Questi club storici devono fare parte della tua playlist.
Recensioni fantastiche, ma ignoti al pubblico. Sii il primo a scoprire queste gemme nascoste in Scozia.
Course was in pretty good condition considering the recent cold wet weather. But still rather scruffy in tee boxes and greens. Fabulous views across the Firth of Forth. Plenty of golfers out enjoying this municipal course.
Isle of Harris is another one of those courses that's hard to review by standardized terms. There is no such thing as service and hardly a clubhouse to speak of, but if you appreciate being in a ridiculously remote place with stunning scenery and enjoy a rustic course that oozes fun, this is your place. Rewinding the holes in my head I actually realize that an argument can be made for the quality of the course from a more objective standpoint aswell. There's the short, wide, downhill & into the wind par 4 1st straight towards the ocean which makes distance judgement quite a challenge. And the diagonal carry across the ocean at the reachable par 4 2nd, a hole that could stand its own against almost any hole in the world. The 3rd hole plays uphill into another nicely receptive green, while the 4th is a dell-like blind par 3. The 5th takes us downhill with a spectacular tee shot to a stretch of holes between 6 and 8 which is less interesting, but still good golf. The par 5 9th winds its way back uphill in between towering dunes, a strong way to finish. All in all, that's quite a lot of variety for such a small course. If you're like me, it will make you want to return straight to the first tee and do the loop again until the sun sets late on a summer's eve.
Perhaps I was a little biased by the fantastic sunny and calm day or by far the best score I ever shot on a links course, but for me Brora is the epitome of enjoyable golf. There's no blend quite like it when it comes to scenery, quality, authenticity and playability. It's a holiday course, yet will never get boring. It's covered with grazing sheep and cattle, yet it is kept in very good shape. It has a raw and authentic character to it, yet it doesn't need to hide from the more famous courses in the region. On top of that, there is a very sublte and continuous flow to the out-and-back layout which I found soothing in an almost spiritual way. Not visiting Brora on a trip to the highlands would be an absolute shame for sure!
The combination of the wonderfully classic old Machrihanish course, the ambitious Mac Dunes project and the quirky little Dunaverty certainly makes the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre a worthy golf destination. The Dunes is no doubt a fabulous course in a spectacular setting and for a course of such young age it is a wonderfully natural layout. Despite that, it lacks the maturity of its highly esteemed neighbour, and it's hard to put your finger on what really makes that difference. There are some absolutely fantastic holes on both the front and back nines though, so much that it's hard to pick favourites. Definitely recommended!
Reay is the most northernly 18 hole links on the British mainland and the design is attributed to James Braid. It plays 5831 yds from the men's tees to a par of 69, so it's fairly short which is not unusual for an "old" Scottish links. It had rained through the night and the forecast predicted even more rain for our day at Reay, but out of nowhere it turned into a wonderful day and the course still played nicely firm. To give you an idea of how busy the course is - it was a sunny saturday and we counted six other golfers out there all day! Now, with little idea what to expect but quite some expectations, it was a very fun day. Reay is not great and it is surely not the next Cruden Bay or Brora, but it is pretty good and a very enjoyable walk. There are very good holes at Reay aswell as uninteresting ones. The overall flow of the course is very nice, the first holes starting out flat and wide, before the challenges increase on the long par 5 4th with a blind second shot and the green hard against OOB. There are a few very good holes along the shore following, most notably the amazing par 5 6th and the spectacular par 3 7th. The second 9 plays over a hill that at times takes the course away from linksy terrain, but there are a couple of really interesting green complexes there such as on 11, the wonderful short downhill par 4 16 and the strong 17th. If you are in the area, it should be a no brainer to check out Reay, you'll have a wonderful day (if you can manage to ignore the industrial power station that's very close and visible from nearly every hole).
Arguably it isn’t the longest course, there are 6 par 3’s and 3/4 par 5’s. It measures 4967/5800 so is an easy walking course. In the shadow of its big boy neighbours you can catch a glimpse of the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles as you enjoy playing Auchterarder. Life started in 1913 when Ben Sayers designed a 9 hole golf course. In the early years maintenance was done by goats grazing the high ground. With WWII came the call up of a lot of its members, it also saw the golf course return to pasture land once again. Post war and into the 1950’s and 1960’s the Old Nine was recognised a good place to play. In 1979 it became an 18 hole course. More recent works include an extension to the clubhouse in 2002. It was lovely to see some of the names of the holes. No. 7 is called Dinnae Stray, a par 4 SI5/9 332/473 yards. The exit off the tee is a little intimidating with established trees left and right. It does open up a little but the green with its amphitheatre of trees around the back of the green add drama. Quite an appropriate name though!
Being so close to exceptional links courses, playing Blairgowrie offers a great, yet equally tough golfing experience. Usually without the buffeting wind! An established woodland course with a huge dollop of heathland thrown in for good measure. Carved out of scots pines, silver birch and enough heather to bring everyone good luck, except when playing golf. It isn’t unusually to see red squirrels and roe deer wandering around this peaceful setting. I loved the way the course ran around the site, in amongst the tall trees and ball grabbing heather. The fairways clearly laid out in the woodland as if a band aid had been ripped off a hairy leg. I’m sure thats not how golf course designers do their planning, but it does conjure up the image I want! This classic mature golf course with its unique design mix of MacKenzie and Braid is a pleasure to play. I can’t wait to get back. You could say two great designers of the time put their mark on this course. .
