Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Duking it Out
The Dukes Course was built in the mid 90's by the Old Course hotel to have a place they could put their rich guests if they couldn't get a time on the Old Course. It's a parkland or in-land course, built on dirt as opposed to sand, so the knock was that it never drained well. When Koler bought the Old Course hotel, they also put a lot of money into redoing the Dukes Course. The renovations have turned out really well. They completely redid the last three holes and it seems to be a lot less marshy than it was in the old days.
I would recommend the Dukes Course if you are looking for a change from all the links golf in St. Andrews. It is a challenging course, especially from the back tees and the views are great. You can see all the way across St. Andrews on the 13th. I think the course plays better in the summer when it is dry as it can be a muddy slog if it has been raining a lot. There are a lot of bunkers and forced carries on the longer holes. The par threes are all interesting with tough greens. A lot of people take carts on this course as it can be a long walk from tee to green and the climb back up the hill on #9 and #18 is challenging. That said, if you are in half decent shape this will be an easy walk for you. The good news is that the food in the club house is great and it also has some of the best views in town, so plan to stay for at least one drink after you play. We stayed for lunch and I had a great burger and Dad had a giant portion of fish and chips, both were very reasonably priced.
Because it was quite cold and damp when we arrived this morning, we decided to play off the white tees. The decision paid off as I was out in 39 and back in 44, my best score in a long time.