Played by NCG: Newton Stewart
Reason for a Newton Stewart Golf Club review
While on a family holiday in Dumfries & Galloway, I took the chance to nip the 10 miles from Garlieston to Newton Stewart.
Where is Newton Stewart Golf Club?
One of the bigger towns in the region, Newton Stewart hugs the edge of the A75 that connects Stranraer with Dumfries. The golf course is right in the centre.
What to expect
You’ll get some lofty views from this parkland, which is set on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park. Cairnsmore and Wigtown Bay come into focus at various points and, on the lovely summer’s evening when I played, it was quite a sight.
Newton Stewart is pretty short by modern standards, at 5,806 yards off the whites, but it’s tight and tough at various points – particularly on the first couple of holes with an out of bounds line that passes perilously close to the green.
You then take a sharp climb to the third tee and, once you’ve recovered your breath, take aim at a par 3 that has a steep bank and two trees protecting the green like goalposts.
If you play at a flat course, which I do, then some of the undulations in the fairways and the slopes through the front and middle of the back nine are going to make approach shots something of a challenge.
But this is an enjoyable test and, with some strong short holes and some interesting par 4s once you’re through the turn, it’s worth taking the time to visit if you are in the area.
I visited during the height of the summer drought and you can expect the course to be an awful lot greener during usual conditions.
Favourite hole at Newton Stewart Golf Club?
The 10th is clearly the showpiece with the green on the par 3 lying slightly below the tee and protected by a burn that runs through from the left hand side.
You’re better off long than short here. But even if you avoid the water and the rough that guards the front, you can still find yourself in a world of trouble if you’re long or slightly wayward.
It’s a great view and a great hole. Even so, it was a close call with the 14th as to which I liked more.
The latter is a more conventional par 4 but a great driving hole – a very gentle dogleg that is framed by thick trees on both sides.
They don’t really come into play unless you are wild – it’s not tight by any means – but it does make the drive very attractive.
My best bit
Birdies were in short supply but a decent run of pars both before and after the turn made it a respectable score.
One of my better shots came at the 13th, which is distinctive for the wall that lies off the back of the green. Newton Stewart is a course that rewards confidence. If you drive and strike the ball well, you will score. If you don’t there are plenty of pitfalls awaiting.
What to look for
The cult film The Wicker Man, starring Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee, was filmed in Newton Stewart and the surrounding area.
When I go back
I’ll play the 10th a little more defensively and aim to find the putting surface, rather than the trees and the burn.