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Sean_A

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Convivial COVESEA LINKS New
« on: July 11, 2021, 07:09:14 AM »
Tucked away in a cove between caves and Hopeman and Moray golf clubs, is a jewel of a course.  Covesea is the brainchild of Andy Burnett who built the pocket-size course in 2010.  Unfortunately, the clubhouse/restaurant burnt down in 2014 and a new house has yet to be built. Many golfers use the excellent Twenty Nineteen Cafť just down the road as a refilling station. This amenity will be useful on a pleasant day as it can easily be imagined that several loops around this charming links (well, almost a links!) would be in order. As it is, there is an honesty box with a packet containing a scorecard, pencil and Covid registration envelope. One may get lucky and meet Andy or his wife, in which case credit card services may be offeredÖthe machine may or may not connect.


 


The card indicates a course of 2000 yards, par 31. What the card fails to announce is the rugged nature of the property. The lower section of the property (holes 1-4) is classic rumpled links. The greens, however, are decidedly unlinks-like. I suspect this difference in presentation is a way to make the very small greens more receptive and thus save a bit of money in maintenance. If the greens were firmer they would need to be far larger and/or less creative than the current picnic blanket size surfaces.  The 5th elevates the golfer to the upper part of the premises which, with the exception of 6, are a collection of holes which are emphatically not links. These holes are more akin to the sea stacks section of Cullen, some 40 minutes to the east.



A pleasant start, the par three 1st doesn't play terribly short into a headwind.


If Covesea has a label, it would be narrow. #2.




There are several narrow greens as well. This two-tier green runs away from play.


The delightfully evil third cranks the dial a bit further.




Niall is trying to negotiate the slippery downhill chip.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 15, 2023, 02:38:02 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS 1-3
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2021, 08:01:58 AM »
Splendid! :)
The game needs more courses like this.
atb
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 04:32:45 PM by Thomas Dai »

jeffwarne

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Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS 1-3
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2021, 08:10:11 AM »
Great pics- i pumped one right off the barn on #2
Turf looks fantastic
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Niall C

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Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS 1-3
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2021, 04:28:34 PM »
It's easy to miss short chips because of the uproar of the butterflies in the adjoining meadow Sean Arble taking his bloody pictures !


Niall

Sean_A

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Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS 1-3
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 08:01:19 AM »
Great pics- i pumped one right off the barn on #2
Turf looks fantastic

That was my fear(ish)...layed up.

COVESEA TOUR CONT

Another very good hole, the 4th has a split fairway which isn't readily apparent in the gloomy light we had.


Lovely humpty bumpty terrain.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 01:09:22 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS 1-4 New
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2021, 05:46:31 AM »
COVESEA TOUR CONT

We leave the links for the remaining five holes, but the tradeoff is funkier golf. The 5th is under 100 yards, uphill and blind.


The banana shaped green, however, is the most testing aspect of the hole. Again, this is the sort of green which wouldn't work unless the surface was receptive. As is, the design is very much flirting with the dodgy side of golf. The tee is to the right.


Did I mention the location is special?


Straight downhill, at 221 yards the 6th is the longest short hole on the course. There isn't much room for four holes in this section of the property! The next tee is on high ground right of the green, an area that must be popular for tee shots on the 6th.  Trees have been planted for protection, but I fear the planting is out of control. Unless most of the trees are removed soon, in ten years it will be solid trees up the right and to the rear right of the 8th hole: a big mistake imo. 


Similar to Cullen, the 7th plays over a rock outcropping. Disimilar to Cullen, the green is highly engaging.


I wish the hoses were removed when not in use  :-\ .




Played between two outcroppings, the 8th is an opportunity for an eagle.


An interesting bunker which will see a fair share of business.




The par 3s are a tough set, but perhaps the finishing hole may be the most difficult.


The saddle green might just fit a horse.


Covesea is a quick nine holes, but potentially very destructive to the card carrying crowd.  Due to the runty greens, most handicap players will need tidy short games to score well.  Given the one man band nature of the project, I am impressed.  I look forward to a return visit!  2021

Other courses on the Moray Coast.

Moray Old
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,69964.0.html

Moray New
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,70026.0.html

Cullen
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,69999.0.html
« Last Edit: October 15, 2023, 02:42:04 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2021, 06:17:15 AM »
Sean


Well done on another great tour. I'm pleased you enjoyed the course and perhaps even surprised you liked it so much. It's a course to be enjoyed as an add on to a tour, or if a local, for a bit extra-curricular fun. In a world of WHS and every round counts I do wonder if courses like this will survive, or maybe I'm being overly pessimistic and they are the way forward ?


