Dundonald Links is the this years host of the Scottish Open with many international top-class participants and I was very curious about playing a links course in tournament conditions. Originally known as Southern Gailes, the Kyle Phillip’s-designed golf course was renamed to Dundonald Links. The course offers with its yardage variety from 6.415 to 7.300 a challenge for every type of golfer, from the pro to the average player.
Therefore I was even more excited to play this course in its best conditions. Once I arrived there I was stoked because they already started to build up all the grandstands and the tournament facilities.
Scotland and the weather gods were not at my side but anyway, I walked to the first tee where I met the starter. I wanted to get true impressions about Dundonald Links in championship conditions and decided to play it from the black tournament tees. Well, the starter told me everything below hundred during this Scottish weather is good.
It was a 3 club wind and the rain was coming down in sheets, like little needle stitches on your face. The first hole was a 430 yards par 4 into, let´s call it a wind-water wall. My fifth stroke finally arrived on the green where I needed 3 puts.
After 6 played holes it was pure disillusionment and I realized that I needed to play some serious good golf today to fulfill the starters advice „everything below hundred“. The greens were just big and very very fast, so once you hit one on the green the ball was still moving a bit with the support of the strong wind. The fairways were really great during this heavy rain and even the bunkers were awesome if you can say something like this as a golfer.
The sand was super soft and if the ball was placed not to bad it was really possible to manage the situation. Honestly I had such hard times on the front nine but I really enjoyed it. Its a quality links and according to the fact that the holes are going criss-cross around the clubhouse and not like usual the first nine away and the back nine back to the clubhouse, really unusual to the old links courses. But this fact made it even more fun to play because during the round the wind is coming from different directions.
Somehow I found a solution to play this superb course. I also got a little impression about how the professionals feel while walking around the grandstands. But again, the most impressing fact was the quality of this course. Everything was perfect and in incredible good shape. I will definitely watch this tournament on TV between the 13-16th of July. If you have the chance to be there you should definitely, Rory and Ricky are coming. A little bit later from the 27-30th of July Dundonald Links will also host the Ladies Scottish Open.
One of my favorite holes was No. 11 just a short par 3 with 120 yards from the championship tees but with 3 huge pot bunkers and this huge and undulated green still a tough hole. Again, if there is some wind you need two to three clubs more. No. 18 is just a burner. A long dogleg par 5 with 560 yards from the black tees.
I was lucky to hit it with the wind so I got a lot of extra yardage and it was death center. My second was difficult because the wind was changing to the right but with my uncontrolled fade I hit the fairway again.
Same with my 7 iron to the green. Well, I needed again 3 puts but a bogey on this hole was really a great result for me. Finally I am very proud to announce that I brought a 96 back to the clubhouse and fulfilled the task of the starter. Recapitulating you have to play Dundonald Links from the black tees and the score has to be always below hundred. It´s a real goodsundays.com recommendation.