockers in the male locker room.

The plans will see more showers and toilets added to both.

There will also be room for up to 500 golf bags and trolleys, up from space for just 156 now.

The proposals also include plans to move the Playfair Monument.

The historic Cutty Sark flagpole, which was gifted to the R&A back in 1943, will also be refurbished before being repositioned within the new landscape.

Owners of the neighbouring Old Course Hotel had earlier this year unveiled fresh plans for the luxury pub with views over the 17th, known as the Road Hole.

Plans for a new glass-fronted bar were approved in August.

Drinkers will be able to sit on the 77-seat bar’s terrace and watch some of the world’s greatest golfers in action in the Fife town under the expansion.

Developers had hoped construction would be complete when the Old Course plays host to the 150th Open Championship in 2022.

The Old Course Hotel last month became the latest five-star hotel to close due to increased coronavirus restrictions.

The luxury venue, situated next to the famous golf course in the Fife town, said that all of its bars, restaurants and spa facilities would close from today, as well as the hotel itself.

The hotel, which has 144 rooms including 35 suites, overlooks the famous links courses and the West Sands Beach.

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