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Mark Pearce

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #50 on: March 07, 2023, 10:14:13 AM »
Niall mentioned Strathtay.  Haven't been there for more than 20 years.  I'm not as good at mountain climbing as I was back then.....

Niall C

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #51 on: March 07, 2023, 12:14:49 PM »
Thank you Tony, only 44 years after my first one !


Niall


ps. the pin was on the left and I was aiming for the middle on the basis that angles don't matter but fortunately I pulled it slightly  ;)

Enno Gerdes

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2023, 01:12:55 PM »


I played New Galloway on the way to Turnberry for the 2009 Open. It's a classic starts in the valley, most of the course is on the moor layout. The course says that members believe it to be Scotland's best nine holer on its website; well, I'm not so sure about that, but once you get up the enormous hill that takes up the first two holes and out onto the open moor, it's certainly very nice. They allow you to cut across from 8 to 3, hence playing a 15 hole round and avoiding going down the hill and back up again if it is quiet. Which was nice.


Adam


I'm very pleased to say that I eventually managed to get to New Galloway at the weekend and very much enjoyed the course. It's much as you describe although I would say the upper level isn't entirely open although it isn't brutally tight either. It's the landforms that make it. Even though the greens were as hairy as my brothers wee Scottie dug, there was enough slope on them to give some interesting borrows. Of course having a hole in one on the 7th perhaps makes me look at the course with rose coloured glasses but I don't think so. There is a lot of good fun golf.


Later in the day I also went back to St Medans and was very pleased to find it as much fun as I remembered. The south west of Scotland is an area that really doesn't get as much attention as it should and while the golf isn't maybe championship standard there's still a lot of fun to be had.


Niall


Good stuff, congrats, Niall!

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2023, 03:36:08 PM »
I played Durness Golf Club in late September with a buddy.
Fantastic experience. It's either Durness, Reay or Wik that is the northernmost course in the UK.


https://www.durnessgolfclub.org/


Last 30 miles was basically on a road the size of a cart path.
Pictures are insane. Wish I could post them.




James Reader

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2023, 12:02:34 PM »
I played the Hillhouse 9 at Kilmarnock last week - frankly not even being aware it was there until a couple of days before - and was impressed. After a fairly ordinary looking opening tee shot, it’s nine holes of really good golf - particularly in the strong wind we had on the day I was there. A number of the greens are very good and the 7th in particular is a great short par 4 (the photo below is from behind the green).


As Niall said, if you’re looking for 9-holes to add on to a round in Ayrshire, you could do a lot worse.



Ken Moum

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2023, 02:30:58 PM »

Other than the famous long cliff side par-3 what’s the 9-hole course at Anstruther like?



Completely forgot about Anstruther when doing my top-10.


Windy, really windy! Otherwise pretty rudimentary. The first tackles an abrupt rise, which is driven down from to finish, and from there it is flat, exposed cliff-top with the exception of the two back-to-back threes. Worth a quick run around just for a crack at the impossibly difficult three.


Just finished a Mixed Greensomes there with my wife, and I have to say that Rockies ain't no hard par three.  It's a driveable par four... or perhaps five.  ??? 


Given that I broke my left wrist on June 2, my expectations were very low, and we managed to get below them.


Still, playing with a member and her brother (a long-time St. Andrews caddy) was as much fun as usual, and the tariff of 15 GBP for both of us for 18 holes was brilliant.


Currently trying to get on TOC through the ballot while cycling on our off days.


And we're booked into a Mixed Open at Nairn Dunbar next Sunday.
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Matt Schoolfield

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2023, 02:45:41 PM »
Jim Hartsell seemed to really, really like Gairloch in his last book.
Building an encyclopedia of golf courses that anyone can edit: Golf Course Wiki
Some strong opinions on golf: Wigs on the Green
I really think golf culture should be more like beer culture than wine culture

Garland Bayley

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2023, 11:14:06 AM »
I played Durness Golf Club in late September with a buddy.
Fantastic experience. It's either Durness, Reay or Wik that is the northernmost course in the UK.


https://www.durnessgolfclub.org/


Last 30 miles was basically on a road the size of a cart path.
Pictures are insane. Wish I could post them.

