Begin 2017 in style by enjoying a great day’s golf with your partner, friends or society buddies
By Chris Doyle
AS the golf season gets into full swing, there is no better time to take a break away with your golf society.
You are spoilt with choice with what Scotland has to offer, courses that will cater to everyone in your group one way or another.
It will be hard to say no to these fantastic courses as they come at an equally appealing price too.
Here at Scottish Club Golfer, we have hand-picked a range of top courses that will give your society a golf break to remember.
For our first course, why not take a trip up north to Aberdeen to experience the excellent test posed by Kintore Golf Club? Formed in 1911, the course was renovated in the early 1990s and expanded to 18 holes. Overlooking the scenic River Don, these changes gives the course a unique feel, allowing you to experience the contrast between the old and new nines.
Heading south into Fife, Drumoig Golf Hotel is an attractive proposition that is located just on the outskirts of St Andrews, providing you with 250 acres of amazing Fife countryside. The course is renowned for its tricky three-hole stretch at 9, 10 and 11 that brings the water hazards to the fore. Likewise, the signature par-4, 18th hole, which has the beautiful backdrop of the club’s hotel, will also grab your attention.
Similarly, Alloa Golf Club will provide a stern test for every golfer as it boasts a championship-standard course measuring 6,200 yards. Founded in 1891, the final stretch of holes from 15 to 18 can really make or break your round with two long par-3s and a difficult par-4 and par-5 to finish. Thankfully, the surroundings of the course will make up for any ruined scorecard, with 150 acres of fantastic parkland landscape to enjoy.
Staying in the same area, Tulliallan Golf Club is another course with a rich history, having been founded in 1902. This course is an ideal location if your group wants to avoid those winter greens at all costs. Tulliallan is known for its excellent drainage and they do their best to make sure the full course
is available all year round. The course also provides the largest practice area in the whole of the county.
If links courses are your thing, look no further than Leven Links. Its fairways are filled with all kinds of tricky undulations, meaning accuracy off the tee is absolutely crucial. The finishing signature hole will also test every part of your game as you look to avoid the ‘Scoonie burn’ on your approach to the green. This well-established course has been used as an Open Championship Qualifier in the past showing it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Hilton Park Golf Club is a great place to go with your group. The club hosts two courses, both designed by the famous James Braid with magnificent views south towards Glasgow and north in the direction of the Trossachs and Ben Lomond.
Bishopbriggs Golf Club near Glasgow is another fun test. The course is deliberately set up with no blind shots abd provides a high quality practice area with a short game area if you want to fix that putting stroke before you make your way to the first tee. Then, once you get to that last tee, you can look forward to relaxing in the clubhouse with a great selection of food and drink available.
Lenzie Golf Club in Kirkintilloch is one of the best parkland courses in the area. Founded in 1889, the course gives players one of the most scenic 18 holes they will experience. But watch out for those trees with accuracy off the tee being a premium to avoid getting into trouble. After your round, don’t forget to visit the Alma restaurant, where there is some outstanding catering on offer.
Dunoon is the perfect escape for a golf break and a course you need try is found at Cowal Golf Club. The course has stunning views over the Firth of Clyde where you can also see as far as the Isle of Bute and Ailsa Craig as you go round this challenging course. Designed by James Braid, it’s
a superb test for players of all standards.
Irvine Bogside in Ayrshire is one the true ‘hidden gems’ of Scottish links golf. Located along a coastline where fantastic courses are in rich supply, it has a proud championship pedigree, having co-hosted the Amateur Championship with Royal Troon in 2003 and the British Seniors’ Open with Turnberry 2007. More recently, it has staged the Scottish Seniors Championship, the Scottish Youths Championship and qualifying for the RICOH Women’s British Open. It is a quality track.
Glencorse may not be the longest course at 5,217 yards but don’t underestimate its difficulty. It includes eight par-3s, only one of which is less than 200 yards. It is a intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable challenge from start to finish.
Musselburgh Golf Club, meanwhile, is an exceptional place to play. Designed by the great James Braid, it extends to 6,725 yards - just the ticket for big-hitting groups! It is imperative to keep your ball in play but also to be long off the tee. The Craigie burn comes into play on several holes so the option to lay-up or go for the green may prove decisive.
Further down south, Torwoodlee in Galashiels
is one of the most scenic courses in the Borders. The club welcomes players from all over the world and has hosted golfers for well over 100 years. It is a great club to visit with your society, with a well-deserved reputation as one of the friendliest clubs in the South of Scotland.
Over the other side of the border, Magdalene Fields in Berwick-upon-Tweed is definitely worth
a visit. A hole to note is the 16th, menacingly named œThe Destroyer”. The tee shot is just as fearsome as the name, where you face a completely blind drive.
Last but by no means least, why not pay
a visit to Whickham Golf Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne? Founded in 1911, it is home to a superb course where your scoring depends on your accuracy, with plenty of trees either side of the fairways. Approach play to the green is equally as important as the course has some of the trickiest and narrow greens you will see. Good luck!