History and Location
Golf has been played at Monifieth for hundreds of years. Way before there was recognised golf courses. Parish records show a local citizen being admonished for playing golf before noon on a Sunday, in 1639, 384 years ago!
The first official 9 hole course was laid out in 1845 by Allan Robertson of St. Andrews, the world’s first professional golfer. Three years later, Robertson worked on the Old Course at St. Andrews and created the world famous Road Hole along with those double greens. He also laid out the first holes at Carnoustie. Robertson’s apprentice at that time was Tom Morris, now known as Old Tom Morris.
The sign at the first tee
Nowadays, Monifieth Golf Links has 36 holes, the Medal course and the Ashludie. The Ashludie was designed by none other than James Braid. History abounds at Monifieth, even as recently as 1975 when Tom Watson hit his first ever shots on a links course here. The Links courses are public and have 3 Golf Clubs affiliated to them. Monifieth Golf Club, The Grange and Broughty and Ladies Panmure all play on the courses.
The Links at Monifieth are just under 7 miles east of the city of Dundee and under 20 miles from the Home of Golf, St. Andrews.
After checking in at the Monifieth Links Centre, we headed to the first tee and were met by Sandy, the starter. He asked us if we had played the links before and when we said no, Sandy gave us some advice on how to play the opening holes and told us to just enjoy our round.
The yardage on the Medal course ranges from 5883 yards to the back tees at 6645 yards. We chose to play from the back tees with a par of 71 and a slope rating of 72.4/132 for the men. For the Ladies, the par is 73 with a slope rating of 74.5/134.
Approach to the first green
The opening hole is short, only 338 yards. The Aberdeen to London East Coast main line is on your right so with Sandy’s advice still ringing in our ears, we teed off with a 3 hybrid. Our tee shot hit the undulating fairway and avoided the fairway bunkers. This left us with a 9 iron to the green and two putts for a straightforward opening par. Thank you Sandy!
The second short to the third hole
After that gentle opening hole, holes 2, 3 and 4 are tough and all have the railway line to your right. All are over 400 yards, which was manageable as there was little wind. The 2nd hole is 414 yards. We went with our driver off the tee, found the fairway and reached the green with a solid 8 iron. Another relatively easy par.
That was all to change on the third where our driver off the tee found a bunker up the right. We managed to hit it 10 yards sideways out the bunker. This left us with 4 hybrid to the green. Our shot finished just off the green in the fringe. The golfing gods were with us as we sank a 20 footer and walked to the next tee with a lucky par.
Your second shot to the fourth
The fourth hole is stroke index 1 and the toughest hole on the course. At 456 yards it’s a long par 4. You have to hit driver off the tee to have any chance of reaching in two. If you hit the fairway, you then have to thread your second shot between two dunes to reach the putting surface. We hit a 3 hybrid for our second and were delighted to get on the front of the green. Two putts later and we had started with fours straight pars!
Single Par 3
The fifth hole
The only par 3 on the front nine is the 5th hole. At 191 yards, you hit from a slightly elevated tee box. We were lucky that the pin was on the front of the green so didn’t have to flirt with the green side bunkers left and right. We hit a 6 iron just past the flag and missed our birdie putt. Another par followed at the 6th hole, the strangely named Lucky Daddy.
The 7th hole
Our run of pars came to an end on the 7th hole. A pulled tee shot up the left side meant a hack out with a lob wedge onto the fairway. We found the putting surface with a wedge but failed to make the putt. It’s an easy bogey when you don’t hit the fairway.
The 8th hole is the shortest par 4 on the course at 284 yards. Against my better judgement, we hit driver again in an effort to make birdie. We pulled it again, finding the heather 60 yards left of the green. Fortunately, we had a decent lie and managed to get a sand wedge onto the short stuff. That’s two Houdini pars so far on this nine holes.
Second shot at the 9th hole
The ninth hole is one of only two par 5’s. At 547 yards, it wasn’t reachable in two for us, especially after pulling our 3rd tee shot in a row. We hit a 3 hybrid out of the rough and over the mound which obscured our view of second part of the hole. Again we were fortunate to miss the fairway bunker that we couldn’t see. A poor pitch left us with a 40 foot putt for birdie which we didn’t make. We had reached the turn in one over par, which was fantastic considering some of the places we had been due to errant tee shots!
The Back Nine
The approach to the tenth hole
The back nine is 270 yards shorter than the front nine although the par is one less at 35. The 10th hole plays 369 yards and is slightly uphill. We finally hit a fairway by fading the driver off the tee. This left us a wedge to the green which turned out to be too much club as it finished off the back. We managed to get up and down for a par.
The par 3 11th hole
The 11th hole plays downhill and is 183 yards. We chose to go with a 7 iron which we pulled slightly into the left bunker. A poor bunker shot left us with too much to do and we walked to the 12th tee with another bogey. We managed a par at the 12th even though we were again through the back in two. What is it about us golfers chasing back pins?
Approach to the 13th hole
At 432 yards, the 13th hole is stoke index 2. It was playing downwind in a freshening breeze so we opted to go with 3 wood off the tee. Our tee shot finished just short of the top of the ridge and our 5 iron second again found the front left bunker. We didn’t get up and down so another bogey.
The 14th hole
The 14th is the shortest par 3 on the course at 148 yards. It is also the last par 3. We went with 8 iron and finished on the back fringe of the green. We managed to two putt for our par. Maybe we were flushing our irons, or maybe it was the warm air but that was a few holes where the ball went further that we thought it would.
Not our approach at the 16th
After pulling a few drivers off the tee earlier in the round, we had set up to fade the ball. Unfortunately, the fade turned into a slice on the 16th. This left us blocked out by the tree in the photo. We tried to hit our gap wedge over it but caught a branch and didn’t reach the green. we duffed our chip and bogeyed a relatively easy hole which is only 340 yards.
The Closing Hole
The 18th green
We hit our driver off the tee on the last hole, a 530 yard par 5. We were chasing a birdie to play to our handicap. Our tee shot finished on the left side of the fairway. We had 250 yards to the centre of the green but had to fly it over a bunker at 220 yards. We chose to lay up with a 3 hybrid which left us a 30 yard chip shot. a decent pitch and a 10 foot putt and we had secured our first and only birdie of the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and challenge of playing the Medal course at Monifieth Links. The course and especially the greens were in excellent condition. It’s a pity that we didn’t have the time to play the Ashludie course, especially as it’s a James Braid design. It’s only 5123 yards and has a par of 68 but it looks a lot of fun. With six par 4’s under 300 yards it will be tricky. Maybe the next time we are in the area?
Thank you to Aileen and Jan in the Monifieth Links Centre for arranging our game. Thank you also to Sandy, the starter for his wise advice on how to play the course.
Where to Stay?
We stayed at the Best Western Woodlands Hotel on the outskirts of Dundee. It was perfectly located in a quiet residential area and was less than 2 miles from the golf courses at Monifieth. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. To us it looked like the hotel had been recently refurbished. Our room was large and spacious and we had a large comfortable bed.
Woodland Hotel Video
We had dinner in the hotel and we both opted for salads, which is unusual for us! Before you feel too sorry for us, we did also have a large portion of cajun fries as well. The food was excellent. The dining room was large, spacious and spotlessly clean. The staff were very knowledgable and attentive. We didn’t have time to visit the hotel’s leisure club but plenty of the hotels guests did.
The next morning our breakfast was served buffet style and there was plenty of choice. We went for the traditional Scottish breakfast.There were other options available which could be cooked to order. As we said earlier, the hotel was excellent and we would definitely recommend this hotel as a base for exploring the county of Angus and it’s many golf courses. Thank you to Nicki Robertson at the Woodlands for arranging our accommodation.
At a Glance:
- 36 holes at two links courses at Monifieth.
- Lots of history around the links
- Well conditioned golf courses with excellent greens
- Practice putting greens at both courses
- Practice area nearby
- Large well equipped pro shop
- Two clubhouses, the Grange and Broughty and Monifieth Golf Clubs
- Best Western Woodlands Hotel, less than two miles from the courses