1123

King David I's

charter ratifies that the Links was common land belonging to the townspeople of St Andrews.

1400s

Golf

is being played on the Links at St Andrews on a simple track hacked through the heather and bushes.

1552

Hamilton Charter

Archbishop Hamilton's Charter recognises the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf on the Links.

1764

The 22-holes constituting the Old Course

are reduced to 18 holes becoming the standard for golf courses the world over.

1821

First map of Links

entitled ‘Plan of Pilmour Links’, defines the boundaries of the Old Course and quantifies the length and width of the holes. On the course, boundaries are marked not by gorse but ‘march stones’. The width of the first fairway is 72 yards (compared to the 129 yards it measures today).

1856

£20 to produce greens as big as football fields

Tom Morris is paid £20 to produce ‘double greens’ over the winter. It is agreed there shall always be two holes on every green with the exception of the 1st and 18th. Outgoing holes boast a white flag and those coming in are red.

1865

Tom Morris, Custodian

Tom Morris returns from Prestwick and is appointed Custodian of the Links. He began a programme of widening greens for greater safety and building new tees to extend the length of holes and protect the putting surfaces from blows with a driving club.

1866

Tom Morris opens Shop

Tom Morris opens his shop overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course.

The Home End welcomes the 18th green

Tom Morris's work continues on the Old Course and he moves the 18th green back from Granny Clarke’s Wynd to its current location at the Home End.

1870

A new first green is constructed

on the far side of the Swilcan Burn. It represents a more permanent move towards the modern right-hand-loop as golfers play the Old Course today.

1876

Golf draws a royal crowd

In 1876 Tom Morris plays with HRH Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, they win their match play game against two local golfers 3 and 1.

1879

Swilcan Burn

The path of the Swilcan Burn is altered to curve in a north-west direction, transformed from a sandy hazard to a concrete-walled channel.

1895

The Old Course is joined by the New.

Tom Morris is entrusted with designing the New Course. The construction of the New Course was paid for by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, which engaged B Hall Blyth, an Edinburgh civil engineer, to plan the New Course, and entrusted the layout to Morris and his right-hand man David Honeyman.

1897

Construction continues on the Links

The Jubilee course opens in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Created on a narrow strip of prime golfing land between the New Course and the sea, it is laid out by John Angus junior and ready in only three months. On opening a full day of celebrations is carried out with the Jubilee Fountain unveiled on the Links.

1903

A lifetime's worth of care and attention draws to a close

Tom’s tenure as Custodian of the Links of St Andrews comes to an end. He is 82 years old and has held the position for nearly 40 years.

1908

St Andrews mourns the passing of a golfing icon

St Andrews and the world of golf mourns the loss of Tom Morris, who dies in the town. The 18th hole on the Old Course is renamed after him.

1913

The 1894 Act revisited

The Town Council and R&A revisit the 1894 Act in order to tackle complaints about Old Course congestion, tariffs and the construction of a fourth course. Both parties reach agreement and the 1913 Act is passed throughout Parliament without opposition allowing the council to levy charges for play on the Old Course and reductions for university students and members of local golf clubs not permanently resident in St Andrews.

1914

Demand grows as golf prospers

The Eden Course is opened shortly before the outbreak of the First World War to help cope with demand for golf. Harry S Colt, whose other designs include Hoylake, Pine Valley, Sunningdale and Wentworth, is commissioned to design the course. His layout challenges golfers with severe bunkering, undulating greens and long carries off the tee to reach the fairways.

1924

30 square yards calls for Parliamentary intervention

The R&A wish to make an extension to their clubhouse, under the terms of the 1913 Act the Town Council petitions Parliament for a new order, which is granted and sees the council gift the R&A 30 square yards for a feu duty of five shillings. It is the sole change in the 1924 Act governing the Links.

1927

Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones leads from start to finish at The Open at St Andrews and falls in love with the Old Course, he remarks if he could play one golf course before he died it would always be the famous Links at St Andrews.

1932

Parliament asked to allow gate money

to be charged for admission to major golf events over the Links. It receives Royal Assent and is passed as the 1932 Act.

1939

Bunkers brought back into play

New tees constructed on the 5th and 14th holes bring bunkers back into play as the game and The Old Course evolves. The new tee on 14 makes the “Beardies” and “Hell” bunker a very real threat.

1946

Post-war costs increase 50 per cent

from the pre-war figure of £4,500 a year and a new Links Act is passed where a charge for golf for residents on the Links is introduced for the first time.

1953

The 1946 Act is not deemed to be a success

and a new partnership is agreed with the Town Council and the R&A now in equal partnership. The 1953 Act receives Royal Assent.

1960

The Centenary Open

is held on the Old Course with the famous Links rested for five months without a single ball being struck on the much-used and much-loved fairways. Australian Kel Nagle prevailed over Arnold Palmer by a single stroke in a tournament that marked the emergence of the Open Championship as a major stop for American golfers.

1967

New act abolishes charging limit

on spectators attending events on the Links.

1969

The original railway sheds are demolished

at the ‘Road Hole’ when the railway station closes.

