Barassie represents a more inland variety on the links golf theme with heather, bushes and in places, low pine trees. We played it on the same trip as Prestwick, Irvine Bogside and Prestwick St Nicolas, having played the other higher-ranking courses in the region on previous occasions.
The club has 27 holes in play and we played the Barassie Links, which consists of 9 holes from the traditional course, presumably holes 1 to 3 and 13 to 18, and nine holes constructed later further away from the Clubhouse and towards Dundonald Links, holes 4 to 12.
When we played, it was clear that some relatively recent rearrangement and rerouting of holes had taken place as signage on holes 6 to 12 was not fully up to date with the scorecard and neither were our Garmin GPS watches. The pro shop commented that the latter should have been sorted, but check that your device is up to date if you normally rely on one. Otherwise, the pro shop still sells classical paper strokesavers which really would have helped us on that occasion.
Now, this little hopefully temporary stone in the shoe aside, does it belong on your itinerary?
Well, that depends. If you have Prestwick, St Nicolas, Royal Troon or Western Gailes in there already, then Barassie will definitely add some variety. It will be more of the same, however, next to Glasgow Gailes, Dundonald or another flattish heather-framed course.
Personally, I believe two other reasons also speak in its favour: accessibility and speed of play. Thanks to its 27 holes many members play the Hillhouse nine-hole loop close to the clubhouse so it is easier to find a starting time when you want. We could play without having to wait, starting at 9.00am on a weekday morning, a rarity at a members’ club.
Finally, make a mental note of the short walk from Barassie station if you want to get to the course the original way, by train.
Date: September 11, 2019