I think that Peter Thompson - the original designer of the course - should be given credit for his decision to steer away from the inland links-like concept that many designers adopt when designing new courses nowadays.
The Duke's is a full-fledged & challenging parkland championship golf course, and - despite its young age - has settled in the surroundings very well. Visually attractive and technically challenging are the combination of the wild bunkers & the gorse on the Duke's. Every hole is unique and most are separated from the next one, giving a very secluded feel when playing the holes. Given the quality of the design and the length of the course, I'm not surprised the venue has been used for top tournament events already.
I was only surprised by the quality of the greens. The designs are very good & the undulations are challenging, but - given the fact that it is an inland track - I would expect the greens to run much faster. I image the Duke's would really stand out as a class of its own, if it would be presented with proper running greens offering a fair putting test at every hole.
The Duke's will definitely be on the playing list next time we visit Fife.
Date: July 25, 2017