Scotland’s most southerly golf course, which is in a remote setting above the Solway Firth, can best be described as a ‘links gem’. Having been created as recently as 1947, Southerness is a young course compared with the more traditional Scottish links. It is laid out on flat land and without any typical links ‘blind’ shots or unfair bounces.
The previous reviewer correctly identified Southerness as understated, this word so well sums up everything about the Club. For such a well-rated course (it has been a regular in the GB & I Top 100 ratings, it seems for ever) the green fee is modest, the clubhouse unassuming and the ambience welcoming. You even get the feeling that the locals don’t realise how good the place is, where they play their golf.
But have no doubt. Southerness is very good and probably when the wind blows, very tough. We were lucky to play on a breezy day which kept the threatened heavy rain away and found the challenge inspiring and fun.
This very fair links has only two par5s which with the 5 par3s presents the mid-handicap golfer with plenty of scoring opportunities. However all but one of the par4s is over 367 yards from the yellow tee boxes and these holes will severely test. It is a relentless challenge of well planned holes which can wear down the golfer with its penalties for the slightly astray shot. I would surmise that at just over 6100 yards it’s par of 69 is probably one of the toughest in the land.
There is not a weak hole on the course. My personal favourites are number 3 to a well protected green, 6 with its delightful approach shot to a slightly raised target, 12 playing towards the sea and a beautiful green right next to the beach, and the dogleg right 18th which is a gentle par5 and offers the good golfer the chance of a closing birdie and the average player a par. A happy way to finish in front of the clubhouse!
As you would expect, course maintenance is exemplary and the big greens are fast and very true. A good score will massively depend on the conditions of the day. I could happily return to Southerness again and again for I adored the benign looking but subtly difficult challenges, knowing that the course can easily display a more brutish side, and will always have the last laugh.
Date: June 29, 2021