Established in 1893, this scenic course is a mixture of heath and parkland set in beautiful surroundings. It features a delightful mixture of long and short holes.
Hole 1 – Laird’s Ain
A straight forward opening par 3, bunkers right and left await anything other than a well hit iron. Beware out of bounds on the left and woods at the back.
Hole 2 – Blacknest Belt
This dog-legged par 5 to the right allows long hitters to reach with two good shots. Playing away from the out of bounds on the right is the sensible drive and sets up an easy par 5. The green slopes gently from back to front and is bunkered on both sides.
Hole 3 – Haud Forrit
This short par 4 requires a good drive down the left away from the trees and a well positioned bunker. Protected by bunkers on both sides and a sharp slope at the back this green has several borrows which go unnoticed. Be happy walking off with a par.
Hole 4 – Orra Green
Stroke 1 on the card and standing on the tee you know why. Out of bounds and a ditch on the right tends to push your drive to the left. A ditch crosses the fairway 120 yards from the green. A raised two tier green requires a positive shot with out of bounds just 5 yards off the back.
Hole 5 – Lown Gate
Long hitters can easily reach this short part 4 but the green is narrow and well protected. The fairway bunker will catch a mis-hit drive so if in doubt play short and pitch and putt for a birdie.
Hole 6 – Kirk Knowe
From an elevated tee you must drive the ball to the left as the fairway slopes sharply left to right and towards a ditch and out of bounds. Watch out for the ‘stanedyke’ 200 yards from the tee. 2nd shot can be anything from a wood to a wedge depending on the kick forward down the slope. A tricky green with lots of subtle borrows.
Hole 7 – Stey Brae
Running in the opposite direction to the 6th this hole requires a straight drive leaving a short pitch to a well protected raised green. Note the ‘stanedyke’ again.
Hole 8 – Whaup’s Beild
Straightforward par 3 requiring a good shot to the raised green. Bunkers surround this green, which is tricky if your approach hits the green too far left. From the tee take time out to admire the magnificent view to the north and west.
Hole 9 – Tynron Doon
A testing short par 4 with woodland to the left and that ‘stanedyke’ again on the right. A dog leg right to left, which requires a draw shot to avoid the rough on the right. Big hitters take on the trees at your peril. A fast green gently sloping from front to back awaits.
Hole 10 – Auld Yin
Great start to the back 9 where a long straight drive is needed to clear the road and to land on the flat part of the fairway. A wood or long iron is required to hit the green where anything short falls into the righthand greenside bunker.
Hole 11 – Criffel
A blind drive over the hill to the fairway will set up a short pitch to the green. Do not be short as the sloping green is well protected at the front with 2 large bunkers. With the pin at the front this hole can easily turn a birdie into a bogey.
Hole 12 – Whinny Knowe
A long straight drive sets up an easy second shot to this green. Trees on the left can hinder the second shot while out of bounds and trees on the right make an almost impossible shot from the right hand side. Lots of bunkers protect this green, which slopes severely from front to back.
Hole 13 – Lang Laight
A long par 4 where the drive must be over the hill to have any chance of reaching the green. An undulating fairway makes the second shot difficult to a green, which slopes steeply from back to front. Out of bounds at the back ensures players should never be never long on the approach shot.
Hole 14 – Wee Cample
A good par 3 from an elevated tee to a three-tier green sloping from back to front. Four bunkers protect the green and 3 is never a bad score here.
Hole 15 – Peat Sheugh
Arguably the signature hole of the course. Drive the ball about 240 yards between the ditch on to a narrow fairway which dog legs sharply right to left, avoid the large pond and scrub and this leaves only the ditch running down the left side of the fairway and out of bounds on the right to contend with as the fairway narrows to the green. A 5 here will feel like a birdie.
Hole 16 – Whin Rigg
The last of the not so short par 3’s. Slightly uphill from the tee, bunkers protect both sides at the front of the undulating green.
Hole 17 – Loch Bank
A short par 4 where long hitters expect to hit the green. Fairway bunkers left and right are well positioned to catch a stray shot while bunkers at the front protect a long narrow green.
Hole 18 – Haudin Hame
Keep the ball straight and this finishing par 5 will cause no problems. Long hitters expect to get there in two although the bowl shaped green is well bunkered and slopes gently from front to back. It is just as easy to play short of the road in two, which leaves a short pitch over the hill down to the green.