102. Covesea. 23rd July 2020.

This incredibly fun 9 hole course is like playing in Gordon’s Dream

Round £10. Par 31. Value (out of 5) – 5

Covesea, pronounced “Cowsea” by the locals, is a wonderful surprise. Built by Gordon Clarke in 2010 pretty much on his own and still maintained by him, Covesea costs £10 for 9 holes or £15 for the day. It used to have a cafe called the Tee Shack, which unfortunately burnt down in 2014. Overall, it feels like playing in someone’s dream.

The 5th green with the wonderful view back towards the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse

The course sits on the Moray coastline between the towns of Lossiemouth and Hopeman, set in a cove just west of the Covesea Skerries lighthouse. It is a magnificent setting for a golf course and my first thought on seeing it, was why had this piece of land never been developed as a course during the heyday of Victorian golf course building – unfortunately I wasn’t able to track down an answer, but there must be one! For those familiar with Scottish golf, Covesea has many resemblances with Cullen (1908), Anstruther (1890) and Shiskine (1896).

The dramatic and difficult tee shot at the 8th, with the sandstone structures enveloping the hole.

With it being basically a “one man band” operation, Gordon’s green keeping duties concentrate on the greens and their surrounds; this means the tees and fairways are, in places, very poor. However, if you can see past that, the condition of the greens are really good and must be the best in Scotland with a fee of “up to £10”.

The course comprises 5 par 3s and 4 par 4s, and several of these are very challenging holes.

The 2nd at Covesea, with a “Good, Bad and Ugly” feel – a very difficult pin to find.

In particular, the 5th through 8th, are dominated by the craggy rock formations and offer a lovely stretch of golf, with spectacular views from the 5th green and 6th tee.

The 8th green, clearly showing the variance between the fantastic greens and less well kept surrounds.

Overall, this is a brilliant “Value for Money”, and what a legacy for Gordon to have built. With good greens and fairways, I just wonder what the fees could be?


Course Type: Links

Par 31 (4 par 4s, 5 par 3s)

Distance: 2000

Moly’s Gross score37

Moly’s Covesea Scorecard – 38, 7 over

About Moly McMillan

Moly McMillan lives in Broughty Ferry on the east coast of Scotland. He is a self employed business consultant and devotes some of his time to achieving his life long ambition - to play every golf hole in Scotland, every single one!
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