Niall

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2021, 07:18:34 AM »
Excellent. Well done.
If only there were more courses akin to this.

Atb

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2021, 07:42:38 AM »
Well done on another great tour. I'm pleased you enjoyed the course and perhaps even surprised you liked it so much. It's a course to be enjoyed as an add on to a tour, or if a local, for a bit extra-curricular fun. In a world of WHS and every round counts I do wonder if courses like this will survive, or maybe I'm being overly pessimistic and they are the way forward ?

Loved the tour. Covesea made me think of the US resort trend to add par 3 courses for those that don't want to play 36 a day on a full 18. Something like this would be even better, IMO.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 09:37:49 AM »
Pondering this again and thinking how much fun, interest and challenge it could be to play courses like this but with a golf ball that only goes say 60%-80% as far as the current ball. Not everyone would have to use it but what a nice option. Similarly for the very young or the elderly or the infirm the opportunity to play such courses with a ball that would go say 125%-150% further than the current ball might be rather nice and maybe even keep more folks playing the game for longer. Smaller land and water footprint, quicker rounds and all that too.
Atb


Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2021, 10:11:29 AM »
Iím not sure Iíd take time away from a trip to the UK to play the course but it looks like a nice place to learn the game or have a quick nine in the evening. Thanks for finding and posting about such places.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

James Reader

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2021, 02:38:22 PM »
Completely agree on the tree planting Sean; I played there last year and thought the same.  The line along the right of the 3rd on the run up to the green is particularly egregious and they need to be pulled out before they get any higher than 4 feet.


But thatís a very minor quibble about a course where thereís so much to like.  Itís not often that a course makes me laugh out loud (in a good way!) but Covesea did twice - walking up the hill and seeing the 5th green for the first time, and the pin position on the back tier of the 7th, which was difficult enough to to hit from the front of the green let alone from 150 yards blind over a sea stack!

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2021, 04:44:29 PM »
Well done on another great tour. I'm pleased you enjoyed the course and perhaps even surprised you liked it so much. It's a course to be enjoyed as an add on to a tour, or if a local, for a bit extra-curricular fun. In a world of WHS and every round counts I do wonder if courses like this will survive, or maybe I'm being overly pessimistic and they are the way forward ?

Loved the tour. Covesea made me think of the US resort trend to add par 3 courses for those that don't want to play 36 a day on a full 18. Something like this would be even better, IMO.


I agree
27 is often the best number when travelling, and it's nice to play something besides par 3 courses-no matter how good they are.
I definitely would like to see more smaller scale 9 holers(multiple 1/2 par holes) designed for such at resorts, perhaps populated by newer players/significant others/families in the mornings.
I try to schedule 9 holers in the afternoon, best paired with a tough walk or bigger course.
Machrahanish Dunes/Carradale, Portsalon/Otway, Narin & Portnoo/Cruit
Castlerock/Bann, Tralee/Castlegregory, Lahinch/Spanish Point, Fraserburgh/Rosehearty, and Old Moray/Covesea are just a few I've enjoyed.


The shame is that there are sooo many 18 holers in the UK that were originally 9, where the original 9 is outstanding, and the other 9, forced.Would've made trip planning so much easier;)
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2021, 07:54:41 AM »
Jeff

I agree however before being redesigned in 2010 this was a 12 hole par 3 course with several of the long holes being two par 3 holes played back to back. Maybe this could be part of a trend back to 9 holers ? I recently played a course near Glasgow where they had gone back to nine holes after many, many years as an 18 holer. I can't honestly say for sure that the remaining nine holes were the original nine holes but they were certainly funky enough to make me think they were.

Niall

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2021, 08:03:01 AM »
There will likely come a time when for some reason or another I will no longer be able or even desire to play Ďa standard lengthí 18-hole or even 9-hole course and when that time comes having access to courses akin to this will be perfect.
Atb

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2021, 08:51:00 AM »
Iím not sure Iíd take time away from a trip to the UK to play the course but it looks like a nice place to learn the game or have a quick nine in the evening. Thanks for finding and posting about such places.


Oh my...
Soul check on Aisle 5 ;)


I do get that time has to be properly allocated on an overseas trip, and it only makes sense if in the area. Certainly to be in the Moray area would indicate a somewhat intrepid traveler already(as it's well off the overseas tourist path-though relatively well known Nairn is just 41 minutes down the road, and Castle Stuart another 20 minutes farther).


