In the few days that were to come I was to play 3 courses inside the top 50 in the world, St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Royal Dornoch. Let me tell you that I wasn't disappointed one little bit.
St Andrews was amazing, the history of the place makes it a very special experience and the course itself has its own mesmerising characteristics. The double greens are enormous, out of this world with one of them taking an hr to mow every day! Of course the 1st, 17th and 18th are famous holes and live up to their reputation. The tee shot over the hotel on 17 is spectacular as is the tee shot down 18. Those well known holes aside there were some other cracking holes with the par 3 11th a favourite, tough!! Overall a must do for golfers and it lived up to all of my expectations!!
Kingsbarns was a day later and I wondered how it would not be a let down after the joy of St Andrews. Well it stood up to be counted. Not the history, in fact it is only 11yrs old but the setting was nothing short of spectacular. Set on the ocean it has several hole running along the coastline or over it!! The pick of the holes for me was the 600yd par 5 12th around the ocean and the par 3 15th of 210yds straight across the ocean. It is breathtaking and requires some serious game. A brilliant course and worthy of its top 50 position.
Third on the list was Royal Dornoch, up in the nth of Scotland, a good 5 hr drive from Edinburgh where we had been for a week. I arrived there hoping it was worth the effort given I had another 2 hr drive to my Europro Tour destination for this week. I can happily report that for me Royal Dornoch was probably the pick of the three courses. A true links course once again set on the ocean, it had everything. It had brilliant, tough par threes, into the wind holes, downwind holes where stopping the ball seemed impossible and rough that was so sharp that it would take half your arm off given a chance, lost balls stay lost! I loved that place.
So in summary it was a brilliant week of golf and my love of links courses has grown enormously. The challenge of thinking your way around a course and even thinking outside the square makes playing them so inviting. I think my top 5 courses played may need some adjusting after this trip.
To finish off this blog, I am in Lossiemouth for the second Europro Tour event of this trip. It is being held at Moray Golf Club, another links course set right on the ocean.
It is once again a quality links course, actually quite difficult in place and will require the two p's, patience and precision to score well here. Wind will be a massive factor and can seriously alter the way holes are played. Adding to the challenge of the course is the fact that it is situated right beside the RAF base. Jet fighters fly over the course constantly and with the way the wind was blowing today they were coming in to land right over the course. I am not joking in saying that one flew over so close that I could have thrown my ball up and hit it as it flew over!! Deafening too as you could imagine!!!
I am looking forward to the tournament having spent some time playing links courses this past week. It is a completely different style of golf to back home and requires genuine thought on every shot. I can't wait for the challenge, stay tuned for updates or follow along on the website, www.europrotour.com