One of eight golf courses operated by South Ayrshire Council, the 18-hole layout at Lochgreen is bracketed along with James Braid’s celebrated Belleisle design as the best two courses in the municipal portfolio.
Three 18-hole tracks operate from the same clubhouse at Troon (Lochgreen, Darley and Fullerton) so the starter’s hut is often a busy place with golfers milling around, arranging tee times or preparing to set off on their round.
Lochgreen has been used for Open Qualifying in the past and Jack Nicklaus is said to have entered the competition through here in 1962, when Royal Troon was the venue for the event that year.
It’s a testing track with a handful of par fives spread throughout the layout, two of which are played back-to-back early on at the 2nd and 3rd holes. Measuring almost 6,800 yards, the course plays to a par of 74, which is a meaty enough challenge for anybody.The toughest hole on the card is encountered at the 429-yard 5th (“Crosbie”), where the railway line runs along the right side of the fairway as it heads towards the green. On the back nine, there’s a little loop at the 11th to 14th which is more parkland than links in nature, with the tree-lined 405-yard 12th (“Monklands”) the pick of these holes.
A winter trip down to Troon is a staple of most golfers in the West of Scotland and by far the best test here is Lochgreen, There are some excellent holes here, notably the 5th and delightful par three 6th on the front nine and the loop from 11-14 on the back. Mention should also be made of the challenging par three that follows. I am surprised that Darley ranks higher than Lochgreen in the Ayrshire list. Not only does Lochgreen have a higher average rating from reviewers but the pricing structure at Troon relects its superiority, a round here (not cheap at £35 in 2020) costing more than Darley. To me there is a full two-ball difference in these two courses.
Very good layout and condition . Played it in school holidays and all courses here were full with kids, which does make you wonder why Scotland doesn't produce more golfers than it does already. Enjoyed very much playing this course and some of its tricky and tight holes. Great clubhouse highly recommend it here
The Lochgreen links is one of three courses emanating from the starters office at the Troon Municipal golf complex which is owned, managed and run by South Ayrshire Council.
The words ‘municipal’ and ‘council owned’ would simply deter some people from even considering a round at this course whilst others may head there with some trepidation.
And whilst the course may well indeed find itself down the pecking order of a golfing itinerary in Ayrshire that’s only because the quality of other nearby venues is so high and so deep.
However, the Lochgreen is a good golf course in its own right and I was impressed with the links on my visit here in September 2015. The style of course is quite varied. It starts in the same manner as the two other courses in that they are played in a wide-open parcel of land where you can open your shoulders and blast away.
The Lochgreen course is a bit of a monster in that the maximum yardage of the course is 6,785. The amount of big hitting required is apparent after just three holes; a par-four of 473 yards followed by two par fives. Almost one and a half kilometres have been covered in this opening trio and whilst the excellent fourth offers some relief the stroke index one hole, a 429-yard par four, follows immediately after. In truth the par is 74 (SSS 73) and after the opening five holes the course doesn’t play as long as it may initially appear.
At times there is very a linksy feel to the course, at others there is more of an heathland characteristic and for four holes (11, 12, 13 & 14) the ground is positively meadowland, albeit the appearance and bunkering is that of a links course. Ultimately it all adds up to a very enjoyable round of golf.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
Lochgreen offers a stern test, even from the regular gents tees which play to a total of 6,459 yards. Two of the opening three holes and two of the closing three holes are rated as par fives and, as all of them measure less than 500 yards, they present golfers with a decent chance to start or end with a birdie.
Holes are laid out in three distinct geographical locations: the 1st and 18th lie side by side in front of the clubhouse, holes 2,3 and 9 to 17 are routed around the perimeter of the Fullerton course, with holes 4 to 8 situated across a road, alongside the railway line that separates the municipal fairways from those on the Portland course at Royal Troon.
It’s on this third parcel of land that Lochgreen’s best holes lie as there’s more movement in the landscape here. The short par four 4th is a terrific hole, played to a green that sits on top of a sand ridge, with three protecting bunkers slotted into the slope that rises to the plateau putting surface, and the beautifully bunkered par three 6th at the southernmost point of the course is easily the best of the three short holes on the scorecard.
The little four hole circuit from hole 11 to 14 is something of a parkland interlude, though the humps and bumps of the left doglegged 14th fairway suggest the terrain could be best described as “inland links” in nature. Apart from a few drainage issues that really need to be attended to on low lying areas around the greens at holes 2 and 3, the course plays as a proper links, with free draining fairways playing firm and fast. It’s a wee bit rough around the edges in places but Lochgreen still offers terrific value for golfers who are looking for an affordable links golf experience.