Sometimes however, I feel a tug of the old heartstrings that encourage me to return to my golfing genesis. That journey took me on the road and the miles to Dundee, to play Downfield. I have been aware of Downfield for decades as I can remember Peter Alliss hosting a programme from there in the 1970’s so it has always been on my playlist. First impressions of the place were extremely favourable with the Pro offering to put back our tee time to allow us a bit of respite from our 2 hour drive from Glasgow. Such was our eagerness to play the course however, we decided to press on.
The first thing that struck me about the place was the proliferation of trees, more than Percy Thrower could shake a stick at, an arborists dream, all colours, shapes and sizes beautifully sited to assist in the shaping and framing of holes, just wonderful. One disappointment was that the 4th and 5th holes were still on winter greens with the 4th, in particular a fantastic hole, c’est la vie. This was more than made up for by the quality of the rest of the course with the 13th and 15th the only holes that I didn’t really enjoy. The rest I found good or very good (2,7,8,14 and 16) but my 2 favourite holes were the celebrated 11th, Paddler’s Joy a 434 yards dogleg from the regulars with a double greenside water hazard and the 12th, an aesthetically pleasing short par 3, together giving Downfield a mini Amen Corner if you like. So in the end I didn’t really miss the links land too much as Downfield was worth every minute of the 4 hour round trip for 3 guys who simply revelled in going back to their roots. MPPJ.