Played 36 late April 2015, 1-2 club wind max, nearly 60 F/15 C. Beautiful, spacious and arresting but just a touch less interesting than I had hoped – still a very fine time out. The course is about finding the best angles in the humongous fairways off the tee to set up the easiest approach. That strategic pursuit is repeated so often that it makes playing the course (dare I say it) a trifle dull in my view, especially the plateau holes. Still, I enjoyed holes like 7, 9 and 15 where a drive to the left nearer trouble sets up a far easier approach than a drive to the seemingly safer right side. The par 3s were my favorite part -- a nice mix and quite fun (especially 11 and 17), with some deceitful movement on the greens (I think I had a quadruple break on 8). The greens themselves weren’t especially tough unless you were quite far from the pin – if on the same tier, you’d be rewarded with a relatively simple putt. If far away, look out for your speed across multiple tiers. The course thus encourages the use of the around game around the greens. The views of the firth are terrific and the bunkering is beautiful in spots – some of the best visually I’ve ever seen -- though apart from the difficult greenside squeezes on 2 and 6, not necessarily set up to trap close mishits. My group found this course among their favorites in the Highlands. Me, I prefer more traditional links but would certainly give CS another try. It’s a slog of a walk though (the hill between 12 and 13, phew). It’s a spendy place, but quality caddies and a very warm and positive welcome from the starter; good food in a nice clubhouse and a solid practice facility summed up an enjoyable day.
Date: April 29, 2015