The 150th British Open Championship kicked off July 14 at the birthplace of golf, Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. How much is the St. Andrews golf course worth?
The St. Andrews golf course is considered one of the most expensive golf courses in the world regarding greens fees, reports Golf Span. The largest golf complex in Europe, St. Andrews has seven different courses with the Old Course being the oldest. It's considered the “Home of Golf,” where Scots began playing the game back in the 1500s.
"Obviously, it's the 'Home of Golf.' It's the spiritual home," pro golfer Rory McIlroy told CBS Sports. "There's just a different feel. You stand on that first tee beside the R&A clubhouse, and you can't help but think about people playing there 150 or 200 years ago. It's special. It's different."
Greens fees can cost as much as $384 at St. Andrews, with the Old Course being the least expensive, with greens fees at about $319, reports National Club Golfer. Those fees increased this year by about 40 percent.
Many golf greats have played the Open at St. Andrews.
This is 30th British Open Championship held at the Old Course. The first championship was played on the course in 1873. The last time the event was played there was in 2015. Golf greats like Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, and Tiger Woods have all played there and earned a coveted “Claret Jug,” the Open Championship trophy.
"It's hard to believe it's been 150 years we've played this tournament. And it's incredible, the history behind it, the champions that have won here," Woods told CBS Sports. Woods won the Claret Jug at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005.
"I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close," Nicklaus is quoted on the St. Andrews Old Course webpage. Nicklaus won the Open Championship at the Old Course in 1970 and 1978.
Who owns St. Andrews golf course?
The Old Course at St. Andrews is a public golf course owned and managed by the St. Andrews Links Trust.
The sport of golf originated in Scotland and grew in popularity until 1457, when the King of Scots James II banned it because he thought too many young men were spending time playing the sport instead of training for the military. It wasn’t until 1502 when King James IV, a golf enthusiast, lifted the ban.
Residents of the St. Andrews/Fife area started playing on the land in 1552. In 1754, a group of landowners and noblemen founded the Society of St. Andrews Golfers, which would eventually become The R&A, a governing body for golf outside of the U.S. and Mexico.
The Town Council owned St. Andrews until 1797, when the council, facing bankruptcy, opened the land up to rabbit farmers. Landowner James Cheape, an avid golfer, bought the property in 1821 and turned it back into a golf course.
The St. Andrews Town Council was able to repurchase the land in 1894 when Parliament passed an act that safeguarded public access to golf courses, and the St. Andrews Links Trust was eventually created to manage the course.