Covesea's a FIVE minute drive from Old Moray, and could be played in an hour-to an hour and a half.
The setting and landscape are spectacular.
Courses such such as this ARE the reason I go to the UK.
The perfect capper after a nearby 18 holer.
The scale of such a course is perfect for a large majority of golfers(and incredibly fun for low cappers too), without the need for multiple sets of tees, where many in the US end up playing their "full sized" course at a similar yardage as Covesea anyway-while walking hundreds of yards between holes to avoid playing "off the wrong tees"


I found every single hole at Covesea enchanting and different, whereas, despite enjoying Moray Old, I have a hard time remembering the holes as well as I do Covesea. Moray Old was fine, albeit mostly subtle golf , including the terriffic finishing hole my hotel overlooked, but Covesea was just so different and memorable.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 09:15:37 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2021, 10:03:43 AM »
Covesea's a FIVE minute drive from Old Moray, and could be played in an hour-to an hour and a half.
The setting and landscape are spectacular.
Courses such such as this ARE the reason I go to the UK.

Lesser known courses certainly add to the memorability of a trip. I've not played Covesea, but I don't intend to miss it when I get in that area.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2021, 10:42:00 AM »
Iím not sure Iíd take time away from a trip to the UK to play the course but it looks like a nice place to learn the game or have a quick nine in the evening. Thanks for finding and posting about such places.

Oh my...
Soul check on Aisle 5 ;)

I do get that time has to be properly allocated on an overseas trip, and it only makes sense if in the area. Certainly to be in the Moray area would indicate a somewhat intrepid traveler already(as it's well off the overseas tourist path-though relatively well known Nairn is just 41 minutes down the road, and Castle Stuart another 20 minutes farther).

Covesea's a FIVE minute drive from Old Moray, and could be played in an hour-to an hour and a half.

I found every single hole at Covesea enchanting and different, whereas, despite enjoying Moray Old, I have a hard time remembering the holes as well as I do Covesea. Moray Old was fine, albeit mostly subtle golf , including the terriffic finishing hole my hotel overlooked, but Covesea was just so different and memorable.

I think the memorability of Moray Old suffers a bit due to play between bunkers. Its not the most imaginative bunker scheme.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 07:42:30 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2021, 12:39:45 PM »



If Covesea has a label, it would be narrow. #2.





No1. Things you never thought you'd hear from Sean....and he really liked it.


There's something about the place that tears up all the rules.   The 9th is an upturned pringle crisp. 11 yards wide, maybe 3- 4' higher each side, 12 yards away and a miss is often a lost ball - there's gorse within 20'.  This hole is well  beyond whats (normally) acceptable. Don't like the 9th.


But like James Reader I couldn't help myself cheering when I saw that 5th green.  Imagine the longest thinnest (6 yards?) Par 3 green turned into a banana shape and you have to approach it blind from more than 20' below. Also if you get beyond the pin your chip back is unlikely to hold that slope! There's only one word for it. Genius!




I've played a ton of golf since and I can't help thinking about it.   There's so much good local golf and I agree with all those above suggesting its the perfect add on to the day. I will get back to the area and find a way to play it again.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2021, 03:20:23 AM »
Spangles

The 9th is harsh with only a miss short for such a tight target. The crap around the green should go, especially to the right if for no other reason than that would be a cool recovery shot.

I think Covesea gets much more right than not, though I am concerned about the tree plantings. I would go back in a heartbeat if in the area.

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 04:13:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2021, 03:25:31 AM »
Only an approx 40 mins drive from Inverness Airport.
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2021, 03:45:18 AM »
Only an approx 40 mins drive from Inverness Airport.
Atb

Covesea is minutes from Moray and not far from Nairn and Castle Stuart.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Minehead & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2023, 05:53:49 AM »
Here are some recent photos of delightful, full of fun and quirk, super sword greens, Covesea near Lossiemouth and its lighthouse.
I reckon the place is terrific and a great effort by the husband and wife team who built and operate it.
My only negative would be the amount of trees that have been planted, something I fear may come back to haunt them in the years ahead.
atb






Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Convivial COVESEA LINKS
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2023, 09:49:29 AM »
Here are some recent photos of delightful, full of fun and quirk, super sword greens, Covesea near Lossiemouth and its lighthouse.
I reckon the place is terrific and a great effort by the husband and wife team who built and operate it.
My only negative would be the amount of trees that have been planted, something I fear may come back to haunt them in the years ahead.
atb








David


Were you up there ?


Niall

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