I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Spey Bay. It was a real test of golf and, as an 18 handicap, I found it very tough going out, but very fair coming back in. As a traditional out and back layout, a stiff wind was in my face for almost the entire front 9. This made the 420+ yard par 4's almost impossible for me to par, and difficult to bogey. With that said, there were also some shorter par fours. On the way back, playing predominantly with the wind, I found the par 5's reachable in two with straight hitting although the damage had already been done and there was no chance of me playing anywehre near my handicap. The course is great fun, and very relaxed. This is no-frills golf, with an honesty box, and a small (temporary?) clubhouse. The walk from green to tee was only about ten or fifteen yards on many holes. Perhaps the way golf is really meant to be played. The course takes you well away from everything apart from the beach and the sea, with great views. I played in the evening, with a lowering sun perfectly highlighting the undulating ground - there are few flat lies - and the raw nature of the course. There is room to really open the shoulders on many of the drives, but accuracy is needed for approach shots into smallish greens. The condition of the course could also be described as 'raw' but, for me at least, that didn't matter a bit. Although there was quite a lot of moss, puts ran true and I never had a bad lie on the fairway. The heather was in full bloom and it completely punished a wayward drive or approach. I imagine this is what golf was like a hundred years ago and I loved it!
Date: April 22, 2011