It is unclear where the name Carnoustie came from. Most likely it is from Scandinavian nouns of Car and Noust, meaning Rock and Bay respectively. As you stand on the first tee of the Championship course, the hotel behind you, you’re pretty much out there alone. The Tee box, despite it proximity to the clubhouse and Links House is almost in the middle of the course, or so it seems. Barry Burn makes a menacing appearance early on, but slinks back into oblivion until the closing holes. It is a relatively flat course, quite open and the weather is in play pretty much all the way round. Playing Carnoustie was one of the rare moments where I had done some research before visiting. Being such an iconic course, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on any experiences. You know how it is when you go on holiday only to return home 2 weeks later being told you should have visited….. The greens are generally quite large at Carnoustie, they are short cut and roll like anything - or have the days I’ve played! The oldest Ladies Club in the World is at Carnoustie with gender discrimination being a nasty word. That’s the only time ‘nasty' should be used when referring to this golf course.
There seems to be a tendency among golf course reviewers to approach their evaluation from an almost scientific standpoint - ranking different aspects of the experience individually, as if the whole was only the sum of its parts. For anyone with a passion for links golf and an eye for details however, Prestwick is the course that has the power to expose such ratings attempts as useless. It's where an outstanding history, a naturally gifted site and some of the most unique architectural features in the world of golf blend into one unique piece of golfing heaven. Where the 'weaknesses' of the course add as much to the experience as its strengths. I do admit that I have a special relation to Prestwick, having been able to play the course about 10 times throughout the years, while being hosted by a former club captain who was an incredibly hospitable and kind man. But instead of trying to count subjectivity out of the equation, I think it's a helpful tool to truly evaluate courses - so let me make the case for Prestwick. Much has been written about its history, but the course remains underrated in my opinion - because there's such a variety of holes, ranging from quirky classics to serious championship holes. Within the first five holes, you play a par 4 alongside the railway line which happens to play as a strategical masterpiece, a relatively unspectacular par 3 with an interestistingly detailed green, a par 5 over huge sleeper-lined bunkers and some of the most rumpled links land you'll ever witness, a flattish par 4 that nicely uses a creek in a cape hole style and which serves as a qualitative but tranquil breather before the famous blind par-3 5th, the Himalayas. I mean, that's everything that's possibly good about golf courses only within these 5 holes! The stretch between holes 6-9 is often critizised, but except for the 6th hole (which I consider the only weak hole on the course because of its really awkward green site pressed into the back of a dune), I think they're good holes in their own right, serve as breathers between the quirkier parts of the course and add to its variety. In terms of variety I'm thinking of the 8th green, with its heavily back to front sloping green adding another layer to the already immense variety of green complexes at Prestwick. The 10th kind of takes the course back to action with the most scenic tee shot on the course. 11 and 12 are solid holes, while the famous 13th brings us back to roller-coaster humpy bumpy links land. 14 is another breather, while the stretch from 15 to the famous 'Alps' 17th brings us the final action with incredibly tricky, but (at least at 15 and 17) receptive green complexes. 18 finishes a round in style which I think is as well balanced as you will find anywhere. Prestwick may not fit in the category of stern championship links tests - but if you can't find the magic of Scottish links golf here, you won't find it anywhere! You just need to manage a way not to let the airport noise get in your head too much ;).
Originally a nine-hole course the James Braid Queens Course opened in 1919. Later being extended to a full 18 holes in 1925. Often regarded as the little sister to the Kings and the newer PGA Centenary courses. Shorter in length than its big brothers, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by this par 68 course. It packs a punch with its receptive fairways and great quality greens. Even in the wettest Perthshire weather, those greens seem to hold up well. In 2017 course realignment bought it back to the original Braid design. The course had gone through a series of renovations to suit the time which meant some bunkers were lost into the rough. Using old imagery the original design was reinstated calling for 89 bunkers being re-built and some drainage work is undertaken. I recall the 13th, a pretty par 3 with sculptured fairways around heather and water in play. Offset by the backdrop of tall trees looming in the distance. Quite an intimidating hole despite its relatively short length of only 129/140 yards. The closing hole, aptly called ‘Queen’s Hame’ does entice you across the water to an inviting, reasonably wide fairway, before it softly bends left to the green insight. It has to be said this is one of the most welcoming closing holes. Not least because of the Dormy House looming ever-present on the left as you putt out. The onsite hotel was refurbished in 2016. This 232 bedroom hotel wraps itself around a central courtyard entrance with its grey, almost gothic in style, granite arms outstretched to envelop you into its warmth. A lovely bar and plenty of food choices are available, so you’ll be spoilt for choice as you ponder the 'what ifs’ of your round on the Queens Course.