OVER-RATED AND OVER-PRICED COUR­SES

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Jack -

Many of the Amer­i­can golfers vis­it­ing Scot­land be­lieve that the best cour­ses must be the most ex­pen­sive.Which is why the qual­ity venues have all raised their prices ac­cord­ingly, some of them to ob­scenely ridicu­lous lev­els. If they charge un­der £150 for a round they will be con­sid­ered in­fe­rior. How­ever, there are duds among the high-price venues where you’ll walk off af­ter 18 feel­ing ripped off.

These cour­ses are good mod­ern lay­outs but of such con­ven­tional con­struc­tion that you can find them any­where in the world.The Cas­tle Course is the sev­enth and lat­est ad­di­tion to the St An­drews Links Trust col­lec­tion, and has su­perb views, but de­signer David McLay Kidd built greens with crazy slopes.And at £120 a round it is £40 more than the far su­pe­rior New Course. Nearby are the two cour­ses be­long­ing to the Fair­mont St An­drews re­sort, and also the Duke’s.They’re cheaper but less spec­tac­u­lar.

Dun­don­ald, on the West Coast, hosted the Scot­tish Open in 2017, but this Kyle Phillips de­sign is flat and un­in­ter­est­ing com­pared to his work at Kings­barns. Cas­tle Stu­art in the north is an­other Scot­tish Open venue; while be­ing an im­pres­sive lay­out to play on a nice day it is vastly over­priced at £200 a round in high sea­son.The PGA Cen­te­nary course at Gle­nea­gles, the only Jack Nick­laus de­sign in Scot­land, is only worth play­ing if you’re a se­ri­ous Ry­der Cup fan.

A few venues are ex­clu­sive pri­vate do­mains for mem­bers and guests, notably Loch Lomond and Re­nais­sance, both cour­ses by Amer­i­can de­sign­ers – Tom Weiskopf and Tom Doak – and Archer­field, ad­join­ing Re­nais­sance in East Loth­ian.The Carnegie Club at Sk­ibo Cas­tle close to Dornoch is a lux­ury get­away for mem­bers, but lim­ited tee times are avail­able for the pub­lic.

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