Glasgow-based G1 architects have once again hit the mark with a stylish yet subtle facility that will officially open as lockdown restrictions ease on 26th April 2021.
Is This The Best New Clubhouse In Scotland?
Officially opening on 26th April 2021, the new building, designed by the architects responsible for the striking art-deco inspired clubhouse at Castle Stuart, will greatly enhance the quality of facilities at Dumbarnie Links on the Fife coast.
Glasgow-based G1 architects have earned something of a reputation as the go-to firm for new golf clubhouse projects in Scotland.
Having designed the exceptional art-deco inspired clubhouse at Castle Stuart on the Moray Firth, they have now created a very special 19th hole at Dumbarnie Links.
The project at Dumbarnie displays the architects and owners' skill in creating a building that sit perfectly in its surroundings.
Conceived with input from the landowner Lord Anthony Balniel, the new clubhouse at Dumbarnie has been designed to echo the historic farm buildings to be found elsewhere on the Balcarres Estate and through this part of Fife.
It’s a wonderfully subtle design making use of local stone and railway sleepers that nod to the old railway line that used to run through the land on which the course sits.
Simplicity and style run throughout the interior of the building. The drama is left for outside on the tremendous Clive Clark-designed course.
The views from “The Old Barn” restaurant out over the rumpled links are magnificent – extremely enticing if you’re having a pre-round coffee and enough to make you want to head back out if you’re sipping a cold, post-round beer.
If you are enjoying a beer (outside at first of course on the terrace overlooking the course), you might well try one of Dumbarnie’s own.
They have teamed up with St Andrews Brewery to create their own Dumbarnie Lager, and Dumbarnie IPA. There’s also an impressive selection of whiskies from across the Highlands, Islands, Speyside and Islay on offer.
The restaurant run by head chef Chris Skinner delivers a great selection of hearty favourites, from Scottish staples like Cullen Skink to more international fayre – the hand stretched pizzas are particularly impressive.
With fully stocked pro shop/player reception and sleek locker-rooms, the clubhouse is streamlined and sophisticated while also being practical and unpretentious. It’s a high-quality facility.
The opening of the new clubhouse at Dumbarnie is the latest in a run of good-news stories for the young Fife links.
Earlier this year, the course made its debut at Number 40 in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 Golf Courses UK and Ireland 2021/22.
It was the highest new entry in the list.
In addition, in March, Dumbarnie Links was named as the venue for the 2021 Women’s Scottish Open to be held from August 12-15.
Taking place the week before the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, the Women’s Scottish Open at Dumbarnie is set to attract a strong field with players from all over the world taking the chance to play the excellent new course, and to hone their links skills.
Although the pandemic has prevented Dumbarnie welcoming overseas visitors, as had been expected, they have enjoyed an extremely busy first year of operation.
With local and domestic golfers taking the chance to experience the new layout, the team at Dumbarnie has been hugely busy since play commenced at the easing of lockdown 1 in May 2020.
“It’s been fantastic” said General Manager David Scott. “We’ve had great feedback from golfers through last year and it’s been great to see the take-up of tee times as we start a new season. We’ve made some improvements to the course over the winter and it’s in excellent shape. The new clubhouse really completes the package and we’re delighted with both its design and functionality.”
Designed by former Ryder Cup player Clive Clark, the layout at Dumbarnie presents a challenging but fair strategic test.
Elevated tees provide great views across the layout, sweeping fairways lead to impressive, sloping green complexes while surrounding dunes are sculpted to give a rugged feel.
The turf is very much classic links, as are the beautifully revetted bunkers. But the contouring and undulations are clearly guided by a more modern course design philosophy: A good blend.
With further cosmetic improvements to the layout, a superb new clubhouse offering first-rate food and drinks, plus a world-class tournament to look forward to, 2021 looks set to be a great year at Dumbarnie.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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