Robert Thomson writes in the Canadian Golfer about his recent golfing trip to the East of Scotland:
The goal of my trip to Scotland was to see a mix of old and new, bold recent creations and gems that don’t get as much attention. That meant we snuck in a round at the Old Course, but also played Elie, Eden, Crail and Lundin while in St. Andrews before venturing north.
My thought was that most people can’t afford to pay $300 for every round as they collect trophy courses, so they’ll want to break it up with options.
The surprise of the trip was the quality of Elie, a legendary course not a half hour from St. Andrews. Yes, it is the one with the periscope on the first tee due to the blind shot over the hill. And yes, the periscope is as cool as Johnny Depp in sunglasses, and practical as well. Oh, and the hole is a monster – 420 yards over a rise before plunging down to the green on the far end of the property.
Elie was likely the surprise of my whirlwind five-day tour of Scotland. I expected it to be good, but I didn’t have a sense of just how strong it would be. It had many of the most interesting greens I saw on the trip and its mix of holes and lengths was exceptional. It hits you with a short par four out of the gate – the second is 284 yards to a green perched at the top of a hill – and then makes a run for the coast. By the time you reach the outlandishly cool short 10th, with its green set in front of a rugged coastline, I suspect every golfer will feel like they’ve been on a rollercoaster ride on a links. Holes run straight for the water (6), play short to incredible greens (5, 7) and hit you with big downhill tee shots (9 at 440 yards).
Elie finally hits the beach for a stretch of holes with few rivals. From 10 to 14, Elie is as good as any golf course anywhere, and the 13th, a mid-length four to a raised green, really sets itself apart as one of the best I’ve seen in Scotland. The course makes a run of seven straight par fours to finish, concluding on a great mid-length four. When we finished children (who were out of school on holiday) were crammed onto the nearby putting course, filling out the range and hitting shots on the short course.
Elie was brimming with golfing life – and it was a great site to behold ………….