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Chris Burgard

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Scottish Links not in the archives
« on: July 24, 2006, 06:04:10 PM »

The following links seem to have little or no mention in the archives. Has anyone played them and would you recommend a round to someone visiting?

Balnagask
Kings Links
Newburgh on Ythan
Spey Bay
Buckpool
Lossiemouth New
Hopeman
Reay
Wick
Powfoot
Arbroath
Troon Lochgreen
Troon Darley
Wigtownshire County
West Kilbride
Strathlene Buckie
Brighouse Bay
Eyemouth
Craigielaw
Garmouth & Kingston
Portpatrick Dunskey

Thanks again!
Chris

ps. if any of these are not links courses please let me know as well. It was the visitscotland website that classified them this way


David_Tepper

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 06:35:34 PM »
Chris -

I have not played Reay or Wick, although I have driven by both of them. I have heard they are both pretty good. The problem is that you would have to drive past Tain, Royal Dornoch, Golspie & Brora to get to either Reay or Wick and neither of those 2 courses is a good as the other four.

DT

Brian_Ewen

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 07:04:13 PM »
Chris
I play Balnagask , Kings Links on a regular basis .

Kings Links is very flat , a little bland but does have a couple of cracking holes , including a par3 Spion Kop .

Balnagask , I have been tempted to do a posting on before , as it is a very quirky links with a LOT of blind shots , that always seems to play fast and firm , and has fantastic views of Aberdeen .

Arbroath , I have done a posting on before , and is a very underated Braid in my opinion .

Chris , I live in Aberdeenshire and play my home golf at Stonehaven . If you need more info. on golf in this area , give me a shout .

Best Regards
Brian


Brian_Ewen

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 07:14:10 PM »
The 10th hole at Balnagask .

« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 12:17:29 PM by Brian_Ewen »

Phil McDade

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 12:10:24 AM »
Chris:

Spey Bay, Buckpool, Strathlene Buckie, Lossiemouth New, and Hopeman are all links courses on the northeastern coast of Scotland -- east of Nairn and west of Fraserburgh. Buckpool plays on linksy turf, but on ground that's up above from the coast. It has a pretty strong reputation in the area. Spey Bay is fairly flat; Strathlene is odd and quirky and pretty unconventional. Hopeman is probably of somewhat lesser quality, although it has one outstanding, downhill par 3 with seaside views. Lossiemouth New probably doesn't have the cache of the old course there, but it's a true links and reputed to be a good test. Henry Cotton the designer?

Others in this area include Cullen (quirky times 10 amongst the sea stacks), Royal Tarlair (mundane, except for a great three-hole stretch on top of the cliffs) and Duff House Royal at Banff, with greens by MacKenzie -- parkland, not links, but right across the street from the North Sea.

I would second Brian's advice on a round at Stonehaven if in the Aberdeen area. Disparaged by some, loved by many who've played it, a truly unconventional course with all-world par 3s. And a great clubhouse (and welcoming regulars) to boot.


ForkaB

Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2006, 02:04:54 AM »
Chris

If your interest is identifying all the links courses in Scotland, buy or borrow Robert Price's book (see the Feature Interview on this site for more details).

Vis a vis the courses you mentioned I've only played Powfoot  and Lossiemouth (New).  The former is not a links, from my memory, but the latter is, and it is a good one.  Not worth the journey per se, but if you are in the area and playing the Old Course the New is worth visting.  Henry Cotton did a good job there.  There is a group of 3 holes out at the end of the course that they call the Bermuda Triangle.  In their annual 5-day Open, anybody playing them to par or better wins a sleeve of golf balls! :)

Eric Franzen

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2006, 02:19:16 AM »
West Kilbride is designed by Old Tom Morris (nine of the holes), Willie Fernie (rest of the holes) with additional modifications by James Braid. I enjoyed it as a minimalistic and flat seaside links course.

Troon Darley is one of the municipal courses next to train station. It is supposed to be rated as one of the hardest courses in Scotland. I found quite narrow, with fairways surrounded by thick heather, and quirky with a bunch of blind shots. The course is usually very crowded so expect a slow pace of play.

Mark Pearce

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2006, 10:06:12 AM »
I've played Reay, Troon Lochgreen and Craigielaw.

Reay is a decent course, in the shadow of the Dounreay nuclear power plant.  It's a long way north and, as has been said, not up to the standard of the courses you pass to get to it.

Troon Lochgreen I played a long time ago, before my golf game or my experience of courses really allowed me to judge it.

