Scotland's Eastern promise

Irresistible appeal of these mighty links

Clive Agran
Mon, 21 Apr 2008
Scotland's Eastern promise

Clive’s Five Top Holes

9th on the Medal at Montrose
Over 440 yards in length, this par-4 completes the front nine. Called ‘Jubilee’, you drive over gorse from an elevated tee avoiding trouble on the left and the out of bounds on the right. If you’re not chipping out sideways, your next shot will be a long one, invariably into the wind, between bunkers and mounds to a shallow but wide green. Good luck!

Kingsbarns' 12th hole
18th at Edzell
A spectacular climax to a thrilling course. The sweeping par-5 18th begins on a lofty tee, gently brings you back down to earth and finishes in front of a lovely, traditional, old clubhouse.

12th at Kingsbarns
Almost every hole at Kingsbarns is a gem but, after much agonising, my vote goes to the wonderful par-5 12th. The sheer beauty of this inviting hole, which runs along the coast, justifies the enormous green fee. With the sea on your left, dunes on your right and a wonderfully wide fairway in between, it’s orgasmic from the elevated tee to the equally elevated green. Whatever you score, you’ll walk up the hill to the 13th tee smiling.

14th at Balcomie Links
A gorgeous 149-yard par-3 called ‘The Cave.’ Unless you hit an unmentionable shot, the sea on your right shouldn’t come into play. Of much more concern are the five little bunkers that surround the green and ensnare any tentative shot. Be bold.

10th on the Old Course at Letham Grange
Called ‘Magungie Wood,’ it’s even harder to play than it is to pronounce. After walking up the path from the 9th green, you’ll arrive breathless on the tee. Take a moment to savour the fabulous view. It’s out of bounds to the left and right, so strike a long iron or modest wood down the middle. Your problems aren’t over yet as you now have to carry the lake to reach a wide and welcoming green. Beware the menacing bunkers behind

Clive’s Five things to do
after golf

Visit Edinburgh – a wonderful old city full of history and beautiful buildings. Much as I hate to admit it, even the shops are interesting.

Letham Grange Old course

Visit a whisky distillery – there are dozens scattered all over the place. Taste the samples generously offered but be sure to go after your round; never before!

Take a walk – although golf provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some beautiful scenery, sometimes you have to be a little more adventurous. If you want to ogle at a few fabulous courses on the way, take the Fife Coastal Path.

Go fishing – if you’ve had no luck on the course, perhaps you’ll hook into a decent salmon or trout. If not, there are worse ways of whiling away a few hours than standing on a river’s edge admiring the scenery.

Wander around St Andrews – irrespective of whether or not you play any of the courses in and around this wonderful city, you must stroll around its gorgeous streets, admire the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse, visit the golf museum and soak up the atmosphere.