Golf Course Review of Newburgh on Ythan Golf Club
Newburgh on Ythan Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: A great blend of the old and the new
Our 5 Star Rating: 3.9
Newburgh-on-Ythan is very much a tale of two halves, but each one is worth listening to.
Dating back to 1888 this delightful links course was originally a nine-hole layout until as recently as 1996 when new land was acquired and a further nine were developed.
The course is situated on the Ythan Estuary, overlooking the North Sea and Sands of Forvie National Nature Reserve; the setting is nothing less than splendid.
On our visit in May 2015 the masses of canary-yellow gorse were in full bloom which made it even more colourful and visually striking.
The new holes are played today as the front-nine and not only have they bedded down exceptionally well you can just tell that they will get better and better with each passing year. The full course plays 6,423 yards to a par of 72. On our visit we had the extreme pleasure of playing with the current Lady Captain, a sheep farmer originally from New Zealand, who previously owned much of the land.
The front nine is significantly more undulating than the inward half and there are some very fine holes. The fourth, named “Drovers”, is memorable because the club have left the old stone walls in the fairway which cattle used to be herded into, before being taken to market in local towns such as Peterhead. A unique hazard if ever I saw one.
The sixth has a wonderful angled and falling green where approaching from the right is advantageous. The seventh is a fine risk-reward hole with a tight entrance to the green whilst the sweeping ninth is a grand way to end this part of the course that returns us to where we started.
Meanwhile, the back nine is a traditional links lovers dream. Looking out from the modern, glass-fronted clubhouse, over a sea of gorse, it would appear that the fairways are dead flat, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Although the land isn’t as rolling as the front-half the terrain is blessed with more natural contours; hollows and humps create gently rippling and undulating fairways. At the 12th, 13th and 14th the land is at its most tempestuous with some blind shots thrown into the mix.
Each of the green complexes on this side of the course are expertly sited and require thought as to how best approach them. Some are merely extensions of the fairway, others are set in hollows and some are raised. The second shot to the 13th is particularly impressive but it is difficult to single out individual holes on this nine because they are all very good and collectively excellent.
The round ends in the shadow of the impressive clubhouse, opened in 2001 by the 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, with a mighty par five of 548-yards. It curves to the left and has broken ground just before the green which itself is brilliantly contoured with the high point in the centre of the putting surface.
Newburgh-on-Ythan completed a visit of 6 clubs in Aberdeenshire during May 2015. It was a superb way to end our trip. Like all the clubs the greeting was warm and the golf was of an excellent standard. When planning your itinerary for a trip to this part of the country Newburgh-on-Ythan should most definitely be on your shortlist.
Club Website: www.newburghgolfclub.co.uk
Tournaments: Open golf competitions at Newburgh on Ythan Golf Club.
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