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Kilmarnock Barassie: Everything a links course can possibly offer

 

Although there may be as many as a dozen courses within a 10-mile radius that are more famous, few can rival Barassie’s rich history or the quality of its carpet-like greens.

This classic links course has everything – great conditioning, humps, hollows, undulations, blind shots and lightning-fast greens.

Nevertheless, the area is a fantastic golfing hub, with Dundonald – host of the Scottish Open in 2017 – literally a stone’s throw away.

Even though the course is right by the coast, you very rarely see the coastline, yet the course has bags of character with gorse and heather throughout.

History

The club was founded in 1887, but the original site at Holmes Farm was also shared with cattle, so a more suitable 123-acre, animal-free site was secured near the station in 1894. The first course at Barassie was laid out by John Allan, the professional at Prestwick St Nicholas.

The original course, despite a few in-house changes since it was first laid out in 1894, was becoming outdated and too short for steel-shafted clubs and more resilient balls, so Matthew M. Monie was called in to ring the changes in 1931. The Barassie reconstruction would take four years to complete.

Kilmarnock Barassie is now a serious test, which weighs in at 6,817 yards from the medal tees against a par of 72. The SSS now tells of 74 now tells its own story. Rebecca Hudson won the Ladies’ British Amateur Stroke Play Championship here in 2001. Her score – 300 strokes over the four rounds – turned out to be the highest winning score since 1988.

Over the years, the club has been host to a wide range of championships, which include the Boys Amateur, Girls Amateur, Jacquse Léglise Trophy, Scottish Amateur, The Women’s Amateur and the Women’s Home Internationals.

What makes it special

So special is this golfing region, it even inspired a verse from a particularly happy group of travelling golfers:

Troon and Prestwick – old and classy,
Bogside, Dundonald, Gailes, Barassie.
Prestwick St Nicholas, Western Gailes,
St Cuthbert, Portland – memory fails.
Troon Municipal – three links there,
Prestwick Municipal, Irvine, Ayr.
They faced the list with delighted smiles:
Sixteen courses within 10 miles!

Aside from holes six and 12 undergoing redesigns, Barassie has most recently welcomed a new room in its clubhouse – aptly named the Walker Cup Players Lounge – due to the club having members playing in five Walker Cups.

Where does it rank?

301st in GB&I, 28th in Scotland, and 12th in Ayrshire.

Where is it?

Kilmarnock Barassie is in Barassie and not Kilmarnock. This village is found on the Ayrshire coast just to the north of Open venue Royal Troon. The best way to arrive is by train – Barassie station is right next to the clubhouse.

Get in touch with Kilmarnock Barassie

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 01292 313920.

Have you played Kilmarnock Barassie? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.

NCG

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