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0.5 mile S of Barry
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The Panmure Golf Club was founded in 1845, when seventeen gentlemen met and commissioned Allan Robertson and Alexander Pirie from St Andrews to lay out nine holes in the area of Monifieth. They were paid the princely sum of thirty shillings. A further hole was added in 1851, but discarded twenty years later.
In 1880, Panmure was extended to eighteen holes, but before the turn of the century, with the number of clubs playing the course increasing, the Panmure Club resolved to move and settled on the present site in Barry in 1899.
The Dundee Advertiser published on 24th November 1897 had reported that “the ground was surveyed, Tom Morris was engaged to go over it, and as his opinion was favourable” but it appears some financial problem with two of the land owners delayed the project by a couple of years.
This Open Qualifying course, a few miles south from Carnoustie on the road to Dundee, lies inland from the Monifieth Links, but Panmure has all the characteristics of a championship links.
There have been changes, and the course has been lengthened from its original design, many of the changes coming from suggestions of James Braid in 1922.
Ben Hogan spent two weeks on the links prior to the Open at Carnoustie in 1953, getting used to the terrain, tight lies and the 1.62 inch ball. It is even reported he cut the 17th green to his specification, and returned the cleaned mower to the head greenkeeper! He won the Open by four shots, creating a course record with 68 in the final round!
There is a gentle beginning before Panmure opens up beyond the pine forest. Hillocks and heather present the same challenge as the more traditional sand dunes. The 6th played at an angle is only 387 yards, but the second shot to the raised green poses a stern test.
The real quality of the course is in the next few holes – so often the case in links golf – either side of the turn. The 7th is the longest par four at 418 yards, the 8th threads between hills and the 10th a long dogleg right, before a change of direction at 11. 12 and 13 are not long, but penalty awaits a wayward shot.
The longest hole, par five 535 yards 14th, precedes a long par three, 234 yards, and then three par fours, long but fairly straight, takes you home.
A wonderful mix of links and heathland with glorious purple heather animating the course in a number of areas. Always a fan of a gentle opening hole, to allow golfers to get into the round. Best part of the course are holes 6 to 14, which combine nice visuals and design with some interesting features such as the partially shared fairway for the magnificent consecutive holes 6 and 7 and small burns coming into play on 12 and 13. Worst hole was the ultra long par 3, 15th of 234 yards which was just dull and in contrast to the other par 3s which were top class. Course conditioning and presentation was flawless with greens running true. Thoroughly enjoyable experience.
I last played Panmure over 28 years ago as part of a 4 day Comp. This was long before the days of Review sites and knowledge of the dreaded Rankings!!
I remember then that it was my favourite of the 4 courses (one of which was Carnoustie Championship!) but my memory of the course had grown vague with time. After returning all these years later and having added many more courses to my list of those played it still stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of them.
Panmure is a traditional Scottish Golf Club. They have maintained the old style Club House in favour of raising it to the ground and replacing it with some ultra modern monstrosity and the walls are laden with memories of the past golfing history of this great Club and are a fascinating way to spend a few minutes until it's time to go to the 1st Tee via the practice ground of course.
Those of a similar mind could quite happily while away the hours at the practice facilities. A new short game area with practice bunkers, a 250 yard range for use with range balls, a separate range area for use with your own balls and a putting green mean there is no excuse for not being prepared for the challenge that awaits you on the Course.
The course itself is perfect in every way, a great selection of one shotters, some strategic and challenging par 4's and some par 5's that will challenge the bigger hitters to go for it but at the same time challenge the more modest hitters in their quest to find the right lay up spots. The turf is an absolute pleasure to strike irons off and the greens complexes are a joy to test yourself on.
The stand out hole is without doubt the 6th (Hogan), a modest tee shot will find the fairway but this hole is all about the second shot. Slightly uphill into a green guarded by the infamous Hogan bunker and heather clad mounds. There is little room for error and a par here will gain at least one possibly two shots on your playing partners.
Panmure is a must play for any serious golfer, the experience from start to finish is first class and every facet of the Club delivers.
I will not be waiting 28 years to go back.
Famous for it’s proximity to the Open championship course at Carnoustie and the association with Ben Hogan’s preparation for his Open win in 1953, Panmure could be defined by this association. However there is much more to this golf club so rich in history and in possession of one of the finest golf courses in Scotland in terms of both course design and playing conditions. The clubhouse exudes personality and class both inside and out and you feel the whirl of players past when making your way towards the first tee.
With evidence that golf was played across the links at Panmure as early as the 16th century, and with the club officially formed in 1845, this club rightly has claims to being one of the oldest in the world. The present layout was designed by Old Tom Morris at the turn of the 20th Century and later tweaked by James Braid.
The course has a double personality in that the land nearest the clubhouse is very different in character to the plot of land at the far end of the course. A heathland/links mix and essentially an out and back layout, the early and late holes occupy a relative flat and partially tree lined plain, where as the furthest 7 holes criss cross around a much more undulating stretch at the far end of the property.
