St Andrews Old Course repairs near famous bridge to be removed

The landmark has been traversed by nearly all of the game’s greats – from Old Tom Morris to Tiger Woods.

St Andrews Old Course repairs near famous bridge to be removed following backlash SNS Group

Renovation work around the Swilken Bridge on the Old Course in St Andrews will be removed after the result caused a wave of criticism among the golfing community.

The historic landmark, traversed by nearly all of the game’s greats – from Old Tom Morris to Tiger Woods, is estimated to be about 700 years old.

St Andrews Links Trust, which manages the golf course, said the turfed area surrounding it regularly falls into disrepair due to tens of thousands of golfers seeking to have their photo taken at the famous bridge year on year.

Attempts to restore the area, including installing artificial turf, proved to be unsuccessful.

But the Trust’s solution, a new round paved area connected to the bridge, was widely criticised on social media after pictures of the renovation works appeared online over the weekend.

One member of the golfing community, who has an account on Twitter called UK Golf Guy, likened the repair attempts to “a garden patio”.

But in a U-turn decision on Monday, it was announced the paving stones will be removed and the area will instead be “reinstated with turf” in the coming days.

A statement from the Trust said: “We believe we are unable to create a look which is in keeping its iconic setting and have taken the decision to remove it.”

Former Open champion Sir Nick Faldo took to Twitter to criticise the installed pavings.

He wrote: “If you’ve travelled halfway around the world for your bucket list round at St Andrews, would you rather leave with a bit of historic dirt on your shoes or a few cement mix scraps?”

US golfer Tron Carter said it resembled a “DIY backyard patio”.

Golf fan Warren Allsworth reacted: “No. Just no. That’s like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.”

Others mocked the renovation work saying it was “an abomination”, with one commenter saying the paving stones “made it look like the bridge was melting”.

In a statement on Sunday, the Trust said it was addressing “some concerns” that had been raised regarding the work.

It also insisted that no works were undertaken to the bridge itself.

The Trust added: “We have also taken on feedback from many partners and stakeholders as well as the golfing public and we would like to thank everyone who has been in touch for their contribution to the issue.

“The widespread attention and commentary is indicative of the regard in which St Andrews is held around the world and we are conscious of our role in preserving this heritage while recognising its hallowed grounds have continued to evolve to meet demands for more than 600 years.”