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Cool May means Dumbarnie Links to stay closed for a further two weeks

Dumbarnie Links hosted the Women's Scottish Open last August.

The acclaimed Dumbarnie Links in Fife will remain closed until the middle of June due to continuing issues with “over-stressed” greens.

Largely regarded as the best new course in Scotland in a decade, Dumbarnie – near Leven – halted play in early May.

A cool spring with little grass growth had meant that early-season traffic had caused problems with the greens.

The course, designed by Clive Clark, had fast become an essential new stop for golf enthusiasts.

Staff were expecting a huge season of play in 2022 with the 150th Open at St Andrews  bringing visitors from all over the world.

With the standard green fee at £270, the loss of a month and half of play and cancellations of bookings has cost the owners a fortune.

But general manager David Scott said the hoped-for improvement in the weather had not materialised.

“Due to a very cool May, there were very few days that produced any growth,” he said.

“We didn’t get the recovery we required to get the greens to an acceptable level and quality and so we have pushed back the opening to June 17.”

‘Zero growth’

Play started with a full booking list at Dumbarnie in April. But “zero growth” put stress on the young grass on greens that have only been established for three or four years.

While there has been some improvement to their condition, it’s hoped that an extra two weeks and higher temperatures in June will return the putting surfaces to their best condition.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course, Dumbarnie Links Nature Reserve, Leven.
Dumbarnie Links Golf Course, Dumbarnie Links Nature Reserve, Leven.

Dumbarnie Links opened in the midst of the pandemic in 2020.

It’s estimated that the course, on 400 acres of the The Balcarres Estate, cost around £11 million to create.

Despite getting no tourist traffic in its first year, the course’s reputation spread quickly through word of mouth from Scottish-based golfers.

The course won a clutch of international awards in its first two years.

The course, which stretches to nearly 7000 yards, hosting the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open in only its second year.

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