Lovely contrast compared with the other St Andrews courses and well worth playing. Apart from the 3rd, the rest of the par 3s are circa 200 yards. This is not only tough but lacks variety. The holes are very decent though. The front 9 is “prettier” than the back as the colour from the gorse is more apparent. The 1st sets the tone and is a pleasing start both architecturally and aesthetically. The par 4 2nd was my least favourite hole as the trees are close to the fairway on both sides which feels “tight” especially, as a very long par 4, where you have to hit driver. If I could hit the ball 275 and straight I would probably love it. The 3rd is a lovely par 3 with a nice use of waste bunkers. The 4th is a great par 4 with an interesting green entrance. The green is almost surrounded by trees and a swath has been cut through them at the front of the green. Unusual feature, I just don’t know what I think about it ! The 7th is possibly the best hole on the course, long par 4 left to right which finishes with a distant view of the town. The back 9 starts well with an excellent par 4 with a stream that needs to be considered playing the second shot. Holes 11 through 15 are brutes although there I a feeling of room off the tee. I like the waste area off the drive on 17. Hate to say it but although the 18th is a very strong par 4 from a scratch golfer perspective its appearance is slightly ordinary in comparison with what gone before with a slightly “meadow” look. This however is nit-picking and the Dukes is, in many ways, majestic.
Date: May 17, 2017