Stranraer - Dumfries & Galloway - Scotland

Stranraer Golf Club,
Creachmore,
Leswalt,
Stranraer,
Dumfries & Galloway,
DG9 0LF,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1776 870245

  • James Burns

  • James Braid

  • Not known

The original course used by the members of Stranraer Golf Club was located in the east end of the town and was opened in 1906, the year after the club was formed. It was a 9-hole course, laid out over three fields by the 1883 Open Champion Willie Fernie who played a match against Dan Kelly, the local professional, to mark the occasion.

The course and clubhouse were requisitioned by the War Department in 1940 as a Transit Camp – nearby Cairnryan became an important construction site for Mulberry Harbours in the D-Day landings – and the members were without a course until well after World War II when James Braid was called out of retirement to design a new course at Creachmore just outside the town. Stranraer was Braid's last design prior to his death in 1950. Two years later, the new Stranraer opened for play.

Situated on an escarpment beside Loch Ryan, Stranraer is laid out on former farmland with many stands of mature trees. It is a fine parkland layout with several holes also played along the loch shore. With a total length of 6,308 yards, there are no fewer than fourteen par fours on the course with only one par five, the appropriately named “Lang Whang” 15th hole.

The signature hole is the 397-yard par four 5th named “Corunna” played from an elevated tee looking over Loch Ryan towards Ailsa Craig out in the Irish Sea. The tee shot down to the lochside must find a tight fairway between a heavily gorsed bank on the left and out of bounds along the shoreline to the right (where two bunkers are postioned to catch pushed drives). It's a thrilling hole to play and, in fact, it has been voted by readers of a Scottish golf magazine as one of the toughest eighteen holes to play in the country.

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Reviews for Stranraer

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Situated on an escarpment beside Loch Ryan, Stranraer Golf Club is laid out on former farmland with many stands of mature trees. Rating: 4.6666666666667 out of 6

I played this course for the first time on Saturday. The course was in fantastic condition. I hope to get back next year.
September 15, 2014


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Unanimity among reviewers is relatively rare but not this time. Stranraer is a fine golf course that undoubtedly belongs in Scotland's Top 100. After a gentle opener the 2nd and 3rd are very demanding holes with water in play. The 5th is quite sensational (maybe not the best hole in the land but certainly a candidate for my eclectic 18) and it is followed by a fine par 3. I have a feeling Mr Braid was maybe off on his lunch-break when holes 7 - 9 were laid out but the Great Man was clearly back and suitbaly refreshed when he set to work on the back nine. There is not a weak hole coming in and I consider the par 5 14th to be a masterpiece. Were it not for the splendour of the 5th I am sure it would get more recognition. To make the long journey worthwhile head for Stranraer in summer and play this excellent course twice!
January 05, 2012


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Eric
February 29, 2016
I consider the 5th. Hole to be the most picturesque holes in Golf especially from the top tee.
PLayed this last year and was pleasantly surprised. It has a little bit of everything all rolled up into one nice track. A links feel to start off with (what a view on 5) then the back nine turns towards a great woodland course. The only thing I could say against it is that the club house had a 1970's sports centre feel with the brick and bare metal.From the 5 courses played on our Scotland golf trip last year this was the one that everyone agreed we could be members at and play every week!
September 03, 2010


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This may go down as the easiest review I have ever written for the top100 website as I can’t add, or better, anything said in the two brilliant reviews which precede mine. Suffice to say, I wholeheartedly agree, Stranraer is a wonderful golf course which, in my opinion exists as a gem solely due to its locality. Make no mistake, if this course was closer to Glasgow or Edinburgh it would be considered a top track and it would be on every golfers lips however, our loss is the members gain, as I am sure they enjoy the near exclusivity they have here. If James Braid was still with us I am sure he would be very proud of his final collaboration, and he has every right to be. The 5th, as Derek so eloquently pointed out in his review, is the jewel in Stranraer’s crown. You would however, be badly mistaken, if you thought that Stranraer was a one trick pony as holes: 2,3,6,9,10,14 and 16 are all outstanding. I Have nothing really to add except to mention an appurtenance on the course which delights me. An appurtenance is an accessory or an appendage, you know, something small, like a bell or a sign, and Stranraer’s is a mat/carpet with the club crest on it which sits between the 4th green and 5th tee. Now this doesn’t really serve any purpose but its quirkiness makes me smile but, then again, it is difficult not to smile when you think of this great wee course. MPPJ
July 26, 2008


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Every self-respecting creative genius ensures that he or she goes out in a blaze of glory and there is no question that James Braid, the Michelangelo of golf architecture, did exactly that at Stranraer GC, his final design. I have two confessions to make. Firstly, I am a Gallovidian and, although have never been a member of Stranraer, I do have a soft spot for the whole area. I will try to remain objective! Secondly, I have not been there for a year or two but with only one review on this site Stranraer, probably more than any course, deserves to be “bigged up”.

