A good course which was in excellent condition on July 15 despite a lot of rain over the previous few days. It's not in the same class as the likes of Blairgowrie and Ladybank but it's still an enjoyable place for a game. The greens were good, although difficult to read, and beware of anything downhill unless you're confident on those five-footers coming back! Unfortunately the 1st, an uninspiring uphill par 3, gets the round off to a weak start. Things improve at the short par 4 2nd - a mirror in a tree next to the tee box shows when it's ok to hit! It's quite tricky to hold the left to right sloping fairway on the longer 3rd but if you can avoid tree trouble there's not to much to worry about. The 4th is another weak one, an uphill par 3 which was only a flick with a wedge. Back to back par 5s follow in opposite directions, the second of which is a definite two-shotter. The 7th is stroke 1 and it's easy to see why when played back into the wind. Hole 8 is a nice little short par 4, only 270 yards so reachable for longer hitters. There are plenty of bunkers about to catch the errant drive though. The downhill par 5 9th is straight forward enough but a severely sloping green makes things tricky. Hole 10 is a so-so par 4. The 11th is arguably the best on the course, an uphill right to left doglegging par 4. It's only 330 yards but there's trouble left and right. Avoid that and there's a flick left to a 2-tier green. The 12th is a tough hole, stroke 2, with an awkward drive on to another sloping fairway. Leave your approach below the hole at all costs. Anything on the wrong side is likely to lead to 3 putts. The 13th is a hard uphill par 3, trouble right and a tough chip if you miss it left. The short par 4 14th is a nice hole and offers a birdie chance and the 15th is another good hole, a dog leg par 4 played from an elevated tee offering great views of the Perthshire countryside. You can take off a bit of the corner here. The 16th is a cracker, a long par 4 needing a good drive and a longish iron into an inviting green. The downhill par 3 17th looks innocuous enough but take care not to go long. The 18th is a driveable par 4 but with out of bounds on both sides it's an intimidating shot to take on. So, all in all, there are maybe half a dozen weak holes which prevent Crieff from getting into the top ranks of Scotland's inland courses but it is still a lovely place to play. There's a decent clubhouse with first floor lounge/bar overlooking the 18th too.
Date: July 16, 2010