Tiger made history with a record-setting performance during the
Open, but another important event happened that summer weekend. A
new stand-alone public course, Kingsbarns, opened just
outside of town, offering something unheard of in the British Isles
at the time: ocean views from all 18 holes. While the famous
traditional links courses are all on the coast, most are separated
from the sea by tall sand dunes, and many have no ocean views at
all. Kingsbarns, one of the world's most beautiful courses,
electrified the golf industry, winning accolades and debuting at
46th in the world on Golf Magazine's list in its first year - a
rare feat. It is an American-style high-end daily fee course, with
amenities such as yardage books and ball mark repair tools included
in the lofty greens fees. Nonetheless, Kingsbarns stuck to local
tradition as a walking-only course with caddies. Many visitors have
called it the best course in St. Andrews, eclipsing even the
legendary Old. It was a huge development, but it was just a taste
of things to come.
FROM POTATO FIELDS TO PUTTING GREENS
Three miles from downtown St. Andrews, on the same coastal road
Kingsbarns sits along, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur named Dr.
Donald Panoz somehow got his hands on 520 acres of potato fields
overlooking St. Andrews Bay. Panoz is the founder of the Château
Élan resort group, which operates golf resorts in Georgia and
California. His company quickly turned the farmland into the St.
Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa, a modern golf destination with
a luxury hotel, spa, conference facilities, many other sporting
diversions, and two world-class golf courses, which, like
neighboring Kingsbarns, overlook the ocean from almost every hole.
They also offer views down the coast to the stately St. Andrews
skyline and across the bay to Carnoustie, another heralded British