“Aloof from the sea, Barassie is yet under its spell. And in summer evenings, when the sun is sinking behind the Arran peaks and the westward sky is aglow with colour…”

 

An extract from the fascinating “The Jubilee book” that covers, in glorious prose, the clubs first fifty years.

It also contains some truly eye-popping pictures of the course as it was, none more so than the one of the old 17th (Hillhouse 8th to the newbies) that kills the myth that the green is sinking. Our redoubtable pro Gregor has an original book in the shop if you fancy a peek. It’s also on the site under the tab history (funnily enough). If you scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can download the PDF (portable document file for the luddites among you).

Another thing that jumps out is that there are no trees to be seen, which again, along with the agronomist’s advice, emboldens us in our efforts to harvest a good few of them as per the strategy document. And have a look at the bunkers – natural or what!

 

We were humbled on Wednesday when 10 members of the Scottish Wildlife Trust turned up (and one Barassie member – well done Rosemary) to make a start turning the bog area between the railway and the Hillhouse 7th tee into an area that will encourage both the return of indigenous flora and fauna and perhaps attract a few more types of wildlife.

The intention is to have an area on the course that proves golfers can live side by side with the natural world and encourage some species to return. We may never get there but at least these folk are making a commendable effort.

 

Back to more prosaic stuff – greenside bunkers at 4, 5, 8 and 9 have all been refaced. We have had some feedback that perhaps we should be lowering the faces and for the real tough greenside bunkers, the second for example, we will as well as most of the fairway ones, but the ones we have done already we felt that they were not overly penal and could be seen for the approach shot. Canny make it too easy.

 

The digger work continues with enough sand mined for the last 6 on the Links and as the confidence builds in our operating abilities we have filled in the first bunker on the Hillhouse 4th and made a start reshaping (and lowering the face!) on the other fairway bunker. The plan is to move to more challenging bunkers (e.g. left second fairway) to reshape with the digger.

 

We got another cut on the greens this week so they are rolling ok for this time of year.

 

Work started on improving the drainage on the new 6th fairway. It’s disappointing that we are having to do this, especially as Brian asked for the area to be rotovated before we turfed but the turf was on its way and we did not have a big enough machine on site so the sub group leader gave the go ahead to lay the turf (Rank bad yin that Anderson fella so he is). Anyway, Auld Archie our resident drain dude is fixing it so all’s well.

 

Monday also brought the fairway protection policy into place, a slight change from previous years     that has led to some confusion but as the signs on both tees make clear anywhere on the fairway, short of the yellow lines, its lift to the semi please.

 

It’s was great news that our “ain” Jack McD made it through to the final rounds of qualifying at the Q school, a feat in itself considering nearly 1200 golfers (and good yins’ at that) started this epic voyage that leaves the final 160 battling it out for a only 20 places. Tough school eh!

Young James from the shop has flown out to caddie so it’s fingers crossed.

You can check out how they are doing on the European tour site by clicking on the Q-School tab along the top.

 

We’ll leave you with the final paragraph from the aforementioned Jubilee Book cos the cliché “waxing lyrical“ has never been more apt and far superior to any of the p@@@ that you get from us:

 

“All this you may say is not golf; but who is to say it’s not magnificent? For these are the things that contribute to the essential charm of Barassie – even as does the atmosphere of good fellowship and camaraderie that one finds in the clubhouse on a Saturday afternoon” (er……..except of course, if Stuart’s on and the Rangers have lost). That last bit’s mines’ btw not from the original.

 

Enjoy your golf

 

The Greens team.