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Play Away: Great (New) Scot

Centuries ago, high-class golf was played on an early course on an estate between Muirfield and North Berwick, an area known as Archerfield. Before falling into disuse, the course was part of an annual event that involved play over six courses—in one day. Today a local club upholds the tradition, and this summer, when Archerfield returns, it'll surely want to return this facility to its "speed golf" rota.

In all, some 540 acres constitute the private Archerfield Links, which will ultimately include a hundred homes, the Archerfield House mansion for members and their guests, and two courses, Fidra Links and Archerfield Links. Both were superbly designed by David J. Russell to require the full power of the modern game.

Archerfield, which won't be open till next year, is the more exposed of the two courses, with sculpted dunes heavily sown with fescue grass creating individual fairway theaters. But the Fidra course, opening in June, will be this year's eye-opener. It hugs a forested coastal route all the way out to the sandy beach at Yellowcraigs, resulting in a splendid hybrid of parkland and would-be links. Mind you, both courses are private, a policy Archerfield is rigidly enforcing—at least until its memberships are sold. But once they are, we're willing to speculate that a letter to the club might enact the noble Scottish tradition that "private" doesn't always mean "keep out."

Membership: roughly $27,000. Membership Details: 011-44/1620-850-542 or visit archerfieldgolfclub.com.

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