The Rannaleroch course at Strathmore Golf Centre is the main attraction at an ambitious 27-hole complex that first opened its doors to golfers in the late 1990s.
Laid out by John Salvesen, a former R&A Captain who also designed courses at Charleton and Elmwood in Fife, the course was built in a minimalistic style, with little earth moved during construction on what was formerly a rolling farmland property.
The course begins and ends with challenging par fives: “Tullyfergus,” the 515-yard opening hole, doglegs left to a plateau green and “Balhary,” the 525-yard closing hole plays uphill to a testing two-tiered home green.
The other par five on the front nine, “Lochans,” is considered the signature hole on the scorecard. Rated stroke index 1, it calls for a tee shot across a pond to a fairway that doglegs right around trees to the green.
Other holes of note include back-to-back short par fours at the start of the inward half. “Kirkview,” the 286-yard 10th, features out of bounds on both sides of the fairway and “Powderswells,” the 313-yard 11th, doglegs sharply right to a green that’s protected on the left by sand and water.“Dunsinane,” the 122-yard 6th hole is the shortest of the four par threes. It may lack length but it’s a tough hole to par because there’s water to contend with to the left of the green and out of bounds to the right.
My ears pricked up when I read the previous post which seemed to indicate this course deserved a national ranking position so I decided to check it out for myself yesterday. It’s a nice course in a lovely location with good clubhouse facilities but I’m afraid it’s nowhere near the standard required for consideration as a Scottish Top 100 track.
That’s not to say there are not a lot of good things going on at Rannaleroch because it’s beautifully routed, maintained to a decent standard, and in possession of a really fine set of sensibly contoured greens. There are a few lovely elevation changes involved along the way, none more so that at the par three 4th and 17th holes, where tee shots plunge down to the green from lofty tee box positions. The 13th is another good short hole, played to a large green that slopes sharply from front to back, but the remaining par three at the 6th is horrible, it’s green sitting behind a ghastly artificial pond.
The most intriguing hole by far is the downhill, slightly left doglegged 16th, where a pin position on the small right hand portion of the green is one of the trickiest you will ever have to putt towards if your approach is played to the wrong side of the green - hardly classic golf design but great fun!
So, there are plenty of good, not so good, entertaining and modestly engaging holes to be played at Strathmore and I can see visiting golf societies enjoying their day out at this modern 27-hole venue in the heart of Perthshire.