And if courses were ranked entirely on charm, fun, individuality and uniqueness it would undoubtedly be top of the pile. It’s a place where enjoying the game of golf and the shots you play can (and should) be had without paying too much attention to your scorecard.
There’s so much to say about a quirky course like Bull Bay that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Ironically, perhaps the best place is at the very start of the round, to get this bit out of the way, because holes one, two and three are arguably the weakest on the course. Not that they are poor by any stretch of the imagination but after this opening trio it really is a thrill-a-minute, rollercoaster round of golf.
You play holes that climb and fall, sweep through valleys and soar onto plateaus; mostly between rocky outcrops and areas of gorse – it’s a truly spectacular setting for a memorable game of golf.
There are at least half-a-dozen truly wonderful and natural holes at this cliff-top venue which not only enjoys panoramic views but benefits also from good golfing turf. After a winter of hitting from wet and muddy parkland courses it was a joy to arrive at this coastal gem and hit iron shots from firm, moorland-esque fairways.
Where things really get going at Bull Bay is the green-site of the fourth; plateaued, angled and absolutely vital that you approach it from the correct side of the fairway. Indeed, no less than a dozen holes boast brilliantly located greens, more often than not perched up high, and it is the approach shots to these holes that are the real highlight to the round. There are also some wonderful tee-shots where you play from elevated positions to inviting fairways.
My favourite part of the course was the stretch from the ninth to the 14th. This is such a fun section of the property with lots of twists and turns in the terrain. The holes are routed over it brilliantly and it’s no surprise that one of my favourite architects, Herbert Fowler, is the man responsible for this ingenious design.
Bull Bay, a real all-year-round course, won’t eat you alive - although par is 70 with an SSS of 72 - but it will provide lots of entertaining and exciting golf. Few places can rival the spectacular setting and as their club website correctly (in my opinion) says; “Once played you are certain to return”.
Eyemouth is an easy-going, golf course with many different sections but mostly plays along the clifftops of the beautiful coastline close to the England-Scotland border.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.