This is a magical place to play golf. You pay a lot but the overall welcome and package is fantastic. Right from the arrival you are treated as special. The club house is small but welcoming and inside has a real traditional feel. This is all before you start to play this phenomenal golf course. Even the men’s locker rooms are a treat with its leather sofas and views from its bay windows across the course and North Sea. I do however find it strange that people say the course looks like it has been here for ever. To me it feels like a new course, one that has been designed to make the best of the terrain and view. This is no insult, it truly is a wonderful course and to be fair although a tough test of golf there are some holes which in terms of golf are straight forward but in terms of dramatic effect are wonderful. Kyle Phillips should be truly applauded for this new and dramatic addition to Scotland’s golfing history. Playing the course you can see what Kyle was trying to do, he was trying to build a great challenge whilst providing each hole with a different dramatic back drop. You start from the first tee where there is a straight forward left to right drive, then from your second shot the North Sea comes into view and stays in your view and that is the way Kyle has designed it. For example the fourth is a long up hill par four with an infinity green ………. It just seems to hang there in the middle of the North Sea. The holes that hug the coastline provide an even more dramatic golf view. The 14th is really the courses pinnacle with the lateral water hazard north sea to your left and the enormous 75yard long green (it was back left when we played). There can be few rivals in the world for this hole …….. Pebble Beach …….. that course in New Zealand ….. the Old Head maybe. If there is a criticism I think that sometimes the design has not taken the mere mortal into account. I played the 15th signature hole, the par three across the sea, with a wind in my face and the pin on the far right. The green is just 8 paces across with beach and sea front and back. That means I am hitting a green into the breeze 185 yards away and I have to stop the ball on hard green ………… I went left and three putted from 50 yards. The 18th has a similar problem, a great hole with the second shot played over the courses burn onto a green perched right on its banks but about 25ft up. This would be fine if you were playing an 8 iron or less, however the hole is 414yards. That said it is the experience and the beauty that you pay £150 for and it is worth the money. Will it hold an Open? No and I don’t think it should, it is not a classic links just a wonderfully designed coastal golf course. If there was a fifth major, The World Open, then it should come here. Pay the money and enjoy.
Date: September 20, 2006