In my opinion the old course St. Andrews is way too crowded and there are so many other beautiful courses around this area. So I decided to play a late afternoon round at Kittocks after an overwhelming day in St. Andrews town. I already made some kind of location check and walked around Kittocks the day before. After the check I thought that this course could be very easy to play. What a reckless imagination.
It just needs a light breeze and this course develops its pure toughness. Most of the holes are build on the cliffs next to the ocean and when the sun is shining Kittocks is a remarkable place with its view towards St. Andrews town and among the ocean.
It was almost 5pm when I arrived on the first tee. But no need to hurry you can easily play 18 holes because sunset is around 22pm during this time of the year. I teed it up and hit it death center on the fairway. Next shot on this beautiful par 5 was a layup shot because of stronger winds. So I placed my third on the green and I didn’t expect anything else but devilish fast greens. The wind was getting stronger and stronger and Kittocks just gave me a first impression of what to expect during the next days of golf in Scotland.
Another spectacular hole on the front nine was No. 4, a long par 4 towards the ocean with a huge canyon in front of the green. You need a bizarre long drive or two very accurate iron shots to position your ball in a reachable distance for attacking the green even if the wind is with you, like in my case. I needed five strokes to reach it. From now on Kittocks is a divine beauty.
You can see the ocean from every hole. Without the wind, this amazing course would just be easy to play.
One of the next holes which I was really impressed of was No. 7. The tee box well placed on the cliffs of the ocean, from here you can hit a nice and long drive with the help of the wind down on the fairway. But don’t get to long, there are three bunkers looking like Mickey Mouse waiting for your ball. Sure you won’t get messy with Mickey!
Once you fullfill this task you can focus your game on the fantastic back nine. In my opinion an amazing combination of nine golf holes. But the most exciting part are the last 3 holes. Starting with a par 3 in front of the clubhouse with a green directed to the ocean and decorated with some mean bunkers. It remined me a little bit on hole No. 5 of Pebble Beach. Looks easy but not with wind.
No. 17 is just gorgeous and with 405 yards from the blue championship tees just amazing. On the right side “out of bounce” and on the left gorse and high rough. This hole requires two perfect long distance shots to have any chance to play it par. As an average player I would recommend to play it like a par 5 because of a huge canyon combined with some bunkers just in front of the green.
Just an amazing hole. With a 5 on my scorecard I made my way to the next tee. The finishing hole is again a relative long par 4 with a very narrow fairway and some unusual water hazards on the left an right side towards the nice and modern clubhouse.
The green itself is undulated and hard to read. Again par on this hole which is an awesome result. In summary Kittocks is an amazing golf course but has his malices and challenges on every hole.