Formed in 1872, Hamilton Golf Club moved to its present location on the outskirts of the town in 1925 when James Braid was enlisted to lay out a new course for the members. Despite one or two modifications down the years, Braid’s original design remains largely intact.
A major tree planting exercise in the 1970s certainly added definition to the fairways but the arboreal overgrowth from this process resulted in the club undertaking a recent tree removal program to open up certain areas – around the 18th hole in particular – and this now allows more wind and light into these parts of the course.
The layout features only two par fives (played back-to-back at holes 4 and 5, “Lang Gait” and “Woodyett”) so it’s Hamilton’s solid set of par four holes that form the major challenge here – apart from maybe the rather weak, semi blind short par four 8th hole, where the green sits in something of a dip at the most southerly part of the property.The four par threes on the card are nicely spread out and they’re a rather diverse quartet with yardages varying from a mere 133 yards at “Hoolet Row,” the pretty little 3rd, to a mighty 220 yards at “Perfection,” the downhill 12th, which demands nothing other than pinpoint accuracy at a well-bunkered hole.
I have played a few rounds at Hamilton Golf Club over the last couple of years and never fail to enjoy it. The course is challenging (a vast number of bunkers have been well placed) with a variety of uphill and downhill holes to keep the interest.
After a gentle opening hole, the tough 2nd awaits which, with a ditch running across the fairway, means choice of club off the tee is important. Two par fives back-to-back at holes 4 and 5 is unusual to see but if you can stand on the 7th tee having navigated the opening stretch you are on for a decent score.
The 8th is a strange hole as a fairly short, downhill par four where you can't see the green which is surrounded by bunkers so an iron or hybrid is the club of choice off the tee here. Others holes which I like are the downhill 200+ yard par 3 12th and the lovely closing hole where a right to left drive will see you pitch in to a hard to hold green overlooked by the clubhouse.
A vast amount of trees have been taken down around the course in the last twelve months which has apparently considerably improved the drainage - the course certainly held up well to two days of constant rain which had fallen before my last round there.