Scottish Links Golf
a different game
AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course
Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...
Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
North Berwick, Muirfield, Gullane...
Royal Dornoch, Brora, Nairn...
St. Andrews area
Other golf courses
Great links golf for everyone
What others say
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club
Barassie had the misfortune of being born close to
two famous Open Championship golf courses
-- the renowned Scottish links of Royal Troon and Turnberry. And so like those great golfers who plied
their skills in the shadow of Arnold Palmer
and Jack Nicklaus or those who are now playing
in the shadow of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Kilmarnock Golf Club suffers in comparison. Not as physically
beautiful as the classic Scottish links golf
course, it is nonetheless a fine traditional
links golf course, beautifully maintained
with undulating fairways, fierce rough, punishing
bunkers and true greens. And because it has
been used as a final qualifying golf course
when the Open Championship is played at Royal Troon and Turnberry, the Royal and ancient Golf Club of St.
Andrews (governing body ot the Briitish Open
Championship) obviously consider it to be
a first class golf course. I agree. It's
definitely worth a play.
|Barassie Links 1st tee
Barassie is a final qualifying course for
the Open Championship
Barassie is a relatively long golf course by Scottish
golfing standards. It is 6,484 off the visitor's
tees (6,817 yards off the medal tees). With the almost constant wind that blows
in Scotland, this can be a real problem if
that wind is in your face (which it always
seems to be!). Anyone who has played Barassie years ago will be pleased to know there
have been nine new holes added, but they
haven't made the course any easier. In fact
the par 72, SS rating of 74, proves that.
Barassie is not for the faint of heart
Barassie has rather large greens with the usual undulations
that make putting on Scottish links so challenging.
The greens, however, are kept in great shape.
There are deep bunkers not only surrounding
the greens but in the fairways as well. In
the States fairway bunkers seldom cost more
than half a stroke. Not so in Scotland, where
bunkers mean business. You won't go hitting
a fairway wood out of any of these. Quite
a few doglegs, too, which I feel always add
interest to the game. Especially noteworthy
is the new double dogleg #8, a 519 yard par
5 just about unreachable in two.
The first hole is the kind I appreciate.
At 501 yards and a par 5 it is a gentle introduction
to a day of golf. Hit the ball straight--not
necessarily long--and you'll get your par.
Number 2, though, quickly brings you to your
senses. It doesn't look like much at only
376 yards, but it's rated the 5th most difficult.
That should tell you something, Fierce bunkers
guard both sides of the fairway and 4 more
guard the green. Any mistake is costly. Number
3 will not give you any mercy either. As
I mentioned above, it was the most difficult hole on the golf
course before the new holes were added
it hasn't gotten any easier. It's a 365 yard par 4 (430 yards off the
medal tees!) and you will need a great drive
to get you into position for any kind of
chance at par. This hole can wreck your score
(and your confidence) early so don't force
it. Take your bogey if have to and get on
to the next hole. The green slopes toward
2 bunkers on the right, so be warned. Four
holes later you are faced with what many
think is the most difficult hole on the golf
course--number 7. This 427 yard par 4 has
undulations in the fairway as if a pod of
whales has been planted under the grass,
so even a good drive can give you a sidehill
lie. The green is guarded by mounds and bunkers.
This hole is definitely a challenge, and
you can be satisfied with a par or even a
Kilmarnock Golf Club's "Barassie Links"
has it allPlentiful, strategically placed fairway bunkers,
humpback green fronts, mounds, gorse, whins,
rippled fairways, tiered greens -- Barassie has it all. It's a golf course you'd do
well to think your way around. Hitting
ball hard and long is not always the
if your driving is not always accurate.
judicious use of your 3 wood for a
tee shot will serve you well. It will
you short of some of the fairway bunkers
and will put you in position to go
green with the greenside bunkers taken
|Barassie 18th green and clubhouse
So what's the verdict? I think Barassie is
a wonderfrul golf course and would rate it
higher IF it were in a different neighborhood.
But the fact is, it's so close to Royal Troon,
Turnberry and Prestwick makes me hedge my
opinion because it would have to be your
4th choice of play if you were in the area.
However, if you want to play two in a day
or if you have the time or if you're on a
budget (the cost of playing Barassie is less
than half of the more famous others in the
area and it's a lot more than half the fun)
I'd urge you to give it a play.
Once again you win as an independent golfer
because you save lots of money and get to
play a fine golf course never seen by the
usual group tours.
Golf Nook Scotland rating = A solid PAR.
For What to Do All Day, please visit the Ayrshire page.