I had read all about Dumbarnie, couldn’t wait to play it, and after two rounds there am full of praise for this excellent new addition to the Scottish golf scene.
Both rounds were in a competition on dry, partly sunny and relatively calm days, and good scoring from the blue tees was quite possible. Regardless of score, all golfers ended their round with a smile on their faces, having clearly enjoyed the experience.
As would be expected with the course being less than two years old there is still some bedding down to do, but the challenges are fair with many raised tees. The golfer can clearly see these challenges set out before him on fairways that are generous but with many strategically placed bunkers and periodic water hazards. I feel that Dumbarnie is a thorough examination of one’s all-round golf game, and sure enough strengths are magnified as are weaknesses!
Most of all, I like the feeling of open space. The course occupies an unusually large site, there is a lack of buildings other than the Clubhouse, and the golfer has only fairways, greens, sand dunes, the nearby Firth of Forth and his/her playing partners for company. This all helped to create a ‘good to be alive’ feeling and sheer pleasure of being at Dumbarnie on a pleasant late summer’s day.
The first hole sets the scene with a 400yard par four that requires two good blows if the burn in front of the green is not to be brought into play. The par fives at 2 and 16 are simply magnificent holes, and there are so many very good ones. If I am to be a little ‘picky’, I found the 7th to be by some way the best of 4 good, but not exceptional, par threes. My first round also taught me that as a mid-handicap golfer I am not good enough to take on the risk of the ‘risk-and-reward holes, particularly the uphill 17th where the drive over a stone wall looks so achievable from the tee, reality is very different.
Dumbarnie is surely destined to be a top golf course on any ranking list, and is already a ‘must play’ for all golfers who aspire to play on the best courses in the world.
Date: August 30, 2021