Castle Stuart

A wonderful new links in northern Scotland, designed by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse


Picturesque 12th green at Tenby on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales


1st hole at Dooks in south west Ireland with a storm approaching


Harry Colt's marvellous creation at Rye in southern England


South East Scotland

There is a wonderful variety of courses in Scotland and you have the added advantage of many very good second tier courses. In Ireland for example there are perhaps 25-30 very good choices but then it starts to drop away in quality.

Commencing on the south east coastline just above the border your first course is Eyemouth . This clifftop links boasts the spectacular tee shot over high seaside cliffs at the 5th but apart from this it is nothing special. Heading north along the A1 you will enjoy the unusual links at Dunbar. Be prepared for the sudden onset of the haar which will leave you damp from the sea mist.

If  I had to choose a short list of courses to be played for the rest of my life then North Berwick West would be there. The lovely ambience here is matched by an array of wonderful holes particularly the 13th through to the 16th. I guarantee you will want to play it a second time. On the other side of town is the public course, North Berwick East (known to locals as The Glen). It is on heavier soil but there are some good holes and views to match from the clifftop part of the course.

 Scotland boasts a number of areas where there are multiple choices of very good courses  all in close proximity. Nowhere is this illustrated better than at the village of Gullane in East Lothian, south of Edinburgh.

If you stand on the 7th tee on Gullane no.1 course then you can see 8 links nearby -

  • Gullane no. 1, 2 and  3
  • Lufness New
  • Kilspindie
  • Craigielaw
  • Muirfield
  • The Renaissance

In addition to these 8 courses there is Longniddrie nearby and the two courses at Archerfield situated behind Muirfield.

You are certainly spoilt for choice in this locality. Muirfield is a must but is usually booked out well in advance unless you can get a game with a member. Gullane no.1  and Luffness are delightful links as is the short but tricky Kilspindie which lies right beside Aberlady Bay. Craigielaw was somewhat disappointing especially with the fairways and greens being rock hard.

Of the new courses I would happily recommend The Renaissance or either of the two courses at Archerfield nearby. Maybe I expected too much from Tom Doak's Renaissance and if I was to be critical then it would be the severity of some of the slopes on the very firm greens and surrounds. Archerfield is very well maintained and is something of a tree lined semi links.

             (photo from 7th tee Gullane no.1)

Next >> Scotland - St Andrew's Region

Image Gallery

Click to view full size and description.

  • 7th tee Gullane no.1
    7th tee Gullane no.1