Letham Grange (Old)Arbroath, Scotland
- AddressFarm Cottages, Letham Grange, Arbroath DD11 4RL, UK
Letham Grange is situated delightfully in the quiet Angus countryside. The Old course actually isn’t that old. The late Sir Henry Cotton opened it in 1987 and Donald Steel designed it. It's one of Steel's best designs.
The layout is very mixed. The holes combine intimate, tree-lined fairways with others, which are open and undulating. Dangerous water hazards provide a fun and challenging round of golf. But the very best holes are set amongst the trees – the sequence of holes between the 8th and the 10th is especially strong.
Golf Monthly once bracketed Letham Grange alongside Augusta. It’s a bold parallel. Letham is certainly an enjoyable, and interesting course. Measuring more than 6,600 yards, it represents a serious challenge too.
Letham Grange comes in for criticism. After all, this is mighty Carnoustie country. The course is not deemed to be sufficiently traditional or Scottish – it’s an American-styled affair – target golf country. Nevertheless, it provides a welcome break from links golf and many people actually prefer this style of golf.
Do not dismiss the Old course as a pushover. In 1994 and 2000, Letham Grange hosted the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, D. Downie and S. McKenzie emerging as the respective winners.
So, if you are fed up with slogging your way round the windy links courses, treat yourself to a scenic and tranquil piece of Letham Grange... but make it quick. The committee has recommended that both courses should close and the club wound up due to a long-standing legal conflict over property ownership and declining membership.
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Cricket was Donald Steel's first sporting love and he played for Fettes College, becoming the first person from a Scottish school to play in the Public Schools XI against the Combined Services at Lord’s.