Humiliating U-Turn: St Andrews Links Trust Reverts to Preserving the Iconic Swilcan Bridge

The iconic Swilcan Bridge at St Andrews Links is a place of much reverence, with the 700-year-old structure providing a momentous photo opportunity for many golfers.[0] However, recent exploratory works around the bridge had been met with widespread criticism from golf fans and some of the game’s biggest names, including former Open Champion Nick Faldo.

In response to this, the St Andrews Links Trust has been forced into a humiliating u-turn and have taken the decision to remove the stone platform at the foot of the bridge, which would have provided some protection but was deemed unable to create a look in keeping with its iconic setting.[1]

The Trust has also taken on board the feedback from its partners and stakeholders, as well as the golfing public. This widespread attention and commentary is indicative of the regard in which St Andrews is held around the world, and the Trust has been conscious of its role in preserving this heritage while recognizing its hallowed grounds have continued to evolve to meet demands for more than 600 years.[0]

In the coming days, the Trust’s team will be reinstating the area with turf and will continue to explore alternative options for a permanent solution, whilst working with relevant partners including Fife Council and key stakeholders.[2]

The Swilcan Bridge is a place of much history and nostalgia.[3] It is a popular spot for tourists, with many taking the opportunity to have their photo captured on the stone crossing, as well as being a place where golfers of all abilities can enjoy a meaningful moment, just like the greats of the game.[4] The Trust would like to thank golfers for their patience as they continue this work.[5]

0. “St Andrews Old Course bridge renovation to be removed after furious “DIY patio” anger” The Mirror, 7 Feb. 2023,

1. “St Andrews U-turn as Swilcan Bridge changes ripped up”, 7 Feb. 2023,

2. “St Andrews caves on changes to Swilcan Bridge as Sir Nick Faldo leads backlash” The Guardian, 6 Feb. 2023,

3. “‘Absolute Horrendous’: Home of Golf St. Andrews Gets Slammed After Breaking Silence on Erupting Controversy” EssentiallySports, 5 Feb. 2023,

4. “St Andrews announces U-turn on Swilcan Bridge paving after backlash from golf fans against ‘DIY patio' look” Sky News, 7 Feb. 2023,

5. “New structure at St. Andrews to be removed after heavy criticism” msnNOW, 6 Feb. 2023,