Pitlochry Golf Club Course Review

The wonderfully scenic hillside course at Pitlochry Golf Club is a feast for the eye and a golfing delight

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 10
An idyllic view over the mountains looking back over the tenth hole
(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

Pitlochry Golf Club Course Review
Round: £60 (£35 Weds)
Par 69, 5,692 yards
Slope 119
GM Verdict A wonderfully located journey through the Grampian hills with the most glorious views
Favourite Hole The fabulous short 16th, Cluniemore, with an elevated tee shot way down to a must-hit green

Arguably one of the longest 5,700 yards in British golf, the course at Pitlochry is a very enjoyable test which works its way up and down the foothills of the glorious Grampian Mountains. You might think a course with no par 5s and just three short holes could be lacking in variety. Happily, this is definitely not the case here! The course was designed by Willie Fernie, a 4-time runner-up in the Open, and remodelled in the 1920s by Major Cecil Hutchison.

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 1

The well-bunkered opening hole as you start to work your way up the hill

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

The opening few holes will get the blood pumping, but the reward for your efforts is a non-stop rollercoaster round packed with sensational views, near and far. It’s effectively straight uphill for the first three holes where the yardage chart only tells half the story.

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 4

Looking back from behind the green at the short fourth

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

This stiff opening is followed by the first par 3 at the 4th, played across the slope to a very well bunkered green that occupies the site of an ancient Pictish fort. This may be the easiest hole according to the card, but it’s no pushover. The green on the 5th is the highest point on the course, roughly 300 feet above the characterful clubhouse.

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 12

The twelfth, Moine-Dubh, is a tough par 4 that concludes Pitlochry’s ‘Amen Corner’

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

Four two-shotters of modest length but limitless variety take you to the turn, and the back nine begins with the longest hole on the course at the start of Pitlochry’s own 3-hole Amen Corner. The 11th is a lovely par 3, and the 12th a long downhill par 4 with all manner of mischief including deep rough, trees, a burn, and a severe drop-off on the right of the green.

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 17

The penultimate hole is a short par 4 with a particularly tricky green

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

Accuracy is way more important than length as you slalom your way back down towards home via hole after hole of fun and interest. The 17th is driveable for the longest hitters, but here again there are plenty of features that can dash your hopes including OOB, trees and a very tricky green.

Pitlochry Golf Club - Hole 18

You return to the charming, pavilion-style clubhouse via a downhill par 4

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

You come back to earth at the 18th via another short but very attractive par 4 where, as in so many places here, it is all about an accurate approach.

Pitlochry Golf Club is way up high in the list of the best places to play golf in Perthshire. There may be some challenging climbs, but what goes up must come down, and the internal undulations and external views serve up a constant and very memorable visual treat. The clubhouse is home to the Red Deer pub, a great place for a drink and to trade post-round stories.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.