Lochmaben Golf Club was founded in 1926 and the original 9 holes were designed by James Braid, the five times Open Champion. The course encompasses three archaeological sites of historic importance while a fourth site, the Gallows Hill, lies across the road from the fourth tee. The second green is the site of one of Bruce’s castles; indeed the original fortress there dates from well before that. The remains of the mottes are clearly visible. On the ninth there are the remains of the Mount Pleasant settlement and the enclosures of Skelvieland.
Hole 1 – The Key
A Short Par 4 with a severely sloping green from back to front guarded by bunkers left and right. Get wrong side of the hole and a score of more than par is a possibility.
Hole 2 – Bruce’s Motte
An uphill Par 3 to a raised two tier green situated on the site of one of Robert the Bruce’s old forts. Severe trouble for any venture to the left and beyond the green. Walk off this hole with a three and be satisfied.
Hole 3 – The Moats
Two old moats to be carried to miss the severe trouble. Bowl type green with bunkers left and right. No easy chip if the green is missed.
Hole 4 – Braid’s First
Another short par 4 starting from the site of the original clubhouse. Out of bounds all the way down the left and, behind the green which is surrounded by bunkers. Large bunker on the right of fairway in driving distance.
Hole 5 – Queensberry
Straight hole lined with trees. Fairway bunker on right to be avoided. Named after the hill seen in the distance to the North from the tee.
Hole 6 – The Beeches
Tee shot played uphill between two 160 years old Beech trees. Hole then turns approximately 30 degrees right and downhill to an undulating green sloping from front left to back right.
Hole 7 – Swan’s Nest
A dog leg to the right with out of bounds and marsh all down the right side turning almost 90 degrees. A risk and reward hole. A long straight tee shot over the out of bounds 269 yards can be rewarded by finding the L-shaped green guarded by three bunkers and the Kirk Loch ten yards over the back of the green.
Hole 8 – Kirk Loch
The tee shot is played over an inlet of the Kirk Loch shelved on a severe slope towards the loch. The green is guarded by a large bunker at the front. Behind the green is a bank of rough to retain an over hit shot from running back onto the green.
Hole 9 – Skelvieland
A short Par 4 from an elevated tee with heavy rough on the left covering the ancient settlement, Skelvieland, on the hillside, and out of bounds on the right with a burn running across the fairway in front of the two tier green guarded by bunkers left and right with a very narrow entrance.
Hole 10 – Ancient Domain
A short climb to the 10th tee brings stunning views across Kirk Loch to the original part of the course. This hole lives up to its Stroke Index of 1 with copses of trees either side of the fairway, bunker on the left side of fairway in driving range. The fairway turns very gently to the left to a green with bunkers left and right. On a good day the Lakeland Hills can be seen clearly all the way down the hole.
Hole 11 – Broadchapel
Wide fairway lined with trees and bunkers on both sides. Second shot played to a plateau with two bunkers left and right sixty yards short of the green to be avoided. Slightly raised long narrow green guarded by bunkers.
Hole 12 – Cockies Knowe
Last of the par 3’s normally played into the prevailing South West wind to the highest point of the course which reveals stunning views in all directions. Long narrow green guarded by bunkers.
Hole 13 – Lark’s Rise
A blind drive over a rise to a wide fairway lined on both sides with trees. Second shot must be threaded through a narrow entrance between bunkers either side of the green.
Hole 14 – Mark’s Way
Another blind tee shot over a rise where the fairway then turns right to left. Two fairway bunkers on left side of fairway lined with trees. Second shot to elevated green surrounded by bunkers. Best approach from right side of fairway.
Hole 15 – Vallance Rig
A narrow fairway gently sloping left to right at driving distance with out of bounds all along the right of the hole and heavy rough and trees on the left.redesigned in 2016, this hole now has a dog leg left, with a hit over a burn, and a new green sloping gently . Big hitters can still decide whether to lay up or go for the green in two.
Hole 16 – Castlehill
A brand new gents tee, playing out of the wood from a beautiful elevated tee to a fairway sloping gently right. Rough and trees to the left, trees, deep rough and a steep slope to the Vendace Burn running along the out of bounds on the right and overlooking Castlehill farm, finding the fairway is a must. An inviting second shot from the fairway looking down at the green with out of bounds 10 yards behind it.
Hole 17 – Vendace Burn
An uphill drive to a sloping right to left fairway must be along the line of trees to the right of the fairway to avoid running down into the rough on the left side where out of bounds, marshy ground and the Kirk Loch lie in wait.
Hole 18 – Cormorant’s Rest
An elevated tee with out of bounds and the Kirk Loch to the left, and bunkers and trees up the right. The drive is over a gully with broom bushes to a narrow fairway rising to the final green bunkered on both sides and out of bounds behind. The clubhouse overlooks this final hole.