Scottish Links Golf
AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course
Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...
Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...
Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart, Brora, Nairn...
Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
North Berwick, Muirfield, Gullane...
St. Andrews area
South West Scotland
Out of the way, but well worth a play
Great links golf for everyone
What others say
Southerness Golf Course was brilliantly designed by the famous golf course architect, MacKenzie Ross, and built in 1947. Ross was responsible for the redesign and reconstruction of Turnberry.
One of its major features of Sourtherness is the naturalness of the course -- the grass and the terrain needed very little changing to create this jewel. Southerness is a genuine natural lnks course. In fact, Southerness is probably the last true linksland course to be built in Scotland. (Kingsbarns looks like a links course but was built on farmland not linksland).
Southerness is true Championship Links course, measuring 6728 yards from the white (Championship) tees, 6566 from the white tees, 6110 from the yellow tees and 5622 from the red tees. The par in each case is 69 except the red, which is 73. The SGU course rating produced a SSS higher than the par figures, which gives you an indication of the length and the difficulty of these holes.
The terrain is level and easily walked. No hills to climb here. And because the course is totally remote from large centres of population, you will feel apart from the usual crowds. Even if the course is crowded, you will seldom be aware of it, such is the clever design of the course. Just that feature alone adds a great deal to its appeal.
You'll like the 12th, the signature hole. This is a 387 yard par 4 with a left to right dogleg. Bunkers are on both sides of the fairway (not my favorite configuration!) and obviously require an accurate tee shot. Assuming you split the fairway, the hole then opens out to a green, protected by bunkers on the right, a pond to the left, a large mound guarding front left entry, and the beach ten yards behind the green. Lots of luck if you're out of position! And if you are, take your bogey and get to the next hole.
The forward view on playing the hole is the shimmering Solway Firth, and a large sandy bay (part of the Solway Firth) opens out to the right as you head for the green.
Ross's design includes clever placement of the bunkers, tees and greens in such a way that the wind comes into play from all directions. This differs drastically from the out-and-back designes of St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch, North Berwick and a score of other links courses where you may battle the wind on the front nine and have it at your back coming home. I
personally like the back and forth conditions.
I really like the 18th mainly because it's a par 5! I always like to finish on a hole where I have a chance of picking up a stroke. I'm not a long hitter but, at "only" 480 yards, my short game can get me a birdie on this hole (if I can keep out of the fairway bunkers 60 yards from the green).
If you get a chance, do yourself a favor and play this golf course. Yes, it's a bit out of the way and could entail a long drive, but you can get there in the morning, play a round, have lunch (the food is great) and then play in the afternoon. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Golf Nook Rating - A solid BIRDIE-
For What to Do and See in the Area, and also Where to Stay, see our South West Scotland page.