For all those who have played St Andrews Old Course, this is a very different course based on his design. Originally laid out by the legendary golfer and course designer, the course was abandoned in the 1920s but resurrected and reopened in 2008 using the same lands but basing the design on his style of layout.
The result is a challenging dues course featuring the machair terrain which strangles any balls missing the fairways. I played in 30 mph winds which added to the challenge (that's my excuse for shooting 98 (I shot 88 on the Old Course a few days later)). The course is quite undulating yet quite walkable (no power carts available). After the first three holes which are quite pedestrian, the next two lead you to the top of the dunes to start a stretch of holes providing magnificent views over the white beaches to the distant islands. The flowers of the machair frame gorgeous holes that will play differently every day based on weather conditions and familiarity with the course.
This is great old-time golf and, at 35 pounds, a fabulous value as well (and I had no need to book my round 6 months in advance or enter any ballots).
The clubhouse is very basic (no real food, portable toilets etc) but the staff were immensely friendly and welcoming and the fellow golfers I met, regular locals, loved the course for the wonder that it is.
It's quite a trip to get to Askernish but worth every step.
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