The opening five holes are strong if not particularly remarkable, although hole 4 is a great hole and the green sites at holes 4 and 5 will gain your interest and respect in equal measure. The 6th is the the entry to the incredible rippled section of the course, and the iconic signature hole named ‘Hogan’ is quite frankly one of the best holes I have ever played. A scintillating par 4, the tee shot requires a solid partially blind drive to an undulating fairway that will leave you a different lie every time you play it. From here, even a flat lie would leave you with the most challenging of approach shots and the 200 yards or so of land approaching this raised green looks like a sea in storm, rising and falling in breathtaking fashion. Unless you are central to the fairway and a long way down the hole, it is unlikely you will be able to see the flag and absolute carnage lies all around. There are a plethora of ways on hand to chew up and spit out your scorecard here. Hogan loved this hole and suggested the creation of a bunker at the front right of the green of which the club duly created latterly. Escape from here with your card intact and wipe your brow as you shuffle dumbfounded to the 7th tee.
The next 8 or so holes really are incredibly impressive and memorable with each having something unique to bring to the experience. Standout holes seem to come thick and fast with 9, 10, the approach to 12 and the raised tee shot at the turn for home at 13 deserving special mention. The last 5 holes then occupy the same land as the first five, with a couple of belting holes at 16 and 18. I should say at this point that the flatter holes are no less enjoyable, just clearly different in character.
I loved this course even though I didn’t play it particularly well. The scale of the history and the class of the clubhouse will charm you, but it is the course itself that is the headline act. Diverse, engaging and challenging, you’ll leave here enthused about golf and thirsting for more. If you are in the area to play Carnoustie or St Andrews, make a beeline for Panmure and you won’t be disappointed.
A classy golf course but one of two halves – the holes nearer the clubhouse, and the half on the wild links-land. It’s also a real tough layout when the wind is against, which it seemed to be until my final half a dozen holes. Then it was relatively plain sailing.
It’s one of the purest courses I’ve played, its greens are top notch and there is an elegance around the whole place. Highlights were the par 4 6th which Ben Hogan made famous, having a shared fairway then its green stood ominously up a hill. The 12th is a pretty par 4 with a burn zig-zagging in front of the raised green. There are certainly some unique holes built into those sand dunes.
I was happy with my visit, there are some more mundane semi-heathland holes but they’re intriguing enough and warm you up for the main attractions. Panmure’s worthy of any Scottish itinerary.
Great links course living in the shadow of its neighbour.
Model village perfect clubhouse and a good links course well worth adding in to any Carnoustie tour.
Panmure’s greens were by far the best we putted on during a week when we also played at St Andrews and Montrose. Perhaps this was/is due to less visitor play, perhaps a higher maintenance budget or perhaps even the course's more sheltered position behind the railway line and the military shooting range has a role to play. Who knows?
Anyway, by including Panmure on your itinerary, you will not only be playing first-class links golf, you will also experience a real golf club and if you choose your starting time judiciously, far less congestion than at other courses in the region.
Played Panmure on Sept. 11 and greatly enjoyed it! The wind was ferocious -- right to left and slight into my face on most of the front nine and, thankfully, often at my back on the back nine. As is often said, the middle part of the course is spectacular, with the undulations and dunes, etc. The fairways were in very good shape, as were the greens (which had been verticut recently but to no bad effect). I "loved" the rough ... often billowy and wild and, amusingly, FULL of rabbit holes, etc. (so watch your step, lest ye break an ankle ... better yet, keep it in the short grass). I played alone, late in the day, and it was magical with the shadows, etc.
A real treat and an easy drive from my hotel in Dundee! Highly recommended.
The start and finish to Panmure is often unfairly labelled pedestrian and whilst the opening three and closing four holes certainly don’t offer the rollickingly good golf that can be found in the heart of the linksland it is far from dull and certainly earned my respect on a recent visit - there are some subtle touches which can easily be missed.
Greenside bunkering at the 302-yard opener is excellent which means if you find yourself just slightly out of position you could easily be fighting for your par on what could, and perhaps should, be an early birdie opportunity. The second is a graceful par-five whilst the third gives us an indication of what is to follow with just a hint of movement in the land as it sweeps to the right.
Jumping forward, the angled 15th is a par-three that might not be visually satisfying but at 234-yards is likely to require a well struck 3-wood or even a driver for most players before the demanding run for home is maintained at 16 and 17; two-shotters that continue to ramp up the pressure on the golfer with a score in his hand or a championship on the line. That strain could easily become too much at the grand closing hole of 462-yards with out-of-bounds lurking ominously down the right. A couple of mighty blows are required to get home in two to a green that sits under the gaze of the striking clubhouse that looms ever nearer over the closing stretch.
Panmure is an understated, discrete, handsome and distinguished links with a certain amount of panache and one that should form an essential part of any golfing itinerary when playing in this part of the country.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.