An unassuming true links with fabulous green complexes


Arbroath Golf Club

Arbroath Golf Club

Date Reviewed
September 16, 2016
Reviewed by Ed Battye
There’s a deceptive quality to the humble yet alluring links course at Arbroath which would not only make an excellent companion when playing at Carnoustie, or en route to Aberdeen from the South, but is well worthy of a play in its own right.

This traditional layout is owned by Angus Council and is operated and run by the Arbroath Golf Links Committee of Management. Arbroath Artisan Golf Club is a private members club who also play over the links which was originally designed by Old Tom Morris in 1877, redesigned a few decades later by Willie Fernie and then altered once more by James Braid.

From the tee it’s not a course that asks you to work or think particularly hard but the greens, both the internal contouring and their surrounds, are not only excellent but present several conundrums to solve for the golfer. All are located handsomely into their natural surrounds and seamlessly integrate with the rest of the course where everything is in perfect proportion. The greenside bunkering is also of a particularly high standard from both a strategic and maintenance perspective.

The total yardage is 6,200 from the white tees and this equates to a par of 70. It’s a course that isn’t going to beat you up but with any sort of a wind it’s equally not going to surrender to mediocre golf.

The set of short holes are of a very high quality. You play over a burn to a tilted green at the impressive fourth but it is the next three that steal the show. The seventh is played to a scintillating semi-blind and sunken green, the 14th to a treacherous narrow ledge and the 16th to a wonderful putting surface surround by several deep bunkers. None of these three holes would be out of place on any of the more notorious courses on this stretch of Scottish coastline.

The opening and finishing holes are played on flatter ground close to the clubhouse and they are not the most memorable but once you are out into the heart of the rumpled linksland there is very little not to like here.

The 348-yard par-four third is a charming hole which narrows at driving distance before you pitch to a well-protected and slightly raised putting surface. Indeed many of the greens are slightly lifted and this adds much interest throughout. If you get chance do take a look at each one of them from the next tee; this side-view highlights just how good many of them are.

Other holes of note, aside from the one-shotters, would be the 12th - a fantastic driveable par four where erring on the left is a wise move - and the 13th - played alongside the railway to a table top green. However, every hole has something of interest, especially as you near the greens.

At Arbroath you’ll find a beautifully and naturally undulating tract of traditional linksland, some expertly located greens, exposure to the wind, a trainline running down the side of the course and even a double green! What’s not to like?

This really is a much underrated golf course that is genuinely playable for all types of golfer and will present a fair, but above all else interesting, challenge to each and every one.

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