13. Rothes; 8th April 2015

9 hole course in the heart of the Speyside Whisky Trail – suggest you play before you tipple.

Summary:  £20 (18 holes). ; £15 (9 holes) Par 35.  Score 48.  Value (out of 5) – 2.5

Detail;  This is a nice course especially if you are holidaying in the highlands and just “fancy a game”.  Although potentially classed as a “highland” course, its has a typical “parkland” feel, without any of the characteristic heather found on other highland courses.

150408_Rothes_Macallan tee_v2The course sits to the North above the village of Rothes, and is close to many of the local distilleries which make up the famous “whisky trail”.  Indeed, it’s just a couple of miles from “The Macallan”, often cited as one of the great single malts.


As to the course, it is on a fairly exposed bit of land, so check the weather forecast for the wind and rain forecast.  A north easterly wind in particular, which is what I faced , makes the first 2 holes up a slight hill very formidable, with out of bounds done the left.  My main tip is to forego length on the first 2 holes and get it on the fairway.

The fine 3rd hole, probably the course signature - beware the hidden ditch

The fine 3rd hole, probably the course signature – beware the hidden ditch

The 3rd hole, the first played downhill, is one of those holes that is more difficult from the yellow tee (played as a par 4), rather than the white tee (played as a par 5).  Watch out for the hidden ditch which will catch a well hit drive from the yellow.

The fairways and greens were well kept and in good condition for the time of year.  There is a nice clubhouse with bar and snacks available.

My main gripe with Rothes is the relatively expensive cost of just wanting to play 9 holes – £15 versus £20 for 18 holes.  I think these highland course depend on the holiday golfer for

The short 6th - one of the better birdie opportunities

The short 6th – one of the better birdie opportunities

income and often holidaymakers just want to have a 9 hole round.  Perhaps a fee around 60% of the full fee is more appropriate.

Nonetheless, don’t let that put you off playing, between visits to the local distilleries.  It has some lovely open views of the countryside to make your round enjoyable.

Key Facts

Course Type: Parkland

Green Fees:   18 holes £20, 9 holes £15  (All week)

Par 35 (1 par 5, 6 par 4s, 2 par 3s)

Distance(yellow): 2472 yards

Moly’s Gross score: 48

Moly's Rothes Scorecard - Disastrous start an understatement!

Moly’s Rothes Scorecard – Disastrous start an understatement!

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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