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How to Golf Scotland like a Local

Where to Eat in St. Andrews

Balaka (Bangladeshi) Tastefully decorated with dark oak furniture, this restaurant is consistently ranked among the best of the U.K.'s 8,500 South Asian restaurants by the Cobra Good Curry Restaurant Guide. 3 Alexandra Place; 011-44/1334-474-825. $$$

Bella Italia (Italian) In the heart of St. Andrews, it has a broad selection of pizzas and classic Italian dishes. 39 Bell Street; 011-44/1334-476-268. $$

Golfers Corner Lounge Bar (Pub food) The best cheeseburger in town is served in this convivial pub in the Dunvegan Hotel, on the corner of Golf Place and North Street. Jack and Sheena Willoughby are the proprietors, and Jack, you see, is a transplanted Texan. 7 Pilmour Place, North Street; 011-44/ 1334-473-105. $$

Grange Inn (Scottish) The Grange Inn graces a hillside immediately south of St. Andrews and provides enchanting views of the town. The game and seafood dishes are particularly satisfying. Grange Road; 011-44/1334-472-670. $$$$

The Vineleaf Restaurant (Scottish) You'll find the Vineleaf down a narrow old lane at 131 South Street. With its colorful terrace and walled herb garden, it's a very nice summer spot. The menu boasts such inventive, modern Scottish dishes as ricotta and cheddar soufflé with layers of eggplant, spinach and tomato. The wine list is extensive. 131 South Street; 011-44/ 1334-477-497. $$$$

Where to Eat in East Lothian

The Cellar (Seafood) While you're down to play Crail, make a real day of it in the East Neuk by splurging a bit on dinner at one of the finest seafood restaurants in all of Scotland. Despite the name, the Cellar is not subterranean—it occupies the ground level of a former cooperage. 2 East Green, Anstruther; 011-44/1333-310-378. $$$$

The Golf Inn (Scottish) Whether you overnight here or not, dinner at the Golf Inn is a pleasure. It is family-run and devoted to locally sourced produce. Try the cannelloni to start, then the roast duckling with honey. After dinner, retire to the lounge for samplings of the Inn's extensive selection of single malts. Main Street, Gullane; 011-44/1620-843-259. $$$

Waterside Bistro (Seafood) A fine spot for dinner fifteen minutes from Gullane. Sit outside on the banks of the River Tyne and in the lee of a triple-arched stone bridge, gazing across the water at fourteenth- century St. Mary's Collegiate Church. Highly regarded for its seafood, as well as for its vegetarian dishes—not always easy to find in Scotland. 1–5 Waterside, Haddington; 011-44/1620-825-674. $$$

Four Ways to Play the Old Course

1. On or after the first Wednesday of each September, you can reserve a tee time for the following year by contacting the Links Trust via e-mail (reservations@standrews.org.uk) or fax (011-44/1334-477-036) or snail mail (Reservations, St. Andrews Links Trust, Pilmour House, St. Andrews KY16 9SF, Scotland).

2. Keep an eye out for canceled tee times, which are posted periodically throughout the year on the St. Andrews Links web site (standrews.org.uk).

3. Enter the daily ballot (011-44/1334-466-666) no later than 2 p.m. the day before you wish to play, and hope your name is drawn (quite likely to happen at least once for someone spending six nights in and around St. Andrews).

4. Finally, try your luck as a standby at the starter's hut—first come, first served. An average of twenty to twenty-five standbys are sent out daily. (Works best for early-bird singles.)

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