Rowallan Castle - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Rowallan Castle Golf Club,
Kilmaurs,
Ayrshire,
KA3 2LP


  • +44 (0) 1563 530550

  • Golf Club Website

  • 5 miles N of Kilmarnock, off the B751

  • Welcome, some weekend tee times also available

  • Niall Campbell

  • Colin Montgomerie with Ross McMurray of EGD

  • David Addison and Ross Aitken

When you think of top-flight golf in Ayrshire, you automatically think of the famous links courses running along the coast from Troon to Prestwick and Turnberry. Well, it’s time to think again as the new inland course at Rowallan Castle near Kilmaurs is all set to complement these golfing greats in fine style.

The course is laid out within an historic 600-acre estate that dates back to the 16th century with fairways draped across a gently undulating landscape that incorporates open meadow, wetland and woodland sites. Water also plays a part at a number of holes but never in a dominating, obtrusive fashion.

Designed by Colin Montgomerie with Ross McMurray from European Golf Design, Rowallan Castle is the latest in a burgeoning portfolio for Monty and EGD that now includes the likes of Carton House in Ireland, Royal Golf Club in Bahrain and Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Turkey. With quality projects like these to their name, it’s no surprise to find that Rowallan Castle is another classy track from the same design team.

The three short holes on the outward half (“Ross’s Quarry” at hole 2, “Doctor’s Bend” at hole 5 and “Old Castle” at hole 8) are all contenders for signature hole on the property. The green to the first of these sits behind a lovely wetland area to the right of the hole, the second has a pond lurking to the left of the green and the third requires an elevated tee shot across a shaded valley to a raised green with a stream to the front.

Two holes – the 490-yard par four 11th (“Goat Fell”) and 609-yard par five 16th (”Laird’s Ride”) – are the pick of the holes on the back nine and both dogleg downhill to the left. The former is a formidable two-shotter and the latter will take two mighty blows to get anywhere near a raised green protected by a pond and three enormous bunkers – good luck with getting anything less than a five on this hole.

Rather uniquely, Rowallan also boasts a testing par three 19th hole ("The Decider") where informal match play games that are still tied after 18 holes may be decided before proceeding to the more conventional 19th in the modern new clubhouse.
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Reviews for Rowallan Castle