Orkney golf club is farther north. And, It is my impression that it is not the northernmost.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Niall C

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #58 on: November 11, 2023, 12:16:08 PM »
I have another two to add to the list but first I had a revisit to Tarbat (Portmohomack) which I previously only walked. I was lucky enough to play it during the summer with a couple of GCA friends and it was as much fun as I imagined it would be. A complete antidote to the Championship courses with big green fees, welcome packs and a starter on the first tee. At Tarbat you just put your greenfee in the honesty box, tee it up and a way you go.


The other two;


Leadhills - located about 5 to 10 miles off the A74 to the south of Glasgow, it is an open moorland course run by volunteers. Easily the slowest greens I've played for many a year but with enough slope on them for putts to have borrows. About as rustic as it gets. The clubhouse is a wooden shed that has been condemned with "No Entry" signs on it. Leadhills is reputedly the highest course in Scotland but due to the hills round about it doesn't feel that high relative to Pitlochry or Dufftown but it certainly feels more remote that the two courses mentioned. Greenfees are paid at either the local hotel or the shop next door. It's not compelling golf and wouldn't crack my top ten but still good fun and worth a play if looking for something different.


Gatehouse of Fleet - I played this on the way down to this years BUDA and didn't know what to expect. Its located in the SW of the country where there are a number of nine-holers and Gatehouse of Fleet is the third I've played after St Medan and New Galloway. I loved both of those and pleased to say that GoF provides the same adventurous and quirky golf with an abundance of blind and semi-blind shots. Possibly the only holes without any semblance of blindness are the three par 3's, two of which are drop shots (that tells you something about the terrain) and the other a long par 3 that is possibly the most strategic par 3 I've played. I'm already looking forward o going back next year.


Niall   


 

Niall C

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #59 on: November 11, 2023, 12:28:32 PM »
I forgot to mention Bonar Bridge. I'd previously walked the course but managed to play it this year on the same trip as I played Tarbat. The fact that I forgot about it kind of says something about the course. While it is in a lovely part of the country and has plenty of elevational change it somehow lacks in character. I don't know if it is because it is a relatively modern design/build that has managed to somehow iron out all the interesting wrinkles of the land, but the holes just seemed too "conventional". The golf certainly isn't bad and it was an enjoyable enough round I just didn't love it the way I do with a lot of Scottish nine holers. Anyone else think the same ?


Niall     

Sean_A

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #60 on: December 07, 2023, 06:31:56 AM »
New Galloway, Gate of Fleet or St Medans? I am leaning toward St Medans. Folks who know, what say you?

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

JohnVDB

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #61 on: December 07, 2023, 10:39:47 AM »
I forgot to mention Bonar Bridge. I'd previously walked the course but managed to play it this year on the same trip as I played Tarbat. The fact that I forgot about it kind of says something about the course. While it is in a lovely part of the country and has plenty of elevational change it somehow lacks in character. I don't know if it is because it is a relatively modern design/build that has managed to somehow iron out all the interesting wrinkles of the land, but the holes just seemed too "conventional". The golf certainly isn't bad and it was an enjoyable enough round I just didn't love it the way I do with a lot of Scottish nine holers. Anyone else think the same ?


Niall   
Niall, I felt the same way, it's ok, but I'd rather play Tarbat any time.

Clyde Johnson

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #62 on: December 07, 2023, 02:18:27 PM »
New Galloway, Gate of Fleet or St Medans? I am leaning toward St Medans. Folks who know, what say you?

Ciao


I played all three in one beautiful spring day a couple of years back, and found plenty to interest at each.


St Medan's might just be the most unusual. The fourth is one of the best drivable (for the mere mortals) par-fours I have played anywhere, and for that it should probably get the nod.


New Galloway has a steep initial ascent, but after that there's just the right amount of adventure. The second drives over a drystone wall and bank of gorse, then pitches blindly over a rocky outcropping to a green backing another wall.


A couple of fine holes at Gate of Fleet too, including the par threes to open and close. The majority of the course plays across slope.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #63 on: December 07, 2023, 04:04:07 PM »
I think I've posted this on this thread already, but I played New Galloway with my Dad on the way to Turnberry for the 2009 Open and -- apart from the rather lung-busting ascent on the first two holes -- enjoyed it quite a lot.

I recall at the time it was described, presumably on the club website, as possibly Scotland's best nine holes. I'm not qualified to make that judgement, but it was fun.

