Monifieth Medal and Ashludie - true links challenge
By: Alan Rae
Date: 29 April 2016
If you’re looking for a classic Scottish links experience, look no further than Monifieth. Set on the Angus coast, and standing proudly with its neighbours at Barry and Carnoustie, Monifieth has not just one, but two excellent courses offering challenges to all golfers.
The longer of the two courses, the Medal has been a qualifying course for The Open and still hosts regional and national competitions. The par of 71 is made up of three par 3s, two par 5s and thirteen par 4s.
What the Ashludie lacks in distance, it more than makes up for in the intricacies of the course layout and the demands put on the golfers’ short game.
Next to the classic starter’s box, you begin your Medal journey with the excitement of playing the first six holes straight out towards Carnoustie, with the main Aberdeen to London railway line making its presence felt, all the way and especially on the first, fifth and sixth.
The first is a relatively gentle introduction to the course, if you can ignore the railway line, and can be a great chance to post a good score. Take the chance if you can, because the long second, third and fourth will happily take any shots back. The fifth is the first short hole on the Medal and you may want to time your tee shot well as the London express rattles past, no more than 50 yards away.
You may have some assistance from the prevailing wind from the west as you make your way down the first six holes but don’t become complacent – after the sixth, you turn straight back into the wind for one of the longer par 4s – and by the way, there’s an interesting little burn that winds its way across the 7th fairway – the same burn that may have caught your attention as you stood on the 6th tee, wondering just how to place your drive between the water and the railway.
The course offers some breathing space – occasionally! After the rigours of the first seven, the 8th offers a great birdie opportunity – do your best to take it, because the first of the two par 5s awaits at the 9th and it is a real three-shot hole.
The second nine starts with the dog-leg 10th, with the very visible pond on the left encouraging you to be accurate with your drive. The par three 11th demands one more club that it first appears. Again accuracy is key with four greenside bunkers ready to pounce. The 12th offers a birdie chance but the long par four 13th is ready to take the stroke back again with a well placed drive and long second needed to reach the green. The 14th is a delightful short hole with the varying tees asking for a range of clubs, especially when the wind blows!
For many, the 15th is the Medal’s signature hole – a slight dog-leg to the right, it demands a well-placed tee shot to allow sight of the green, which is well guarded by one of the few trees on the course, and an undulating green – watch out for the front pin position!
The run for home starts with the short par four 16th, one of the birdie chances, but again, take what you can because the 17th is waiting for you – a long par four, which plays all of its length if the wind is blowing against you.
And then, to finish, and heading back into Monifieth, there is the par five 18th, a birdie opportunity after two long, straight shots giving a short approach to the green.
This is links golf at its best – firm, rolling fairways, rivetted bunkers and greens offering subtle borrows and perfect surfaces. All shots are needed and with the tight links lies, you may have an excellent lesson in the bump and run shot.
The Ashludie course, with its par of 68, offers the same first class conditions, but shorter holes, and smaller greens, make a good short game essential.
Four golf clubs and a pro shop provide food, refreshments and golfing necessities and there is a good supply of buggies, bookable at the starter’s box.
You are assured of an excellent day’s golf at Monifieth with a true links challenge.
For further information and bookings, please go to www.monifiethgolf.co.uk