Situated on the southern shores of the Firth of Forth
between Aberlady Bay
and Gosford Bay, Kilspindie Golf Club
offers a classic links layout. Founded in 1867, Kilspindie lays claim to being the 35th oldest golf club in the world
, so in playing here, you really are taking a step back into the historical annals of the great game. Though probably a little short to play host to any of the major events of the golfing calendar, Kilspindie hosts its own version of a major in the shape of the "Alternative Ryder Cup",
which is played every second year and is contested by two teams of 12 from the United States and Europe, each of them playing with pre-1930's hickory shafts.
Boasting a total length of 5,480 yards and a par of 69, Kilspindie
may not be as long as some of its illustrious neighbours, which include Gullane
and North Berwick,
but you can be assured that it is a classic, traditional Scottish links
. There is probably a common misperception, which persists in the mind of golfers, that requires a great golf course to be brutally humbling experience. This is not the case at Kilspindie. Though certainly a real links challenge, Kilspindie offers a standard scratch of 66, three below its par of 69 and serves as a traditional links experience that can be enjoyed by all - not just the lower handicap golfer.
Bordering the nature reserve at Aberlady Bay
offers majestic views across the Firth of Forth. Its layout offers no less than thirteen par fours, of varying lengths, four par threes and just one par five. Though certainly short, Kilspindie is quite tight and following the 167-yard opening hole, the 515-yard par five, 2nd makes the initial introduction to the sea, which provides close company for the next two holes. The stretch from the 2nd to the 4th hole, which is rated as the most difficult on the course, generally plays into the prevailing south-westerly wind, while the par three, 8th hole is a classic. At 162 yards in length, distance may not be a problem but with the sea cutting in from the right, many balls will find a watery repose.
At just over 2,600 yards in length, the par 34 homeward stretch is even shorter than the front nine, but it is equally enjoyable. Following a number of short par fours at the 11th, 12th and 14th holes, you are confronted by two tough par fours in the shape of the 436-yard, 15th hole, which is rated as the second most difficult on the course, and the 412-yard, 16th hole. Overall, the course may be short but it does have its fair share of pot bunkers and when the wind blows, you will find yourself constantly questioning the yardages on the course planner.