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News from the British Isles

Renovation

The Old Course, St. Andrews St. Andrews, Fife
After stretching the Old Course to a brawny 7,279 yards for last year's Open Championship, the St. Andrews Links Trust has now elected to push back the medal tees for the rest of us—in the interest of speeding play. Nine new tees have been put into play, including several from previous championship years, to gain a total of 112 yards. The changes will register most clearly on the ninth and tenth holes, both drivable par fours. In the past, delays sometimes occurred as players waited for the group ahead to clear the green before making a mighty bid for an eagle putt. Of course, if the wind's up, added yardage is almost academic—the great course will still make every effort to shred your scorecard.
Greens Fee: $210. Tee Times: 011-44/1334-466-666 or visit standrews.org.uk.

New Hotel

Prestonfield House Edinburgh
The white-walled baroque home of Edinburgh's Lord Provost in the mid-seventeenth century, Prestonfield has been given a $3.5 million facelift that has transformed it into one of the most gloriously opulent hotels in Scotland. The place feels like a time capsule where Dr. Johnson, Boswell or David Hume would hold a think-in as they sprawled over the sofas in the Tapestry Room or dined at the Rhubarb restaurant. Modernity, however, is not overlooked, with everything from bedroom DVD players to high-speed wi-fi Internet access.
Rates: Luxury doubles from $341; suites from $514. Call 011-44/1312-257-800 or visit prestonfield.com.

New Spa

Kohler Waters Spa St. Andrews, Fife
The Old Course Hotel's outdated spa has been completely revitalized as part of owner Herb Kohler's upgrading plans. The new Kohler Waters Spa will feature Vichy and Kohler showers, a thermal suite with hydrotherapy pool, a Japanese salt steam room, a sauna with light therapy and a new twenty-meter indoor swimming pool with a waterfall. There are also eleven new treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center that overlooks the Old Course.
Hotel and Spa Reservations: 011-44/1334-474-371 or visit oldcoursehotel.co.uk.

New Restaurant

The Seafood Restaurant St. Andrews, Fife
The Seafood Restaurant is more Mies van der Rohe than anything the old town has ever seen. Perched on rocks above the sea, it is a modernist glass-walled building with an open-plan kitchen. If the minimalist theme had been followed through, there would have been enough confidence to accept the bare beauty of the local seafood. Instead added flavors sometimes complicate what's on offer. So if the Kilbrandon oysters strike your fancy, ask for them on their own (and leave the salsa for the Tijuana trip). Or just plump for the no-mistake smoked haddock.
Reservations: 011-44/1334-479-475.

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