The opener is relatively gentle. The adjacent fairways of the par four second and third holes are split diagonally by a lateral water hazard which focuses the mind from the tee and again on the approach to each green. The most troublesome thing about the fourth is that it leads you unavoidably to the fifth, “Corunna”, possibly the most visually stunning, enticing and yet simultaneously nerve-shredding tee-shot in Scottish golf. Admittedly, this description only applies to the tee-shot from the highly elevated medal tee from where the golfer’s eyes are drawn instinctively to the steep escarpment of gorse that runs along the left or possibly the big water hazard (referred to by locals and cartographers as Loch Ryan) on the right but never the deceptively big, green, flat bit in the middle. I know very good golfers who have dropped more shots here in one day than they did the rest of the season. Par 4 is possible – but 14 is statistically more probable! The committee might not thank me for saying this but I suggest you ask for special permission to play this hole from the medal tee. Having played around 90 Scottish courses (including many of the “biggies”) this is my current nomination for the best hole in Scotland.

The sixth is a tough par 3 encircled by bunkers and gorse. The 458yrds ninth is (surprise, surprise) quite tough. The tenth is a lovely wee par four requiring strategy from the tee and a gentle touch to a small, raised green. Putting from the back of the slippery 11th green is as close as most Gallovidians get to Augusta –take four (very gentle) putts and avoid the embarrassment of putting back down the fairway! At the 185yrds 12th the lateral water ditch re-appears, somewhat cunningly, about two small paces short of the green. However, this par 3 is a cinch compared to the 15th which is 185yrds uphill to a long-narrow green with steep fall-offs on both sides. Take the left slope and its time for a new ball. The next two are harder still – 470yrds and 462yrds respectively. Anyone who claims to have parred holes 15 to 17 at Stranraer is possibly lying, hallucinating or, least likely of all, really quite good at golf. By the 5th it starts to dawn on you that Mr Braid may not have been of an entirely cuddly disposition. On the vertiginous ice-rink of the 11th green you consider the possibility that he may even have had a vindictive streak. By the time you are putting for your third consecutive “double” on 17 you have pretty much gone off the guy.

However, when the dust has settled, sitting in the comfortable clubhouse looking over the stunning course the word most likely to spring to mind is RESPECT. This course deserves loads of the stuff and is quite possibly the most under-rated course in Scotland. It is a fitting final addition to Mr B’s glorious collection. Personally, if I had to play to my handicap to save my life I would choose The Old Course, Turnberry or possibly even Muirfield before I chose Stranraer. RESPECT. Derek, Edinburgh, June 08
June 16, 2008


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There is no reason for the relative remoteness of Stranraer being used as an excuse to explain why this 18-hole Stranrear - Photo by Jim McCannJames Braid layout does not feature in the list of the top 100 Scottish courses – it is well routed with excellent conditioning and the changes in elevation provide fantastic views over the course and the loch. After three good opening holes and a weak 4th hole - one of only two such holes on the course along with the 8th – the famous 5th is played from a tee perched high on the edge of the escarpment down to a fairway running alongside the loch – easily one of the best (and toughest) driving holes in Scottish golf. The back nine just seem to get stronger and stronger, culminating in two long par fours, each over 400 yards from the medal tees, played into the prevailing wind after turning for home at the 16th and 17th holes. When we played in early April, tees were absolutely pristine, fairways very tightly mown – (surprisingly so for a parkland course) and greens in very good condition - though the staff in the clubhouse thought they had been better the month before! A good, honest club golf course it may be, but with a favourable micro climate in this south west corner of Scotland, Stranraer is a course well worth visiting even outwith the main spring and summer months. Jim McCann
April 05, 2007


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Eric Rankin
April 19, 2007
I have played golf throughout the UK and in Europe and as golfers get together courses are discussed this always includes the views, the condition of the course,the clubhouse and the welcome each time this happens I picture Stranraer, to me golf is a love affair and one precious thought stays with you always, everything I require in golf is at Stranraer, many words have been spoken about it but alas the only persons capable of it's true description would be Burns or Shakespear, its a heaven on Earth so far as golf is concerned and must be rated as the best value for money anywhere, a wonderful place with lovely scenery and a memory that you will take with you, well named as 'Braids Brawest' and he knew something about golf courses a must for any true golfer, forget about the expensive courses with the big reputations and sample golf at it's best in a beautiful part of the world the memory will stay with you.I look forward to my next visit and to others who visit, take a camera with you and you will captue some of what I consider to be one of the finest moments of golf.