For a golf holiday this area is ideal. It
can offer a rolling golf safari allowing you to explore a delightfully peaceful part of
Scotland whilst moving effortlessly between one golf course and the next. Gretna Green has
long been famous as a sanctuary for young lovers eager to tie the knot. It is still a
delightful little community infused with a romantic air and worthy of breaking your drive
to appreciate. If you are more eager to shoot par's instead of Cupid's arrows, the village
has a nine-hole course, surprisingly long with an SSS of 72 (18 holes) as well as a 12-bay
driving range to warm up on.
Powfoot Golf Club most certainly should be
included in your itinerary. It has a long and illustrious record with events such as the
recent British Seniors Open Championship and the Scottish Girls Championship held here. It
is essentially a links course with some areas more akin to parkland all encircled by thick
gorse. Two of the toughest holes are the Par 3, 7th called the Sandhole with its difficult
sloping green and the 11th, a blind tee shot through the gorse and a gap of only 35 yards.
Powfoot is a quality venue, rich in character with testing conditions, usually in a
south-westerly wind and a venue that will reward a good standard of play.
Dumfries, the regional capital, is a town
steeped in the lore of Scotland's famous bard, Robert Burns. He resided here during his
years as an excise man and indeed died here in 1796. The town has two well-established
18-hole courses. Dumfries & County and Dumfries & Galloway. The 'County' is an
excellent parkland with superb greens that are well worth exploring. Meanwhile a new
facility can be seen from the A75 ring-road to the north of the town. This is Pines Golf
Centre, recently opened as a full 18-hole course with 20 driving bays, teaching facilities
and a pleasant, pine-cabin clubhouse. The greatest attraction of the Pines Golf Centre,
however, is its very reasonable green fees.
If you base yourself in Dumfries for the first
part of your visit, there are several good courses worth travelling to. Moffat, Lockerbie
and Lochmaben golf clubs are all within easy driving distance. Another real gem, just 14
miles north of Dumfries on the A76, is Thornhill Golf Club. Amongst the hills of
Nithsdale, yet an easy walking course, its subtle nuances as well as lovely location make
it a course golfers take to their hearts and come back to many times.
South of Dumfries is the famous Solway Firth
links of Southerness. This is an internationally recognised locality, reflected by the
many foreign number plates in the car park. Designed by MacKenzie Ross as recently as
1947, it is a course to test the best with windy conditions adding considerably to an
already demanding layout. High handicappers struggle here and often come off exasperated.
But if your game is strong then Southerness is not to be missed.
Nearby is an easier proposition that will
delight all levels of golfers. Colvend Golf Club has dazzling views over the expansive
Mersehead Sands and Solway Firth across to the hills of the English Lake District. You do
have to pay a small price of climbing the 1st fairway to enjoy such vistas but they are
well worth it. The new nine-hole section of this course has settled in well making Colvend
great fun to play as well as a good test.
Kirkcudbright and Gatehouse of Fleet both have
holiday courses although Kirkcudbright is quite hilly but again, offers some stunning
views. Nearby, Brighouse Bay on the Solway Firth was an interesting 9-hole that will open
this year as a 6,600 yard, Par 74 course. The layout of this new endeavour has all the
marks of a championship venue along with an absolutely stunning setting. Ross Island and
the Isle of Man are just two of the many scenic features.
Plan for three different bases in a week's tour. This will allow you to sample the
entire area without the burden of long drives.