8 reviews of Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club
KBGC was the third venue on our annual MAGI golf tour to Scotland from Matlock GC, now in our eighth year. As the ex-pat Scottish organiser I always worry that my selection - based on golfing memories 25+ years old - may prove faulty. In addition I had never played the 'new' layout. However Barassie was outstanding, the highlight of the tour. After the tightness of Irvine Bogside the day before (see separate review), Barassie felt more open and the greens were magnificent. There is rough but it penalises rather than annihilates your score. Our group couldn't wait to get back out for our second 18 holes of the day. Our best Stableford score was 38.
The new holes (4-12), being nearer the sea, provide great views and a real links atmosphere. They blend well with the remaining holes of the 'old' course. Were it not for the long walk between them, you'd never know that the layout was not original.
The club is well equipped for visitors and the staff and members welcoming. They are rightly proud of their course, keen to hear visitors' views. The catering is definitely a step above most.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club is a truly fantastic links course in Ayrshire. A fairly flat course that incorporates low running undulagtions throughout many of the fairways, typical in many a links course. A course of Championship caliber in design, condition and play. As with a links course, the weather can dramatically change the way the course plays for one day to the next, or as is true in Scotland, from one hour to the next in some cases. The course tests your entire game. A real test on a beautiful day, and an absolute brute when the wind kicks up. Some of the best greens in all of Scotland. Hard, fast and true greens. Some of the toughest rough in Scotland. A great course to play, again and again.
New York, NY
We (six Swedish golfers) played here on July 16, day 5 of a week-long tour.
The 18-hole course (Barassie Links) is a good links layout with some parkland-like elements on the holes nearest the clubhouse. The course was in excellent condition with fast and true greens. The rough was difficult in places (dense grass) but heather and gorse is not as much of a menace as on some other links courses.
Some very good holes in my opinion:
Hole 4, a par 3 to a raised green with a treacherous little ditch on the right-hand side.
Hole 12, a par 4 that is fairly wide to begin with but narrows considerably where long drives may be expected to end up. The fairway is well bunkered, too.
The clubhouse is very nice and everyone we met was very friendly and welcoming.
Arranged a fourball for 7th November 2002 and was a little
peeved to find the 2001 'Winter warmer package' of bacon
roll, round of golf, soup & sandwiches had not yet started
though it was on the web last year from 1st November.
Still, the winter green fee was half price and it proved
to something of a bargain as we got to play 17 of the
regular 18 greens. Weather conditions were pretty decent,
apart from showers as we started and finished, though a
stiff breeze got up from time to time during the round,
giving us all plenty to think about regarding club
selection. A very fair test of golf with few real surprise
obstacles (apart from the gorse short right of the 16th
green). Bar and catering staff were exceptionally friendly
in a modern clubhouse where the locker room has been
furbished to a very high standard. Well worth a return
visit for more winter golf next year.
Opened a recent society tour on the 9 hole course, which is an excellent way to warm up for the full course. The 7th hole on the 9-hole is particularly challenging the firts time you play it. Very good value.
We played the 18 hole in the afternoon and also enjoyed it. Bunkers were well placed and were almost always "in play", while hitting into the heather invariably meant losing the ball. A number of the holes have very large greens to aim for, but are completely unforgiving if you miss them, e.g. 60 foot greens with no apron, and surrounded by gorse and heather just 6 feet off the green. Decent value for money and a good introduction to links golf.
Clubhouse is very nice, members and staff were welcoming and lunch was good and very cheap.
This course is a real hidden gem. If you visit the area it is one you must play. The first few holes give you a nice easy start with wide fairways and the prevailing wind behind to add extra yards to the tee shots, but don't be fooled. The remaining holes are a superb test of true links golf at its best. Superb fairways and greens. A great variety of holes and some well placed pot bunkers. The wind is a factor on many days. Clubhouse had excellent facilities and great food. A must play.
I played this course around seven years ago and it is a challenge. The staff were excellent and make this a great experience. Forget some of the 'name' courses and try this one.
Strongly recommended. A wonderful course with a very warm welcome from the pro and all the staff. The first three holes suggest nothing of the test to come between 4 and 13, which with the wind blowing in from the sea become something of a lottery. The gorse and heather either side of the fairways is totally unforgiving, but if you want a taste of Scottish golf and have been flattered on the parkland courses of England, then this will put a wry smile on your face. Superb views out over the Firth of Clyde with Ailsa Craig visible on a clear day. Excellent value at £25, but stock up on balls before you venture from the pro-shop.
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