Located in the heart of Perthshire, the Rosemount in Blairgowrie is a demanding test of indoor golf where accuracy is paramount.
Blairgowrie Golf Club is home to 45 holes of golf and one of the best clubs in the country. If you are looking for a cost effective alternative to the other “more prestigious” golf clubs and resorts in this part of the country, you won’t go wrong.
With two 18-hole courses on offer and the “wee” nine-piercemembers to Blairgowrie are spoiled for choice. However, it is the Rosemount that tops most golfers’ estimates.
It was designed by Dr. Alister mackenzie, who, of course, was also the man behind Augusta National. Although it can be difficult to compare the two, there are certain similarities. In both, you’ll find complex greens full of severe slopes, as well as tee shots that demand some form of stroke.
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Most of the fairways are lined with trees and, more specifically, thick clumps of heather. There are plenty of holes where you will want to leave the driver in the bag and be sure to hit the short stuff to avoid having to play sideways.
However, the opening hole is probably not one of them. It’s a par-4 that can play over 440 yards from the back tees, so anything short and straight off the tee is going to leave you with a tough job staying on the right side of par. It may be course index ten, but it is probably the toughest hole not only in Rosemount, but on the entire property. The fairway gradually narrows as you approach a huge, tricky putting surface. A seriously trying start.
The layout then takes you through pines and silver birches, which are usually fairly close to the fairway. On a few occasions they will dictate the shot form you need off the tee. The fourth, for example, is not going to lend itself well to a fade.
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The same is true with the left ninth dog-leg, left-to-right ball flights need not apply unless you throw it high enough over the branches. The front nine isn’t particularly long, but if you’re crooked off the tee, you’re relying on your short game to save par.
The eighth and ninth are both holes that will entice the long hitter to take trees and head for the green, but they are both best played sensibly. If you miss either of these fairways, you could turn a good birdie chance into a bogey or worse. Now is not the time to be a hero.
By making the turn however, you will have the chance to make up ground. The tenth and 11th are both short par-5s which, with a well-placed tee shot, will give chances of reaching the green in two. Again, the emphasis here is on a tee shot that must be in the fairway. Ideally, the right-hander will want a draw on the tenth and a fade on the 11. Take it out and you’re in control.
The 12 is another great opportunity to land a birdie. A par-four straight away that will once again make you want to hit the green. Now you know the drill, trees and heather await anything that strays from the fairway.
The final holes here add real character, and while some may find the early holes hard to tell apart from each other, there’s no danger with the final loop.
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The 15 is a short par-3 that will usually be played for just over 100 yards. Easy? Far from there. Miss the green and you could end up near the next tee or, worse, in the garbage out back. Find the putting surface and you’ll still have plenty of breaks to contend with.
The 16 gives the opening hole a run for its money in terms of difficulty. From the championship tee you hit a loch which hopefully won’t come into play. A solid drive will still leave you with a long approach to a narrow green guarded by bunkers. Not a hole for the timid.
The last par-3 of the round, the 17th, is a tee you’ll want to get the camera out on. A two-tiered green where a dramatic ridge runs through the middle of the putting surface, it’s not a long hole but one where you’ll need your distance control to be on the spot.
Standing on the last tee box, you still have a tough test to negotiate. A drive down the fairway can still leave an approach shot blocked by a devilishly placed tree, so you really need to be on the left side to give yourself a clear view of the putting surface. The final green is overlooked by the clubhouse, so be sure to cover yourself in glory in front of any crowds that may be watching.
The Rosemount is one of the best indoor courses in the country. As simple as that.
Like all good courses, well-placed shots here are almost always rewarded. If you hit the correct side of the fairway, you will be well placed to attack the green. That said, there are plenty of holes where you can be in the short stuff while still requiring some creative thinking.
Throughout the course, there isn’t really a small stretch of holes, and you’ll appreciate that when you step off the 18th green. The best, however, are certainly in the later stages. From the 15th tee, every part of your game will be thoroughly tested and if you’re not there, those holes could mess up your scoreboard.
From the “Martini Tee”, the 16th is about 500 meters. With a tee shot that has to carry water to find the fairway, this is one of the most demanding holes on the course. For the most part, although the map has the hole as a par 4, it will likely be a three shot.
That’s probably not a bad thing, as the putting surface here is very narrow and protected by a deep bunker. If you’re trying to hit this green with a long iron or fairway wood, you’ll need your Sunday best.
Roll a five here and you probably won’t lose a shot in the field.
Did you know?
In 1977 the Martini International was performed on the Rosemount, a European tour event which featured Scottish stars such as Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher. However, it was not a local that would prevail. Instead, it was a 22-year-old Australian by the name of Greg Norman, who closed with a final 66 to win his first European tour.
And something else…
Dr Alister MacKenzie set foot on the pitch in 1914 but the club initially did not want to spend money on the design after the First World War. Eventually, in 1927, the course was opened after the club spent £3,000 on construction. Money well spent, we say.
In summer the Rosemount will set you back £120, and that applies throughout the week. If you fancy playing the Lansdowne course on the same day, you can get a day ticket for £170. For a day of quality indoor golf, this is great value.
If you are planning a golf retreat in Perthshire the perfect place to go is bunkeredgolfbreaks.comwhere our guys will bring you the best deals on Blairgowrie and many other courses nearby.
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