Dumbarnie links is a new golf course that opened in the summer 2020. We played the course 10 weeks after the official opening. It is located 25 minutes from St. Andrews and we had heard very good reviews from the locals. It was very busy when we played and actually difficult to get a tee time. Many of the people we met where locals wanting to play it for the first time so obviously Dumbarnie is getting attention in the Scottish golfing community.
The clubhouse was still under construction but they had arranged some porter cabins with a pro shop and a seating area with food available.
The driving range has beautiful views of the ocean and you immediately get a sense of how special the location of the golf course is.
THE GOLF COURSE
The opening hole is a great start to the golf course with fantastic views and we were really lucky with the weather. It is a slight downhill par 4 with water in front of the green. We played from the blue tees with is 5871m.
The first green was large but with some good run off areas. I opened with a par and was looking forward to seeing more of the course.
REACHABLE PAR 5
The second hole is a par 5 slightly downhill from the tee and reachable in two. You immediately see all the grass top mounts in the distance which is distinctive to the course and will be interesting to see how it looks in some years ahead when the course is more settled in.
I hit a good drive down the fairway and had a 4 iron to the green. Missed it left but managed to get a birdie anyway.
The 3rd hole is a reachable par 4 with some well placed bunkers in front of the green. I can resist the temptation on short par 4s. I pulled my drive slightly and ended up in on the righthand side of the fairway with a short pitch to the green.
I would definitely go for it again as there is limited danger and worse you have a long bunker shot to the green.
The 5th hole is a par 4 with a split fairway and bunkers in the middle. I hit my drive straight over the middle of the bunkers and turned out to be too long and in the rough. Wasn’t a problem as the rough in most places was easy to get out of.
Best par 3 AT DUMBARNIE LINKS
Hole 6 is a stunning par 3 with great views. Slightly downhill and into the wind when I played. Hit a 6 iron and missed the green right but scrambled for a good par.
The 8th hole is a short par 3 downhill. I hit a really good 9 iron into the middle of the green. When walking down towards to the green I realized that there was water running short and to the right hand side of the green. Missing the green right is not an option and brings water into play.
The back nine
Hole 10 is a serious par 4. It was playing into the wind and measuring 433m it requires a couple of good shots to get on the green. I hit a perfect drive down the fairway and had a rescue club left for my approach shot.
The 10th green is well protected by water short and right. I aimed well left of the green and ended up in high in the rough. Did not manage to make par, but was still pleased with my shots. It is the hardest hole on the course in my opinion.
Best par 5
The 13th is the best par 5 on the course. You can not see the hole from the tee as the fairway visually drop off between the bunkers. The hole is well designed and you are excited to see what opens up when walking up the fairway to your tee shot.
After a good drive down the fairway I went for the green in two shots, but came up short. Hit a really good chip and missed a short birdie putt.
Another good par 5 where you need to decide which way to go. The short route is down the right hand side but brings a hazard into play. I hit my tee shot into the bunker and just had to lay up short. Next time I would try and go the short way with a 3 wood from the tee which gives you an opportunity to reach the green in two shots.
GOOD RISK REWARD PAR 4
The 17th at Dumbarnie Links is a fun risk reward hole. A short par 4 uphill and not quite reachable for me, but I still went with driver and ended up just short of the green.
I had a short pitch to the pin but difficult to judge with the slopes around the green. A good birdie opportunity if you can get it close.
A strong finishing hole with a blind tee shot if you take on the short route towards the green. There is a large bunker at the end of the fairway which is where I hit my tee shot. If you cut the corner from the tee you need to avoid the bunkers on the other side, but will be rewarded with a short approach to the green.
I could not get to the green from the bunker and finished with a bogey.
Dumbarnie links is a really good course and a great location with some wonderful views of the ocean. The course design is great and they have really tried to create a experience where each hole is secluded. This is done by making small mounts around the tees and fairways that are just big enough to give you the feeling of playing alone. The course condition was fantastic. It is mainly in the rough and between the holes you can tell that it is new. I would recommend the course and will be back again to see how it has developed in the years to come.
I shot 75 at Dumbarnie Links and played well, especially on the front 9. If they let the rough grow a bit more it will be a much more difficult challenge.