Loch Lomond GC
Loch Lomond Golf Club is one of the world's finest private Members clubs.
Membership is by invite only!
The course was designed by Tom Wesikopf and Jay Morrish and opened for play in 1993.
Tom Weiskopf regarded it as his ’lasting memorial to golf’
Loch Lomond is a beautifully manicured course which moves through an environmentally protected site containing rare plants and woodland, and is surrounded by the loch and the mountains..
The clubhouse is a modernised version of Rossdhu House, which dates back to 1773.
Over the years the course would occasionally struggle to cope with winter conditions, however over 3 years from 2017 the club rebuilt all eighteen holes, installed a new irrigation system, renewed the drainage infrastructure, re-turfed the newly sand capped fairways and re-built all the bunkers with a capillary concrete liner.
When we played in 2022 the course was pristine.
Loch Lomond is perhaps best known for hosting the Scottish Open, which it did from 1996 to 2010.
The winner’s list is impressive:
1996- Thomas Bjorn
1997- Tom Lehman
1998- Lee Westwood
1999- Colin Montgomerie
2000- Ernie Els
2001- Retief Goosen
2002- Eduardo Romero
2003- Ernie Els
2004- Thomas Levet
2005- Tim Clark
2006- Johan Edfors
2007- Gregory Havret
2008- Graeme McDowell
2009- Martin Kaymer
2010- Edoardo Molinari
The course measures 7,100 yards from the back tees, and is a stringent test of golf- no wonder the list of winners over the years is made up of some of the real champions of the game!
Retief Goosen holds the course record of 62.
You know you are somewhere special from the moment you arrive at Loch Lomond.
The welcome is highly organised and professional.
The practice facilities, pro shop and clubhouse are all impressive.
So expectation is high on the first tee.
We were most fortunate to play with Loch Lomond Course manager Peter Heggarty, a low handicapper who acted as part caddie, and part historian as he proudly showed off the course.
One passion of mine in golf is that courses be flexible in set up, to offer similar challenges and enjoyment to different levels of golfers.
Golfers with slower swing speeds including older golfers, women, and children would all benefit enormously from facing the same hazards as the better golfer from a more achievable tee position.
To that end Peter Heggarty has introduced some forward tees at Loch Lomond that are well forward, yet offer appropriate carries for slow swing speeds.
I was very impressed!
One thing surprised me a little- I had expected more holes adjacent to and with views of the loch.
Holes such as the par 3 fifth, par 3 seventeenth and the closing par 5 all make the most of the loch views.
Holes 6 & 7 also run parallel to the loch but have a row of trees between fairway and loch just dumbing down the loch- side presence a little.
While the course did touch the loch on a number of occasions my overall impression was of a course where each hole had it’s own unique setting.
No two holes are alike!
I enjoyed the variety of terrain and how natural the holes looked- some in woodlands, some in marshlands.
I would categorise the architecture as ‘strategic’. and with water hazards and beautiful bunkering throughout there is no shortage of decisions to be made by the thinking golfer.
I thought the short par 4’s at holes 9 and 14 were outstanding, as were the par 3’s at 5 and 17 where water dominates the visuals.
The strong closing par with loch on the left and castle behind is also memorable.
I think Loch Lomond is the best inland course in Scotland, and would be a very special place to be a member.
Notable holes include:
- hole 5, a lovely par 3 with Loch Lomond as a backdrop
- hole 9, a short dogleg par 4 with an impressive green & bunker complex
- hole 10, a long strong par 4 though marshland
- hole 14, another very good short dogleg par 4
- hole 18, a majestic closing par 5 along by the Loch.
Stories from the course
Golfers' terror as speedboat lands in bunker
Two golfers yesterday watched open-mouthed as a speedboat flew 100ft through the air in front of them and landed in a greenside bunker.
French tourists Claude Bieth and Catherine Guillet were playing the sixth at the famous Loch Lomond course when the boat hurtled out of the water and took off.
Claude, 62, said: "It clipped the sand and flew about 30 yards through the air.
"The boat seemed to go in slow motion and came to a halt in a bunker. The motor kept going but it was stuck fast."
The boat's driver managed to jump to safety before it hit the shore.
Claude, of Strasbourg, added: "There was no one on board, which made it all look very strange.
We could see the owner about 100 yards into the water and he made his way to shore.
He was fine but he seemed slightly in shock.
I own a golf course in France which has lots of water but certainly doesn't have any flying speedboats.
I turned to my friend who invited us to play at Loch Lomond and thanked him for putting on such an amazing display for us.
It will be an interesting story for us to tell our friends at home."
Another witness said the crash was "like a scene from a James Bond movie".
The source added: "Apparently the guy hit a kind of double wave which virtually threw him out of the boat.
He must have been going at a fair old speed for it to travel so far on to the course.
Thankfully, the guy had baled out and was fine.
It could have been nasty if someone had been in the bunker but no harm was done.
Even the boat itself seems to have remained fairly intact - it was cushioned by the sand."
The crashed boat - named Final Fling - was still beached in the bunker last night. Experts were due to check it today to see whether it can be refloated without sinking.
Daily Record – Monday May 12 2008 By Lachlan Mackinnon
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