Wednesday, September 23, 2009

St. Andrews Bay and The Castle Course

This surely must be the finest eating and drinking establishment at a public access golf course in the world (apologies to Mike Vegis at Kiawah), The Ocean Course does NOT have this:





The Torrance Course at St. Andrews Bay, I must admit that my expectations were low going in, but I was rather wrong. A National Tourist's Office Day, the allowance of choice of tees and a set-up for a Mercedes-Benz Scottish Dealers Tournament outing that day, I left the camera in the car for some concentration on scenery and playing as if in a tournament. You know, general enjoyment. Surprise!

Including two holes from the original Devlin Course (now holes 3 & 4) providing the only possible consideration for a glitch in routing, this is one wonderful raised beach golf course with perhaps the firmest fastest conditions encountered on this trip at the end of one of Scotland's soggiest ever summers. Par 3's, par 4's and par 5's were all varied, interesting and challenging. Thus possessing excellent strategies and variety, clever greens, very natural shaping, spectacular views and perfectly acceptable pace of play I fully intend to stay at The Fairmont Hotel and play both courses another time. Hole after hole after hole provided delight and superb conditions for ground or air play as well as breathtaking scenery as seen above from the deck of the clubhouse (which I had eaten and drunk in before but not partaken of the golf. Always seeking out the modern as well as the ancient, am I glad we did. Give up a round at the Old course for it? No, but we are not talking miles of difference from Kingsbarns. We are NOT talking miles of difference from Kingsbarns, agreed by the FBD who has caddied the Kingsbarns for months, BTW.

Also, a very quick note:
This is as close as an open lens of one of my cameras was allowed near the shaping on the Castle Course. You are safe from the shaping at this distance, but I am not so certain up close.
At these prices, what were they thinking? I am not going to completely dismiss it as the scenery is beautiful and there are moments (not the double green, however); I cannot even pretend to endorse such things, especially under the auspices of the Links trust.

Forget price. What were they thinking?

And ... Kidd can do much better.

No comments: