Downfield Golf Club
Few people outside Scotland know about Downfield Golf Club, tucked away in the outskirts of Dundee. This is surprising as Downfield has had its share of fame. It was the qualifier for the 1999 Open when the final was held at Carnoustie. In fact the eventual winner Paul Lawrie came through the final qualifying at Downfield. It was also the venue for the inaugural Scottish Open in 1972. It has hosted the Scottish PGA Masters, the Scottish Boys Strokeplay and the Scottish Amateur Championship. This lovely little gem is one of the most beautiful inland parkland courses in Scotland.
At the turn of the last century the golf course at Downfield was a nine-hole golf course called Baldovan. The clubhouse was an old horse drawn tram car. It was closed during the First World War and restarted as the Downfield Golf Club in1932. The legendary James Braid designed an eighteen-hole golf course which unfortunately, was largely converted into a housing development in 1964. The new course which was laid out has only five of the original holes in the course.
Downfield is a challenge to every golfer right from the tee off at the wonderful 1st hole. There are over a hundred varieties of trees on the rolling parkland and plenty of wildlife too. Watch out for foxes, squirrels, deer, water fowl, ducks and buzzards, as well as many other interesting species scampering around. This scenic 18-hole championship course stretches 6,803 yards and has five exciting par fives. The length is further accentuated by the lush grass as the ball moves slowly down the fairways. It does not gallop, unlike at other Scottish links.
Playing here requires panache, skill and adroit putting from the great opening hole, which is a long 425 yards. There are an extraordinary number of doglegs in the course. The 11th hole is one of the finest you will ever see one of the most idyllic par fives anywhere in the world. Water comes into play in as many as seven holes.
No wonder Downfield has been described as one of the finest inland courses known as a tough, demanding test of golf skills with some of the most picturesque scenery in Scotland and the British Isles.