Review for Lochmaben

Reviewer Score:


En route from Scotland’s South West ‘Golf Coast’ towards the Southerness / Powfoot area, I stopped off in Dumfries and signed up to an open competition at nearby Lochmaben to pass some time and try a parkland course for a change. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found to be a very friendly members’ club set in lush rolling green pastures. It's a picturesque par 70 with four par threes and two par fives (both on the back nine). The course has two sections routed on either side of the delightful Kirk Loch; holes 1-6 / 17-18 on the east side and holes 7-16 on the west side. There are quite a few par fours that should only require short-iron approaches, six in all under 350 yards, countered by at least three very tough par fours on the back nine.

Whilst the 1st hole is a benign 315 yard par four, any expectations of an easy start are sharply dashed by back-to-back par threes of around 190 yards, the 2nd in particular a very difficult uphill shot to a plateaued green with jungle to the left and the 3rd a similar length shot over a valley to large undulating green. The course then lets you get into your stride a little, the next three holes par fours before you cross the field to the west side of Kirk Loch, the 6th notable for its fairway cambering significantly left-to-right and a downhill run to a modest sized green making approach shot judgement very tricky.

The next three holes hug the lakeside and probably provide for the most attractive section of the course. The 7th is a superb little 290 yard dogleg right par four requiring positional play off the tee to enable attack with a wedge to an elevated green. The 8th is a classy lakeside par three, requiring a short-iron carry over Kirk Loch to an elevated green with a deepish bunker in front. The 9th is another ‘gettable’ par four just under 300 yards from an elevated tee.

The next few holes take you through a slightly a more wooded setting, before the final stretch begins with the superb par five 15th; at 480 yards it initially might seem to offer a birdie opportunity, yet when a 480 yard par five is SI #7 you should know that care is needed. For the last two holes you stroll back across the field to the west side of the lake, the 17th a tough par four, the 18th a little more accessible yet with big problems for going left.

Scotland has such a wealth of great golf, the golfing tourist can often overlook the regular members’ course when this type of course really should be included in every golf trip to get a feel for the game in the area.

Date: February 23, 2020

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