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Description: Rowallan Castle Golf Club is laid out within an historic estate with fairways draped across a gently undulating landscape that incorporates open meadow, wetland and woodland sites. Rating: 6 out of 10 Reviews: 32
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george
After keeping a close eye on reviews on my course on this site and various others, it has became apparent to me that after each negative report on Rowallan there seems to be a pattern where a positive review is followed shortly after. Remember this is for people who pay the money to play these courses, not for management to post their own views on the course which is what is clearly happening. If you do not like what is being posted do someothing about it and spend money on drainage which seems to be the only issue with Rowallan Castle.
July 23, 2012
4 / 10
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David Jones
July 24, 2012
These series of reviews really do some up just where this website has sadly gone wrong. While I'm not keen to promote censorship, the standard of this website have fallen so low in the last 2 years it really does make you wonder. Take the scoring of the reviews below, one guy writes a silly review with a low score then for a week we get reviews in defence declaring it a 6 ball course no less. Do me a favour, all of you..... please take the petty arguments to youtube where their contributors love this playground stuff. Better still, just flop them out so we can see who has the biggest? There was a time, just before Tandridge high jacked this website, that you felt you could plan a holiday around reviews on here. I used to look forward to seeing where regular contributors such as Jim McCann, Cedric and Ian had played and the stories they had to tell. Can we have the old website back please?
Keith Baxter
July 24, 2012
David, since you don’t promote censorship, perhaps you’d email me directly if you have an idea, or even a process that might raise the standards to your liking. [email protected]
Harre
July 26, 2012
To give this course 6 balls is so ridiculous it's not worth talking about. It's not worth 1 either but that's at least closer to the truth considering the condition it's been in and the attitude of the staff. Regarding process improvement I'll be mailing you some ideas Keith. /Cheers, H
Matthew Adams
July 26, 2012
I’m sure members at Rowallan Castle or any top100 track are proud of their home course and don't take kindly to less than glowing reviews. Overly effusive reviews may result in short term increases in visitor numbers but will lead to real golfers leaving real feedback. Perhaps every contributor could declare their current course membership status and members be precluded from reviewing their home course. At the very least, members’ reviews could be highlighted / shaded to show their origin, and the score they give excluded from the course’s overall average ranking. Contributors should also have played the actual course (within the last 12 months) rather than having walked past it. Keep up the good work Top100.
Colin McIlwraith
I have played the course a number of times over the last year and the condition of the greens and tees have always been excellent, I am a touch confused where some of the previous comments have come from as I have recently played the course and can confirm that the greens were not patchy and putts rolled relatively true.Also I am happy to report that the drainage issues are significantly improving. The layout of the course is one of the best I have played (in particular the group of par 3’s) and with a little more work on drainage I think it will become one of the best in the country. Totally agree with one of the previous review about the 16th, very tough par 5.On the amenities side, the club house is welcoming; the changing facilities are small but are well furnished and have a quality feel. I am told by a few friends that the facilities for lessons etc are very good and have been recommended some time with the club pro.I would be happy to recommend this course to anyone for a good day out.
July 21, 2012
10 / 10
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Argonauts
November 01, 2012
Hard to see how this review justifies six stars? Played in September and the course is very wet and simply does not compare with other fantastic courses nearby. maximum three stars.
fraser robin
After 3 times of playing at Rowallan with a member I am still undecided on the place! The course itself is beautiful when the sun is shining. The layout is first class, aswell as the amazing bunkers and the huge sloping greens. Though it has been greatly let down by the actual condition of the course. We have seen a huge amount of rainfall this year, though when there has been a break in the weather, most other courses seem to be draining quickly and playable. Not Rowallan. I have seen a slight improvement in the drainage system though throughout the season, though some holes are still terrible and need to be greatly improved, the 15th is pure and simple not good enough. I hope the course gets the money spent on it though as this place while be up there with the best in the country when its matured in a few years. Worth playing if its been dry for a few days before, but if not, take an extra pair of socks! Thanks for reading, and remember this is just my honest oppinion, see for yourself.
July 20, 2012
4 / 10
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Paul
I played this course last Sunday following some serious amount of rain. I was very impressed with how well the course held up. It's obvious that there has been significant work to the course to control the drainage and it is working. The layout of the course is simply first class and some of the views are stunning. The run in up the 18th hole with the castle in the background is surely destined to be an iconic golf scene in the future. I loved the course, a real challenge with some sadistic bunkers but excellent top quality greens. I will most definitely be back and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course.
July 12, 2012
10 / 10
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Gary Swanston
Having read the previous comments I find it somewhat ridiculous that such nonesense could be posted about this course. Having played here 3 times in the last 2 months I was amazed at the immaculate condition of the greens, the ball rolled true with some tricky pin positions making for some interesting putts! How someone can say that they were patchy, beggars belief! On the second of my three visits there had been heavy rainfall the previous day (so much so that the course had been closed) but it was clear that the drainage work was doing its job. On the back 9 there were glorious views of Arran and the local countryside and the reception I experienced after my round in the clubhouse was friendly and relaxed. I certainly intened to play again with a view to acquiring membership in the near future. It is a shame that some people turn to websites such as this to vent their frustration at their own game and I only hope that this course does not suffer because of it....bad show old chap!
July 07, 2012
10 / 10
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Josh Dickie
As a current member of Rowallan Castle I have been delighted with how the course has improved this season. It''s clear that new drainage has been installed so the fairways have greatly improved to go along with the always excellent tees and greens. As for the course layout I feel you will struggle to find a course in Scotland with a better group of Par 3''s which include the flagship hole 8- Its a short wedge in from an elevated tee through trees over water! The toughest hole must be the par 5 16th, I challenge anyone to make par there! Overall the course is in great condition, it''s long but fair and may be Ayrshires hidden gem!
July 07, 2012
10 / 10
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Kevin Groom
Played the course on 14/10/11, nice layout with plenty of interesting holes. Tees and greens were in good condition but fairways were virtually unplayable, I have never played on a course that was so wet and muddy, walks between greens and tees were virtual mudpits and at times inpassable. Electricity pylon in middle of 12th fairway right in driving line is a absolute joke. They appear to have spent all the money on bunkers and greens and forgot about fairway drainage, I have never seen so much moss under the standing water that comprised a fairway. Would not recommend playing until Scotland has at least 2 dry summers! Contacted course to complain about condition and request another game but was told that we should have rescheduled if it was that wet despite staff telling us that course was virtually unplayable. Wont be back I'm afraid.
October 19, 2011
4 / 10
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Colin
Picked up a bargin round at the course via Groupon. Lovely course with a testing layout, bunkers are great!!!Highlights for me were the 18th (great finishing hole towards the castle) and the 5th (lovely par three with pond at the left. All the par 3's were greatWill be returning in the near future.
September 28, 2011
8 / 10
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Colin McIlwraith
Lovely layout and some fierce bunkering, a good test of golf, once pylon and electrical lines on 12th/13th are removed these holes will be great.Was a touch damp, but rain has been crazy these last few weeks.I like the way right and left doglegs are featured and rewards you for good tee shots. Par 3's are sublime.
September 23, 2011
8 / 10
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WWM
While the course layout and scenery is stunning, the drainage is simply disgraceful. I have played this course on5 occasions, 4 after rain the day before, and it was saturated. The last time was a day in August, a sunny day, but some rain the day previous. My golf trousers were wet to the knees, walking on the fairways, EVERY step was like walking in a puddle with water squelching and splashing my trousers. Most shots on the fairways were prefered lies. Numerous shots while taking a divot to get control on the greens resulted in getting mud sprayed onto my face. Greens and tees are Perfect but unfortunately that is a small part of the game. This was the first week in august, so still the summer. Winter golf will be impossible. I think all the money has been spent on the greens and tees and NO drainage has been done. I hear you ask why have i played it 5 times then. I desperately want to join this club as i love the layout, but until the drainage is sorted it is a big no. This is a major issue and such a shame.
September 06, 2011
4 / 10
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Phil
January 02, 2012
I would also have consideed joing but for the poor attitude towards the common golfer. Perhaps in a few years when they realise this will never be an exclusive resort course...
Colin
January 03, 2012
Phil, I have to disagree with you there (regarding the attitude comment). I played the course as a guest and then joined (around 6 month ago) and have only been treated with great courtesy by the course staff. Indeed the course owner and green keeping staff have been more than approachable, and generally keen to chat, on each of my subsequent rounds.
Argonauts
September 17, 2012
This seems to be one of the few fair comments on here. Yes the greens are good. The layout is not great IMHO as too many good shots are penalised by fairway bunkers ( I know i should develop a fade - but hey!). The overall draianage is as poor as I have seen on any course making for a muddy, slappy round which nobody in my party enjoyed. Played Dundonal and Irvine Bogside this weekend and both courses are ten times better than Rowallane.