On the tee
Twenty minutes outside of Dundee sits Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort, which boasts a 6,159 yards (5,632 metres), par-71 parkland golf course. Aptly named “The New Course”; it was redesigned in 2013 with reshaped greens and bunkers, along with two new holes added on the back 9. The 18 holes are made up of four par-5s and five par-3s, which are spread out over the front and back 9, along with ten par-4s. The course allows all visitors to play from whichever tees they want, including the aforementioned whites, blues (5,804 yards/5,307 metres) or (if they are set up) the championship black tees (6,305 yards/5,705 metres).
Being a parkland course, and playing around the resort’s loch, it can be wet at times – particularly around the 8th, 16th and 18th holes, where water heavily features. Overall however, this was not a massively hindering factor. The drainage throughout the course appeared to be working well, even if there is significant rainfall ahead of your round.
The tee boxes were in fair condition, and nothing to write home about. The fairways were well-mowed and had a decent roll on them, with only a couple of areas at the bottom of the course being a bit boggy. The fairways had been lined with trees or water. Not only does this help with drainage, but due to there being a lack of rough to punish any wayward shots, it was the only real defence the course had to stop everyone just smashing drivers off every tee, with no negative consequence.
The greens were also an average aspect of the course. They were soft (probably due to the amount of water around), which meant they took a ball and you could be aggressive with your approach shots. However, they were a bit on the slow side, and had the odd bumps and bobbles in them. Furthermore, there were never any really interesting greens that were particularly testing, or required a golfer to make sure they were aiming for a particularly area on the green. This is ok for mid to high handicapped golfers, but people who play off low-teen to single figure handicaps may find each green too similar.
Less of a hazard, but something to be aware of if it’s your first time playing. The 1st and 9th holes (which play across the loch) have drop zones further up, closer to the green. Be warned that they are astroturf mats, so you might want to tee it up again – however they do make your third shot much easier onto the green.
Be aware that the 12th hole has gardens fairly close to the left hand side of the green. Any approach shot that is pulled left will likely be landing in someone’s back yard, which always makes us a bit nervous when playing (although I’m sure the residents are used to the odd golf ball ending up on their property). Remember to include a fore shout if your ball is heading that way. If you’re nice to the residents they may even throw your ball back.
Better than most
The opening hole creates a bit of atmosphere at the start of your round. Playing 154 yards entirely across the loch, there isn’t much margin for error. Purely for the theatre of playing over 130 or so yards of water, we loved this hole – a clean strike of a mid-iron is definitely required to save the round from being over before it has already begun!
The 494 yard, 18th hole was our favourite on the course, and a great closer. It’s always great to finish with a par-5, for both match and stroke play as they tend to be real risk/reward holes. Piperdam’s finale requires accuracy throughout, with out of bounds down much of the right and thick foliage on the left. Keeping your drive straight is essential, as there isn’t much bail out either side of the fairway. Your second shot is where the real risk and reward comes into play. A small pond cuts into the fairway about 350 yards up on the right, with another body of water at 450 yards, protecting the front right hand side of the green. Therefore your second shot not only needs to be straight, but at all costs you should avoid going right. Once successfully managing the initial 400 or so yards of the hole, the final approach will be a wedge to a raised green – somewhere between 90 to 130 yards. The green is fairly open, with plenty of run off area around it; however it is protected by a bunker at the front-right, and two further bunkers on the left and back-right, so there is still a bit to do with your third shot. Needless to say we thoroughly enjoyed this hole.
Weekday – £30
Weekend – £36
HotShotGolf score – 55/100
If you are planning a trip to play Piperdam, why not check out the on-course lodges available to book here!!