Image with thanks to Andrew Crear, Panmure GC
Panmure is the sixteenth oldest golf club in the world, and is one of the twenty six clubs that originally helped purchase the Amateur Championship trophy first played for in 1885. The quality of the course has been recognised several times over the years with many significant competitions being staged on the course including local and national amateur championships. In keeping with the Carnoustie connection, the Panmure golf links have repeatedly been used for final qualifying of the Open Championship when its near neighbour has been asked to perform the honours.
|Handicap Restrictions||No handicap restrictions apply|
|Rating||37th in Scotland|
Another unmistakable feature of the Panmure is the distinct clubhouse. It is one of the finest old golf buildings in Scotland. Its unique and delightful lounges are full of character. If you take a look at the architecture in any detail you might not be surprised to learn that the origins are born out of a close trading relationship between Dundee and Calcutta in the halcyon days of the Jute Industry. The domed pavilion feel and decorative iron work are all typical of the time and the British Raj
The Course itself
The Panmure Golf Links is just over a mile and half west of Carnoustie. Because of a headland, it actually lies about 2 miles in land from the coast, although the nature of the course is distinctly linksy, but also introduces hints of heathland. Ben Hogan spent two weeks here in 1953 fine tuning his game ahead of the Open Championship. It clearly worked, he won by four shots and added a course record 68 to the ledger for good measure.
The Championship tees measure a little over 6500yds, but as is often the case with a links, the defences come from factors other than length. Good strategy is key. A total of 81 bunkers defend 15 of the holes. These a pot bunkers too, more penal than the parkland ‘sand traps’. Also worth being aware of is the long rough, a notorious score wrecker. This is before you factor the wind into the equation of course, which can be seriously spiteful in Angus.
The course has a relatively gentle beginning before cranking through the gears and asking more searching questions. It begins with a couple of reasonably flat, and straight affairs, before it begins to transform around the third, as fir trees, dunes festooned with gorse, and subtle hollows, bumps and swales start to play havoc with your nerves. Obstructive hillocks, and snaggling heather also begin to join in the defence now with greater frequency.
The sixth, is rated the hardest hole on the course by SI, played to a raised green, and is the first clue that things are about to start getting less obliging. This was the hole that captured Hogan’s imagination back in ’53 and carries his name today
The seventh begins a fine stretch around the turn which will have you on the defence. This is the longest par 4 on the course and will need to be shown the respect it commands. The eighth puts a premium on accuracy requiring that you thread your shot between hills. The tenth is a challenging dog leg, but just as you’re settling in, the course changes direction which becomes doubly difficult if on the wrong end of a capricious wind.
The stretch from eleven to thirteen possibly sums up the essence of Panmure. The twelfth feature a delightful S-shaped burn that snakes its way across the fairway on its journey to Carnoustie and out into the North Sea. The comparative lack of yardage can seduce you into ‘having a go’, but beware, there are plenty of bunkers waiting to penalise the errant. Somehow you need to combine strategy with accuracy. The shortest distance to the green isn’t always the best place to play your second from
The longest hole on the course, a par 5 awaits you on the 14th, before you run onto a challenging par 3 of 234 yards. The final trip home is filled with a string of par 4’s, which needn’t necessarily live up to the stretch you’ve just negotiated. Panmure however remains a firm favourite amongst golfers, its greens often earning high praise for their immaculate condition and true running. The course constantly asks questions and keeps you honest to the end.
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Buggy hire, Trolleys, Caddies and Clubs
|Rental Carts Available||Yes, but restricted in number|
|Caddies||Yes but limited|
|Rental Clubs Available||Yes|
When playing Scotland you are very much in the heartland of the sports traditions. In a lot of cases this won’t extend to 20th century inventions such as buggies/ carts. You are invited to take a step-back into history to a large extent and play a round in the manner more akin to how the game was originally conceived. The Panmure golf links are one of the less physically demanding courses