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If you’re a member of Glasgow, you really get the best of both worlds – a pleasant parkland course at Killermont, featuring beech, chestnut and oak trees, and 30 miles away a second course, the demanding Gailes Links on the Ayrshire course. Not surprisingly membership to the club is much sought after. It was founded in 1787 by wealthy merchants and serving army officers, which makes it the ninth oldest in the world. To put it into historical context, many of its early members went off to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. Killermont doesn’t have lady members and doesn’t encourage visitors unless you’re lucky enough to be the guest of a member. But if you get the chance to play this par-70, 5,977 course, designed by Old Tom Morris in 1904, it will be a joy and certainly not a war. It’s perhaps best known for its somewhat eccentric start with an opening par-4 of only 273 yards and then a par-3 of almost the same distance (244 yards). The third is a tough 405-yard par-4 uphill and the 5th, at 525 yards, is the longest hole on the course. It doglegs right to left off the tee and then switches left to right. The 19th hole is pretty impressive, too. The clubhouse, a former stately home built around the time of Trafalgar, houses a trophy collection that cannot be bettered anywhere.
TENTH (424 yards, par 4) - Demands an accurate tee shot. Slightly left and you face an approach shot over trees to a green which slopes away from you. There are two cross-bunkers just short of the green and a greenside bunker on the left.