Tee time reservations are now available for starting times beginning May 16, 2020 at Dumbarnie Links, a new true links golf course located on Scotland’s East Coast in the Kingdom of Fife, and on the north shore of the Firth of Forth. Tee times can be made through the Dumbarnie Links website, at www.dumbarnielinks.com.
“Dumbarnie Links is a high-end public golf course exclusively for daily fee play, and we’re thrilled to announce to the public that the tee sheet is now open,” said Luke Beardmore, Senior Vice President of Agronomy and Construction for OB Sports Golf Management, the management firm for Dumbarnie Links. “Favorable weather during construction and grow-in contributed to spectacular conditions. It’s absolutely stunning. We’re looking forward to introducing it to the golf world.”
Clive Clark – Dumbarnie Links golf course designer, born and raised in England – created the golf course on 345 acres along 1.5 miles of shoreline on the Balcarres Estate, owned and occupied by Anthony Lindsay, Lord Balniel. The 5,000-acre Balcarres Estate has been in his family for more than 400 years.
The back of the site sits 80 feet above sea level and slopes down to the coast. The elevation change opens up breathtaking views spanning across the Firth of Forth to Muirfield, North Berwick and Edinburgh. A series of 500 coastal dunes located along the beach add to the links-style charm without obstructing the ocean views.
“Most links courses, if you think of the old traditional courses where they play The Open Championship, tend to be along the beach behind the sand hills,” said Clark. “They generally don’t have views of water – maybe only two or three holes. We have 14 unobstructed views of water, and water can be seen from all 18 holes.”
Clark incorporated several elevated tees into the design that play down the escarpment towards the ocean. And on the coast, he placed tees up on a ridge serving elevated greens so close to the water that golfers could “literally toss a golf ball into the water.”
Dumbarnie Links is anticipated to take a prominent place among roughly 246 true links layouts worldwide, a number cited in the 2010 book “True Links” by Malcolm Campbell and George Peper. Clark further qualifies this count by adding that “of the 246, there’s only around 40 truly outstanding genuine links.”
Among its true links characteristics, Dumbarnie Links is located along a magnificent coastal strip of land; built on sandy soil with only a few trees near the clubhouse site; firm and fast fescue playing surfaces; and traditional sod-stacked pot bunkers.
The routing is a departure from the usual. Instead of the traditional out-and-back layout, Clark explained that Dumbarnie Links is a “mix of two big loops with elevated tees facing into the Firth of Forth.” The bunkering, however, does follow convention with a half-and-half mixture of traditional sod-stacked pot bunkers along with what Clark described as “natural bunkers surrounded by tall fescue grasses waving in the wind.”
Clark incorporated a host of risk-reward elements into the design of the par-72, 6,898-yard (Black tees) golf course. The drivable par-4 17th hole offers an aggressive play at the green guarded by precocious pot bunkers and a short forced carry over a 200-year-old stone wall. For the less adventurous, there is a generous fairway to the left of the old stone wall, but taking that route turns the drivable par 4 into a drive and a full wedge or short iron. The par-4 5th hole gives golfers the option of cutting off 50-60 yards by playing left to a 25-yard-wide fairway surrounded by difficult terrain, or playing to a fairway to the right that is 50 yards wide, leaving a significantly longer approach.
“We know it’s more of a marathon than a sprint, but we also can’t help but crack a smile at what’s going on here,” said Clark. “We have on board an amazing staff of world-class greenkeepers – headed by Grahame Taylor, former Supervisor from The Old Course, St Andrews – supervising and executing the grow-in, and we’ve had perfect conditions for an outstanding project so far. The Golf Gods have been smiling on Dumbarnie Links, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”