Craigielaw I've played a few times recently.  It adjoins Kilspindie (I think the fourth and fifth holes run along the boundary with Kilspindie) and is a modern links design.  It's a pretty good course, without quite being of the standard of many of the surrounding courses.  I wonder whether this may come with time?  I have, I should say, always been made extremely welcome at Craigielaw, which is not the case at many such modern courses.

Philippe Binette

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2006, 11:33:14 AM »
I've seen Reay, Wick, Spey Bay, Newburgh, Fortrose & Rosemarkie

the real discovery: TARBAT GOLF CLUB, Portmahomack

more to come


ForkaB

Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 11:49:29 AM »
Phillipe

Have you actually PLAYED Tarbat?  I've driven by it many times but always with sprogs in tow.  It looks a bit qiurky and cool and I think it was done by Sutherland.  Tell us more!

Oh yeah, and I don't think it is a links, BTW.

rich
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 11:51:14 AM by Rich Goodale »

David_Tepper

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 12:31:33 PM »
Rich -

I have played the 9-hole Tarbat course once. Your are correct that it is not a links, although several of the holes do have links-like terrain, similar to some of the holes at Tain. It is certainly worth playing once, but I would not drive pass Tain to play it again.

I have also played the 9-holer at Bonar Bridge a few times. A totally inland course with trees & heather-lined fairways and some nice views over Loch Migdale.  

Phillipe -

Fortrose is a great spot and very much worth playing. It has been discussed/mentioned on this board a number of times.
I am interested to hear what you think of Wick.

DT  


Philippe Binette

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2006, 01:20:10 PM »
Yes, I've played Tarbat... I don't agree with David Tepper though, Tarbat is build on sand, not close to the sea but so is Lytham and St.Annes, so I call it a links

It features some of the coolest short par 4 I've ever seen...

I thought Tain was not that great, couple of cool holes, one awesome green

Phil McDade

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2006, 12:33:43 AM »
Rich:

I have to ask:

"Sprogs in tow..."??

I think I know, but still...wondering.

Cheers!

P.S. Tarbat is on my must-play list on the next trip overseas, which will be based in Dornoch. Speaking of off-the-beaten-path, anyone out there ever play Strathpeffer? I hear: great views, odd-distanced holes, tough walk.

ForkaB

Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2006, 03:09:48 AM »
Phil

Sprogs=Children=Rug rats

There is a great Pictish museum in Portmahomack as well as a great seafood restuarant, The Oyster Catcher.  Golf never seems to be on the agenda.

Of course I've played Strathpeffer.  I think Tom Doak has too.

When you drive up to the clubhouse you see a green on the horizon which looks like it is 1000 feet above the 1st tee, which it is.  It's the 8th, I think and you can see Greenland from there when the weather conditions are right.  The punch line is that when you finally get on the 1st tee you see that the 1st green is 300 feet down the hill, so your walk up the mountain from 2-8 is actually 1300 feet.

A fun course with bonus points for quirk and the views but not recommended for anybody with a heart condition.

Marty Bonnar

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2006, 05:31:47 AM »
Of this selection, I've played Eyemouth, Powfoot and Craigielaw. None of which I'd really make any special effort to see/play again.

Powfoot - has a couple of nice Braid-y holes, otherwise, nothing to see here - move along, people.

Craigielaw - I've vented my spleen on here before. For the life of me, I cannot remember a duller golf course. EVERY green a Ross push-up with seemingly the same bunkering scheme throughout. Blech!

Eyemouth - dull as ditchwater, esp. 11 thru 17, an uphill/downhill death march which will sap your very will to live. (They got some new inland ground when the council built a bypass - truly dreadful).
The Courses only redeeming factor - Par 3 #6 over the cliffs:



This is a genuine HOOT to play! Pay the green fee, walk straight to the 6th tee, play, leave.

FBD.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Brian_Ewen

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2006, 05:34:41 AM »
Martin
Did you see Eyemouth GC on the news last night ? .

Seemingly the have a sewage smell problem wafting over the course .

Nice in this weather ! .

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re:Scottish Links not in the archives
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2006, 12:56:54 PM »
I've played Portpatrick a number of times - it's fun, holiday golf if you happen to be in the area, but not worth the detour.  Its main claim to fame is a driveable short par 4 played down and along the cliffs.  I'd not call it links, though it does have some links-like holes.  There are some pretty dull holes, one or two characterful par 3w.  It had no sand bunkers when I first knew it in the 60s.  It has one or two now.

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