2. The Kittocks Course
Originally called the Devlin Course, in honor of Bruce Devlin, the former PGA Tour star who designed it, this seaside course has undergone a face-lift -- and changed its name along the way.

The Fairmont St. Andrews, the upscale resort that owns the course, injected $4 million into it for improvements, which included reconstructing greens, rerouting fairways, upgrading drainage, and refurbishing the snaggletoothed bunkers that challenge players at every turn.

What the project left intact is Kittocks Den, a protected wildlife area that cuts into the course off St. Andrews Bay and that serves as a hazard on several holes. Though the grassy preserve is home to quail and pheasant, other kinds of birdies (the ones golfers like) are very rare. They’re especially hard to come by on the back nine of the Kittocks, a stout stretch of holes whose coastal drama has drawn comparisons to that of Pebble Beach, California.

Golfers on this course are treated to sweeping vistas of St. Andrews and a serious test of skill on such holes as the 17th, a lengthy par four that curls along a cliff and has an inlet guarding approaches to its green.


3. The Torrance Course
Named for Scottish golf legend Sam Torrance, this links-style layout is the sister course to the Kittocks. And like its sibling was previously, it’s now in the midst of a massive overhaul.

When it reopens in July, the new and improved Torrance will feature the fierce beauty that golfers look for on Scottish links. Dramatic mounds will dot the fairways, deep-mouthed bunkers will guard the greens, and wayward drives will vanish into gnarly rough.

From the forward tees, the Torrance will be friendly to weekend duffers. But from the tips, the course will aim to challenge the world’s best players. It has already been selected as a qualifying site for the 2010 British Open, which will be held at -- where else? -- the Old Course, that 600-year-old landmark just down the road.