Bridge of Weir is an affluent commuter village of around 5,000 residents located 17 miles to the west of Glasgow city centre. Many years ago – when the village supported no fewer than three leather tanneries – there were five golf courses in the local area.
These days, only two courses remain – Ranfurly Castle and Old Ranfurly – and they are both very fine, 18-hole, moorland layouts, situated close to each other on the south west side of the village with commanding views of the Clyde Valley to the north.
Old Ranfurly measures a shade over 6,000 yards, with a par of 70. Two of the three par fives on the card are played on the front nine – the 504-yard 4th hole, called “Harelaw” and the 500-yard 6th hole, named “Carselaverock” – which goes some way to explaining why the outward half is more than 500 yards longer than the back nine.
Many members consider the best of the five par three holes to be the 172-yard, redesigned 5th hole, titled “The Covert” where the tree-framed green is well bunkered with a burn on the right to punish shots pushed in that direction.
The 199-yard, par three 16th is a contender for the best hole on the inward half as it has all the potential, late in the round, to ruin a good score. This hole is a real tough cookie as it is played blind and uphill from the tee.