You won’t find championship standard golf here but that’s not to say the course doesn’t present plenty of challenges, it does, and you will have much fun rising and perhaps falling to them.
Kilspindie opens with a relatively straight forward par three. The proximity of the clubhouse and the knowledge that your first shot of the day is with an iron (along with a good chance of some onlookers) is probably more daunting that the series of bunkers that front the green.
The next three holes all run along the shoreline and with fantastic views across Aberlady Bay to the golf courses at Gullane it’s easy to be distracted from the task at hand. The second hole is a par five, the only one on the scorecard, whilst the third and fourth are medium length par fours. There is plenty of room to the left on all three holes but the favoured approach is from the right, especially at the two par fours, so a risky drive close to the beach is ideal!
Both the third and fourth have magnificent green-settings, close to the waters edge with stunning backdrops, but the best is yet to come and that arrives at the par three eighth played over a sandy bay to a green set on a little peninsula and fronted by wooden sleepers.
There are lots of lovely green complexes throughout the round and because there are a number of short par fours you will get to enjoy a series of tricky pitches and partially blind shots into them. Sometimes you’re not sure if you’ve hit it close until you get to the green.
An old stone wall comes into play towards the end of the round which adds further character to Kilspindie. The first contact of this is at the par three 13th, but only if you are wayward, whilst it is very much more in play at both the 17th and 18th where you must successfully negotiate it with your approach at the former and potentially drive over it at the last.
It’s not difficult to fall in love with this course and its setting. After just one visit I’m already looking forward to returning. I played it on the same day as Gullane No.1 and it proved to be the perfect accompaniment to the championship layout for those seeking to play 36 holes on the same day.
It's only 5,502 yards (par 69) and ranks as one of the best golf courses under 6,000 yards.
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.
There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews.