Dumfries and Galloway is often called “Scotland in miniature” and it’s a beautiful, quiet and unspoilt area. At the end of the Solway Firth lies Powfoot Golf Club and it's one of the region’s best but least well-known courses.
Powfoot Golf Club was founded in 1903 and the prolific James Braid laid out the course. The majority of the layout weaves its way beside the Solway Firth and across undulating links land with the last four holes taking on a more park-like appearance. Swathes of whin provide a brilliance of seasonal colour and far-flung views across the Firth to the mountains of the Lakes complete the spectacle.
Measuring a mere 6,255 yards from the back tees, Powfoot is not a championship layout, but with five holes measuring more than 400 yards and only one par five from the yellow tees, Powfoot will test golfers of all levels. Braid has cleverly routed the holes such that the task at hand is clear on this compact layout. You’ll also require your full repertoire of shots to score well, especially when the prevailing westerly winds whip across the course.
There are some capital holes, especially the long par four 3rd, called “Shore” which unsurprisingly hugs the shoreline. The 9th is also a challenging par four which requires a long carry from the tee and your approach shot must then clear a bomb crater which is situated some 100 yards from the tricky, undulating putting surface.
If you are planning a trip to this delightful part of Scotland, you’ll no doubt have Southerness high on your “must-play” itinerary, but don’t overlook Powfoot; it’s one of Scotland’s real gems.
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Average Reviewers Score:
I played at Powfoot on Saturday and it is a golf course which provoked no strong feelings except perhaps disappointment. There was nothing memorable in any respect apart from an absurd 258 yard par 3 which played into the wind and walking off with a 3 I felt cheated out of a birdie. The 7th and 12th (both par threes) are decent examples of what par 3 holes should be about.
It's not the hole that's the problem, it's the obsession with par. The hole is what it is and you shoot what you shoot: why worry about what somebody calls it?
11 June 2013
Not much has changed from my last visit to Cummertrees so this review will be more specific to what happened on the day.
To recap, the 11th, Sahara, is the best hole on the course by a distance with the par 3 7th , also a hole of considerable merit. There are many other decent holes but I suspect that the parkland element may not to everyone’s taste. The welcome from staff and members is still extremely friendly and last, by my no means least, the condition of the course which was absolutely first class for the time of year.
One thing that I omitted from my last review, and I can’t believe that I missed it out, was the 258 yard par 3, 5th hole. Why in God’s name cant they pull the tee back the 15 yards or so to the medal tee and make it a par 4? For me, and I admit that I am not a big hitter, having to take a driver on a benign day for a par 3 is an absolute nonsense.
The other small thing that rankled on the day was the pin placements most especially on the 16th ,undoubtedly the daftest pin position I have encountered in nearly 40 years of playing golf.
These gripes, minor and perhaps only an issue for me, shouldn’t put you off coming to Powfoot where a warm welcome is guaranteed and although the course may not get your pulse racing there is more than enough quality and challenge to keep golfers entertained at this unpredictable time of the year. MPPJ
Powfoot has an excellent winter green fee offer that lasts for five months of the year – 22 quid for a round, seven days a week; now that sort of fantastic value is what drew me back to this little charmer on the north shore of the Solway Firth. Although you never catch a course at its best at this time of year, there was still enough here to remind me why I took to this place eight years ago. The par three 7th was still as tough to hit and hold (evidenced by my double bogey 5 from one of the many bunkers that ring the green) and the short par four 11th, with its intimidating blind drive over a wall of gorse, is still a tough hole on the weaker back nine. The putting surface on this hole is one of several (like at holes 9 and 13) that are really undulating but many of the greens today had holes cut less than three paces from the front edge – now I’m all for taking good care of greens in the winter but some of today’s pin placements (especially the one that had to be less than three feet from the edge at the 16th) seemed overly protective to me. Still, some might say you get what you pay for... Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable return to a smashing wee holiday golf course with a welcoming wee clubhouse and staff to match. Jim McCann.
This is a very friendly, unstuffy club and although, not in the same league as other clubs in the area such as Southerness and Silloth, this James Braid designed course is more than a good golfing test. You have to get your golfing thinking cap on early and make sure that you are properly warmed up as out of bounds on the first 2 holes await errant driving. On the day that I played conditions were fairly benign however, I can imagine the ubiquitous yellow gorse gobbling up loads of Pro V 1’s (in my case lake balls from JJB’S). Locals think that the 11th hole Sahara, as the signature hole. I would go along with that as it was my favourite on the course. The par 3’s, as in many of Braids’ courses, are superb with strategic bunkering providing a good defence. So, if you are in the area Powfoot, with it’s magnificent views and gorse aplenty, shoud not be missed MPPJ
It was a real treat to return to Powfoot nearly three years after my last visit. There was not a breath of wind as we set out on our round but by the fourth hole it had started to blow quite stiffly from the Solway. The sun tried hard to break through the cloud and mist of an early Spring morning but the opposite shoreline of the Firth on the English side was only ever barely visible which was a real pity as the panorama is normally worth viewing.
The fairway rough was far from penal so early in the season but any advantage gained there was lost with the bumpy conditions of greens which were still fast, if not exactly true. The main feature that was far more prominent than I remembered from before was the height and depth of the yellow gorse – it really dominates the landscape on all the holes up to the 14th - though the severity of bunkers with steep front faces were another course hazard that I’d also forgotten about (to my cost on several occasions)!
There is a great run of holes from the third through to the eighth with my favourite being the well protected short par 3, 154 yard 7th hole entitled Sand Hole – aptly named as there must be seven or eight bunkers surrounding the putting surface.
Holes 10 through 14 are another fine sequence of holes which dip in and out of the gorse with doglegs, blind drives and elevated greens before the last four holes return you to the clubhouse. Once again, the feeling of fun, holiday golf dominates at Powfoot and you leave with a really nice feeling, regardless of performance. Jim McCann
If I lived close enough, I’d want to be a member at Powfoot. It’s one of those clubs that captures the imagination. Sure, it’s not all links but it’s enjoyable golf and it offers a taste of everything. You’ve got drivable par fours, the odd blind drive, tricky slick greens, great conditioning, friendly atmosphere in the clubhouse with good food and, what’s more, it’s excellent value for money too. What more could you want? Don’t miss it if you are in the area.
Played in the Powfoot Open in June 2003 on a lovely day for playing golf. The clubhouse had a real 'holiday golf venue' feel to the place and was a very informal and friendly place. Talking to a few Open participants after my round, they return every year as they love the place and the people at Powfoot. One word of warning, it took me ages to get to the clubhouse once I came off the main drag as the signposting was quite misleading (directing me to the Powfoot Golf Hotel as I remember, rather than Powfoot Golf Club). The holes may not all be true links in terrain but the greens certainly are links quality - fast and true. I never felt I was playing anything other than links golf - perhaps the huge amounts of gorse at many holes gives you a clue as to what type of course it really is! Not in the same class as nearby Southerness maybe, but still a wee hidden gem nonetheless. James McCann
Powfoot is a real mixed bag. Part links, part parkland it contains some very interesting holes and some exceptionally dull ones. It's not a bad course per se - just not up to the standard of other courses on this list. Try nearby Southerness instead.
16 of us played Powfoot last Sept. Good course club pro. Staff everyone was realy friendly. Great club well worth a visit. Southerness would not go there very unfriendly they had no time for visiters.`