48. Kingussie. 5th Aug 2016.

Challenging highland course with great views

Round £30.  Par 67.  Value (out of 5) 3.5

Kingussie golf course sits above the village of Kingussie in the Badenoch area of the Cairngorms National Park and is easily accessed using the A9 Perth-Inverness road.  The River Gynack, a tributary of the Spey, runs through the course and along with the wonderful highland surrounds and heather in view (and in play!) make Kinussie a classic Highland golf challenge.

The par 5 4th with a plateau green - think through your course management here

The par 5 4th with a plateau green – think through your course management here

The club was founded in 1891 and like most highland courses has gone through periods of economic downturn, but the current 18 hole layout is very well established and can be traced back to the early part of last century, including significant input from the great Harry Vardon.

There is a good mix of holes at Kingussie.  The long 225 yard par 3 first is very difficult start, followed immediately by the SI 1 431 yard par 4 2nd, which has a ditch and thick rough down the left.   After the only par 5 at the 4th, played to a high plateau green, things quieten down a little with good opportunities to score at short par 4s and par 3s.

A real birdie opportunity at the par 3 7th

A real birdie opportunity at the par 3 7th

The opening par 3 actually sets the tone for a rather unorthodox layout, which twice has back-to-back par 3s, the short 7th and 8th, and later the 15th and 16th.  The 16th is actually a great par 3, at almost 200 yards, with the river sitting close to the right of the green.

The 18th is a very difficult driving hole, with the river tight on the driving line on the left, but if you manouver that you are left with inly a short iron – a great risk-reward finish.

The 11th green, with classic Highland surrounds

The 11th green, with classic Highland surrounds

The course was in beautiful condition when I played. The fairways and greens were excellent, but like most highland courses there were only limited bunkers around – but, hey, who’s going to complain about that.

I paid £18 using the teeofftimes.co.uk web site rather than the standard £30.  I think these on-line system are providing a dillema for clubs’ pricing policy;  is it better to have a standard fee of £18 without discount (like Huntly GC) or the model used at Kingussie? On-line booking gives opportunities, but only if that pricing policy isn’t putting off the normal highland tourist?

Fran at the 14th tee, the tough SI2 hole at Kingussie

Fran at the 14th tee, the tough SI2 hole at Kingussie

On the day I scored 95, as usual including a disaster which this time occured at the 17th, when my snap hook went further left than it went forward forward – then an 8 with the second ball!  That, coupled with another 3 off the tee at the last, kept me to 29 stableford points.

This really is a gem of a golf course within a spectacular highland environment and I would highly recommend playing, especially making use of the discounts on offer through the on-line booking system.

The 17th at Kingussie - Moly scored a 10 - with classic vistas

The 17th at Kingussie – Moly scored a 10 – with classic vistas

Some Facts

Course Type: Highland

Par 67 (1 par 5s, 11 par 4s, 6 par 3s)

Distance Yards   5501 (white) 5315 (yellow)

Moly’s Gross Score95

Moly's Kingussie Scorecard, including a 10 at 17!

Moly’s Kingussie Scorecard, including a 10 at 17!

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!
This entry was posted in 18 holes, 1851 - 1900, 3.5 star, 4 star, Course Architech, Course Owned By, Course Quality, Course Type, Harry Vardon, Highland, Holes, Members, Overall Value, Price, Region, The Highlands, When Course Established, £20 - £39. Bookmark the permalink.