ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND — As managing director of a new and unique accommodation designed specifically for American golfers visiting the game’s storied Scottish birthplace — appropriately named “St Andrews Golf House” — Eddie Papczun said he became convinced he and the home’s investment team had created something special during a recent wine and cheese cocktail party at the house.
The party was hosted for many of the St. Andrews locals and travel companies around town. One longtime Royal & Ancient member and native of St. Andrews made a point to corral Papczun during the event to tell him: “I’ve never seen anything like this home. There is nothing like this around St. Andrews.”
“To me that is a strong endorsement of what we have created in this special place,” said Papczun, aformer Air Force Major who served as a weapons launch officer during the Cold War. The native Ohioan now living in Florida first entered the golf industry nearly two decades ago in his role as founder of Golf Links to the Past, one of the preeminent creators, acquirers and marketers of premium golf collectibles.
Papczun’s latest project is an ideal combination of his two loves: history and golf. Geared toward Americans coming over to play golf in the game’s birthplace and the surrounding Scottish countryside, the St. Andrews Golf House was custom designed and built to the very highest standards — a 5-star accommodation offering guests a perfect home base for any Scottish holiday or business trip that is truly unlike any other luxury accommodation within the “Auld Grey Toon.”
Said Papczun: “Accommodations in St. Andrews range from the very high-end, where you can stay at the Old Course Hotel, to the more country-wide guesthouse experience, but nobody thinks about things that Americans take for granted: Big, walk-in showers with great water pressure, vented tumble dryers, heated club storage, ice makers — those things were present in my mind when I was laying the house out with a very creative, St. Andrews-based architect.
“We wanted to have a lot of natural illumination in the house so we put in huge, west-facing bay windows,” he said. “Those who have been to Scotland know that sunlight can be an issue. So we were able to build a very high-end type of home with plenty of green components to leave a small energy footprint.”
The first feature that catches a guest’s eye on the entry level of the St. Andrew Golf Home are alaundry room with full-size washer and vented electric dryer, along with its four en-suite bedrooms that can be configured to comfortably sleep from four to eight guests (“two four-balls,” as Papczun describes it). The stone and hardwood floors throughout feature under floor, radiant heat. All of the bedrooms are named after bunkers on the Old Course, so there is a “Hell Bunker,” a “Road Hole Bunker,” a “Strath Bunker” — you get the picture. Guests rest their heads on top-of-the-line Serta mattresses — the same as those used in the famed Fairmont Hotel — with goose-down quilts, high thread-count linens and luxury pillows to help ensure a sound night’s sleep even for the most restless traveller.
Beautifully appointed with elegant contemporary pieces that offer a nod to Scottish tradition as well as classic antiques, the house is extremely cozy and above all comfortable — clearly designed to offer each guest every imaginable convenience including elegant interiors and fine furnishings. Its circa-1890 Scottish oak dining table seats eight comfortably, so there is no need to go out every night for dinner — stay in, cook and enjoy each others company in this very special space.
The house’s fully equipped, state-of-the-art Ashley Ann Custom Gourmet Kitchen allows guests the option to either dine or cater in while enjoying the art of cooking. The kitchen is perfect for social cooking and entertaining featuring state-of-the-art amenities including custom appliances, a six-burner gas range, dual ovens, a French country sink, granite counter-tops, a 40-bottle wine refrigerator and an icemaker.
In addition, the St. Andrews Golf House also features three spacious marble baths with large walk-in American style showers, lightening fast internet Wi-Fi, zoned iPod music system, a billiard’s and pub room (called the “Valley of Sin”), a heated exterior club store, three-hole practice putting green and much more. Indeed, once a guest sinks into one of the St. Andrews Golf House’s down-filled leather chairs — single malt in hand and golf on the 50-inch plasma satellite “telly” — they likely will not want to get up.