Adam
« Last Edit: December 25, 2023, 12:11:59 PM by Adam Lawrence »
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Niall C

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2023, 10:34:46 AM »
Adam


You certainly have posted that story before and it was that post that put the course back on my radar to pay it a visit and I'm very glad I did.


Sean,


Which to pick between St Medan, New Galloway and Gatehouse of Fleet ? That's a tough one. It's like being handed the sweet menu and having to pick between Chocolate Gateaux, Tiramisu and Sherry Trifle. The only proper course of action is be like Clyde and go for all three !


I counted up recently and I reckon I've now played about 40 Scottish nine-holers and these 3 are definitely top 10 in my book. They all have that sense of adventure that the best nine-holers tend to have. Lay of the land courses laid out on scrap bits of ground, with an added rustic charm of basic greenkeeping. I might be doing GoF a disservice in that last regard as the greenkeep was out and about on an impressive bit of kit cutting the grass. More than that, it was evident that quite a lot of scrub and undergrowth had been cleared to give a bit of elbow room.


In terms of points of difference, all of them are on small sites although St Medan at 27 acres is comfortably smaller than GoF at 39 acres and NG at 47 acres, which it manages to overcome by way of a number of holes playing across each other. St Medans is also shorter being 2,272 yards from way way way back from the tips, whereas NG is significantly longer at 2,503 yards and GoF a relative monster at 2,521 yards.


But as we know, yardages don't really tell the story for these types of courses. Each course has some great holes. Clyde mentioned the 4th at StM which is a wonderful driving hole but then the 3rd isn't too shabby either as a long par 3. NG has the holes on top that Adam and Clyde described with the par 4's definitely the pick. GoF is the only one of the 3 with a par 5, which has a blind drive, blind second and depending on how long you are possibly a blind approach ! It does have a couple of drop shot type par 3's but for me the pick of the bunch is definitely the 8th at 189 yards. The direct approach is all carry whereas for shorter hitters they can go left and the ball will come round off the hill and possibly onto the green.


I'm not sure which I'd pick as the best of the three but GoF is the one I want to go back to first, maybe because I played it most recently and it is fresh in my mind, but larger to see if it is as good as I think it is.


Niall         

Sean_A

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #65 on: December 25, 2023, 11:09:36 AM »
Thanks all. Still leaning toward St Medan.


Merry Christmas.
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2024, 02:50:19 PM »
I played the Hillhouse 9 at Kilmarnock last week - frankly not even being aware it was there until a couple of days before - and was impressed. After a fairly ordinary looking opening tee shot, it’s nine holes of really good golf - particularly in the strong wind we had on the day I was there. A number of the greens are very good and the 7th in particular is a great short par 4 (the photo below is from behind the green).


As Niall said, if you’re looking for 9-holes to add on to a round in Ayrshire, you could do a lot worse.




Is Hillhouse worth a detour from Oban? Or is Leadhills the better bet?

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 17, 2024, 02:54:21 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Garland Bayley

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #67 on: January 19, 2024, 05:35:26 PM »
I played the Hillhouse 9 at Kilmarnock last week - frankly not even being aware it was there until a couple of days before - and was impressed. After a fairly ordinary looking opening tee shot, it’s nine holes of really good golf - particularly in the strong wind we had on the day I was there. A number of the greens are very good and the 7th in particular is a great short par 4 (the photo below is from behind the green).


As Niall said, if you’re looking for 9-holes to add on to a round in Ayrshire, you could do a lot worse.




Is Hillhouse worth a detour from Oban? Or is Leadhills the better bet?

Ciao

You're going to Oban? Tell Bobby or his dad that I am a fan. ;)
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

David_Tepper

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #68 on: January 19, 2024, 07:21:25 PM »
We are hoping to get to the Isle of Skye for the bank holiday weekend in May. With so much else to see and do there, is the Isle of Skye GC/Sconser worth playing?

Ken Moum

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Re: Scotland’s “Best” Nine-Holers ?
« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2024, 10:31:29 PM »
We are hoping to get to the Isle of Skye for the bank holiday weekend in May. With so much else to see and do there, is the Isle of Skye GC/Sconser worth playing?


Can't say about the course,  but Lavera wants to play it because the holes are named in Gaelic.


 8)
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

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