Craighead is one of two courses at the Crail Golfing Society, the other being the ancient Balcomie Links. The club is located just outside of the actual village itself around five miles from St Andrews in Fife. A tough test of modern golf adjacent to the North Sea, the wind often gets up on the coast and is there to stay, providing quite a daunting task. This was famous architect Gil Hanse’s first course design outside America and opened in 1998.
There are plenty of blind shots and dry stone walls with worrying out of bounds lines to test your nerve. Club selection can be a real issue – chuck in the wind and anything’s possible! Crail also possesses some difficult pot bunkers as we found out on the 13th (best not to go into details – it’s not pretty!).
The slightly downhill par-4 10th was a particular highlight as it offers a dilemma for low and high handicappers alike. With a number of bunkers protecting the front of the green, the wind behind and the North Sea staring back at me, standing on the tee box with driver in hand was a daunting prospect.
A par 4 that is a test of course management and rewards both bravery and stupidity in equal measure gets a big thumbs up from me. The views at Crail from every hole were a joy to behold and all the more impressive on a sunny but windy day on the links.
The Isle of May met the skyline with a glimmer in the distance and although the golf on the day was slightly erratic the views made it all the more enjoyable.