7 Unusual Facts about St Andrews You May Never Have Heard Of

The town’s name changed from Kilrymont to St Andrews after Saint Andrew’s remains were bought here.

The town’s name changed from Kilrymont to St Andrews after Saint Andrew’s remains were bought here.

Think you know everything there is to know about St Andrews? We’ve put together a list of seven unusual facts about St Andrews that you’ve probably never heard of! Check out the list below and discover something new about this beautiful town.

It was originally called Kilrymont

St Andrews was originally known as Kilrymont. Its name was changed many hundreds of years ago thanks to a monk who transported the relics of Apostle Andrew. The town’s name was changed to honour the saint.

The story goes that in AD357, an angel told the Greek monk St Rule to take St Andrew’s remains to the ‘ends of the earth.’ He took them to Scotland and where he came ashore was called St Andrews.

St Andrew is not just the patron saint of Scotland

St Andrews may be named after Saint Andrew but he’s not just patron saint of Scotland. St Andrew is also patron saint of Greece, Russia and Amalfi (Italy).

Holes out and in

The Old Course only used to have eleven holes. These were played as eleven holes out and then the same eleven holes in, making it a twenty two hole golf course. In 1764, the course became nine holes out and the same nine holes in. In 1832, it became a proper eighteen hole course, with nine holes out and nine holes in.

The whole ‘holes out, holes in’ thing actually originated in St Andrews due to the shape of the Old Course.

The Old Course started a trend for using bunkers on golf courses

The Old Course started a trend for using bunkers on golf courses

Bunkers originated in St Andrews

According to the stories, bunkers on the Old Course at St Andrews occurred naturally and Tom Morris decided to leave them there when designing some of the holes. If you are wondering how they came about, the answer is sheep!

In the early days, the course also doubled up as a place for grazing sheep. Unfortunately the sheep didn’t like the strong winds that the Old Course is famous for. In order to protect themselves, they joined forces and burrowed into the ground, creating holes to hide in until the wind died down. These holes ended up being many of the pot bunkers you see on television when watching golf at the Old Course. Sure they’re a pain to play out of but they certainly make the game a whole lot more interesting!

The world’s first female golfer played at St Andrews

Mary Queen of Scots was a member of the local golf club and many regard her as being the world’s first female golfer. She started playing golf at St Andrews soon after her husband Darnley was murdered.

A certain golfer has a bit of a thing for room 269

Legendary golfer, Tiger Woods will only stay in room 269 at The Old Course Hotel when he stays in St Andrews. The reason being that 269 was the number of strokes it took him to win his first Open Championship in St Andrews back in 2000.

A lot of golf is played in St Andrews

More then 230,000 rounds of golf are played on the seven courses in St Andrews each year. 45,000 of these are played on the Old Course alone. The Old Course has also played host to the Open Championship more than any other venue, at twenty eight times.


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our seven unusual facts about St Andrews. If you have any of your own interesting facts about the town or its monuments, feel free to share them with us. We always enjoy hearing interesting things about our hometown!

Image credits: dun_deagh and Michnessiest

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