1970

Jack Nicklaus lets loose

On the last hole of the Open, Doug Sanders has an opportunity to win the Claret Jug and defeat Jack Nicklaus. All Sanders has to do is make a three foot putt. But his downhill putt misses, forcing an 18-hole playoff with Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear sinks an eight foot putt on the final hole to defeat Doug Sanders. Overjoyed, he threw his putter in the air and almost hit Sanders.

1972

10th becomes Bobby Jones

The until now nameless tenth hole receives a name. Following the death of Bobby Jones it is named after him as an act of remembrance of the great golfer.

1974

Custodians of the Links

The 1974 Act creates St Andrews Links Trust to continue running the Links as public golf courses open to everyone.

1978

Nicklaus completes Grand Slam number three

At the age of 38 Jack Nicklaus returned to St Andrews to clinch his third Open championship and second over The Old Course. He had gone nearly three years without winning a major, and many of his fellow pros were starting to question whether he might ever win another. He defeats Simon Jones, of New Zealand, down the stretch.

1984

Seve Ballesteros

In a dramatic finale Seve Ballesteros edges out Tom Watson on the final hole of the Old Course to win The Open.

1985

World Team Championship comes to the Links

The Alfred Dunhill Cup is held at St Andrews for the first time.It features three-man teams of professional golfers with one team representing each country.

1990

Nick Faldo arrives in St Andrews at peak of his golfing powers

having won the Masters and finished tied third at the US Open. Faldo and Greg Norman duel back and forth over the weekend, but Faldo is too strong. He posts three straight rounds in the 60s, and enters Sunday with a five-stroke lead. A Sunday 71 leaves him five strokes ahead of Mark McNulty and Payne Stewart.

1993

The Links becomes Europe's largest public golf complex

A new 18 hole course, the Strathtyrum, is opened along with the completely redesigned nine hole course, the Balgove and the Golf Practice Centre. With a total of five 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course, St Andrews Links becomes Europe’s largest public golf complex.

1995

Links Clubhouse

St Andrews Links Clubhouse opens. It is the first public clubhouse in the town.

Heartbreak for Rocca as Daly wins

Constantino Rocca approached the final hole one shot behind John Daly. Rocca's drive was only yards from the green, but his second shot resulted in a fluffed chip where he failed to follow through. The ball trickled a mere five yards into the Valley of Sin. Rocca holed his 65-foot birdie putt to tie Daly and force a playoff. The jovial Italian instantly fell to the ground and joyfully pounded the turf with his fists. Daly would go on to win the play-off and secure his second Major championship.

1998

Storms threaten iconic 11th green

Extensive storm damage accelerates erosion on the Old Course. The Links Trust install rock-filled wire gabion to stem coastal erosion after surveys reveals key tees and 11th green have eroded away over years and could be threatened completely over the next 100 years.

1999

Hell Bunker

The Links largest bunker, “Hell”, on the 14th is entirely rebuilt with wooden railway sleepers set in concrete behind the face of the bunker. A cavernous sandpit, "Hell" is the size of two rooms in which only a player's head can be seen as he attempts to extricate his ball.

750,000 gallons of water

The single largest golf course irrigation system in Europe is installed on the Old Course. Four boreholes serve a 750,000 gallon reservoir and over 4000 sprinkler heads.

2000

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods delivers a faultless display to win The Open on the Old Course by eight shots, becoming the youngest player to achieve a career grand slam. Oh his win, he says, "To win at St Andrews is the ultimate."

2003

New tees

Six new Championship tees are established on the Old Course. Each is placed outside the recognised historical boundaries of the Old Course.

2005

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus plays his final round of professional golf in The Open on the Old Course, waving an emotional farewell to his fans from the Swilcan Bridge after an exhilarating finish.

2007

Lorena Ochoa

The first professional women’s tournament is played at St Andrews with Loren Ochoa winning the Ricoh Women’s British Open over the Old Course.

2008

The seventh Links course opens

The Castle Course, the seventh Links course, has its inaugural season. Set on a rugged cliffline overlooking the ancient town of St Andrews, the course combines breathtaking views with a memorable golfing challenge. Designed by David Kidd, creator of Bandon Dunes on the West Coast of America, The Castle Course wins several international awards in its first year of opening and is included within the prestigious Golf Digest Top 100 rankings immediately.

2009

Partner Programme

St Andrews Links Trust establishes its partnership programme. The aim of the programme is to enable the Trust to reduce its dependency on green fee income and to ensure that it fully benefits from its intellectual property through developing its iconic brand.

Improvements

A new Championship tee for the ‘Road Hole’ is constructed on the practice range of St Andrews Links Golf Academy.

2010

Louis Oosthuizen

The 150th anniversary of The Open Championship takes place in St Andrews, it is the 28th time it has been staged at the Old Course. South African Louis Oosthuizen is the champion golfer of the year.

2012

Old Course improvements carried out

Improvements are carried out on the Old Course. Renowned golf course architect Martin Hawtree is commissioned by St Andrews Links Trust and The R&A Championship Committee to assess potential changes remaining true to the special character of the Old Course. Martin Hawtree’s recommendations are agreed by the St Andrews Links Trustees and Links Management Committee and The R&A Championship Committee. The first phase involves work on the 2nd, 7th, 11th and 17th holes.

2013

Lewis lifts Women's British Open

Stacy Lewis lifted the Women’s British Open with a sensational back to back birdie finish.