“Even before you get into the house, we have put in club storage that only has access from the outside, so if you are pulling your clubs out and everything is wet, you can throw all your gear into this room that is heated and in the morning everything will be dry, so there is no reason for the golf clubs to come into the house,” said Papczun. “That idea came from playing over [in Scotland] so much and realizing that is a big problem.
“I wanted to keep the golf clubs out of the house,” he said. “You don’t want to be bringing your clubs in the house and banging up the walls. I said there’s got to be a better way around this problem. And that’s why there is a laundry room right when you walk in, so when you head off to your bedrooms and you start changing and getting ready to go upstairs hopefully you will not be bringing all that water and the golf course with you.”
Papczun says he and the designers of the St. Andrews Golf House envisioned guests reminiscing about the day’s round while enjoying a cigar and a scotch in the house’s cedar-roofed “Cigar Pavilion,” a hand-built, eight-seat heated seating area offering the perfect space to enjoy the long sunlit nights — a staple of Scotland’s summers. Sitting in the garden or back yard, the pavilion overlooks a three-hole links inspired putting green, which was designed and built by renowned greens keeper, Andy Campbell — former superintendent at Ireland’s famed Loch Erne Golf Club. Additionally, there is an American-style barbeque grill near by so guests can grill up steaks while they enjoy this incredible outdoor space.
“Every kind of little nuance we could incorporate we did,” said Papczun. “We tried to use every square inch of space in the house in a positive and user-friendly way. We wanted this to be an off-the-charts hotel experience that is all yours while you are in Scotland.”
St Andrews Golf House is just a short stroll to anywhere in the historic university town. The Old Course, cathedral ruins and castle, as well as the West Sands beach (made famous in the filming of Chariots of Fire) takes but a few enjoyable minutes to reach on foot via the many walkways that dissect this wonderful town. St Andrews is a town begging to be explored and discovered — one ancient medieval building and pub at a time. Oh, and there is the fact that St Andrews is possibly the greatest golfing destination in the World.
The town of St Andrews and the surrounding countryside has one of the greatest concentrations of world-class golf courses on the planet. Courses in the town include; the Old Course, the New Course, the Jubilee, the Castle, the Eden, the Strathyrum, the Balgove as well as Kingsbarns, the Duke’s, Crail, the Torrance and Kittocks courses at the Fairmont, which are all within 10 miles of the town center. And just a little further on down the road is Carnoustie — popular member of the Open Championship rotation and one of the most demanding tracks in all of golf.
Ideally situated near the Westport gate and the town center, St Andrews Golf House is the perfect location for a memorable Scottish vacation or special corporate business getaway. Easy walking distance to every significant attraction in town, to include the numerous golf courses, you’ll love being so close to everything.
Although St Andrews is renowned for its golf courses, there are many other attractions available in the vicinity including the British Golf Museum, Byre Theatre, Fife Coastal Path, Preservation Trust Museum, St Andrews Aquarium, Botanic Garden, St Andrews Castle, St Andrews Museum and plenty of Scotch Whiskey Tours. And while the town of St Andrews and the historic Kingdom of Fife provides endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, the St. Andrews Golf Home offers a concierge happy to answer questions, help set up golf, and arrange activities that guests will enjoy — as well as to bring in a chef to create a gourmet meal at the house.
“You can literally walk from the house to the center of town without getting on any main roads get on the foot path used by the people for hundreds of years to get around the town,” said Papczun, who also runs The Great Republic at Colorado’s historic Broadmoor Hotel, specializing in extremely rare and unique United States flags, maps and Americana as well as vintage British Empire sporting antiques and collectibles. “You can get from the house to the middle of Market Street and all the way down to the Links in 10 minutes. That’s the other thing. We can even arrange for them to be picked up as part of our à la carte concierge services. We can pick them up for golf. We can arrange for them to be picked up.”
Papczun said rates for 2014 are £500 per high-season evening. High season runs from April 1 through October 31. Low season runs from November 1 to March 31 and rates are £300 per night. Minimum stay is four nights – regardless of the time of year.