Are you considering a round or two at Hawick Golf Club? Lowland Lettings’ golf ambassador Keith Morgan takes you for a round at his home course.
As the oldest club in the Scottish Borders, Hawick Golf Club can be found on the picturesque Vertish Hill on the outskirts of the town. It’s a very well-established, well-kept course, and Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Tony Jacklin are all honorary members.
But what can you expect from this parkland-style course? Well, let me tell you right now, it’s no pushover! However, it’s also a joy to play, with some first class catering and bar facilities also available.
As the resident PGA pro here, I’m going to tell you more about Hawick Golf Club below, including a detailed hole-by-hole guide so you can be fully prepared on the day!
My own experiences at Hawick
Firstly, I really want to say how privileged I feel to be the Honorary Head Professional here at Hawick, and I really enjoy coaching both the juniors and members – plus, the views are amazing!
I’ve personally played Hawick Golf Club hundreds of times, but I do have a memory of playing with a good friend – Alan, who’s been +1 for as long as I can remember – where he had to make a 2 on the last to break 60 – and that doesn’t happen too often!
I shot 64 that day, and was well and truly beaten. We’ve also had some great Bill McLaren Golf Days over the years in memory of the late, great Voice of Rugby who lived in the town and was a member of Hawick for many years.
I remember staging a beat at the pro one year on the short par 3, 8th hole, and my first shot only just cleared the ladies’ tees!
Hawick hole-by-hole Guide
Now, let’s get onto the really exciting stuff! Below, I’ve put together a detailed hole-by-hole guide so you can get a better feel for the course itself…
One of the toughest opening holes in Borders golf, with out-of-bounds all up the right, over the road that stares you right in the face from the tee. A medium to long iron is required on most days, but the safe shot fades in from the left side.
A medium length par 4, this hole is all about positioning the drive, which is a fairly tight tee shot – especially from the further back tees. The safe tee shot is up the left, so leave a mid-to-short iron approach.
This is easily one of the best holes on the course from the back tees. The best drive goes up the right-hand side to open up the green. It’s a fair climb up to the green itself, so plenty of club is needed for the approach, which is best aimed at from the left side, due to the slope.
This is a short hole up the hill where a tee shot that carries the ridge will leave a short approach to a green which is guarded well on the left by a bush and bunker. If you’re going to miss this green, keep it right or short.
Next we have another fairly short hole, where you must keep the drive right of centre due to the steep, sloping fairway, before pitching into a good-sized, fairly flat green. The best place to miss is short or right.
A longer par 4 which normally plays its full length back into the prevailing wind, I always say it’s best to keep the drive central or slightly right to open up the green to an approach that should be aimed at the left side of this raised green.
Another very long 4 that’s normally also into the prevailing wind, you really need to keep the drive up the left in order to get a full view of the green. A par here is always good. Your second shot needs to be at the heart of the green, as it’s guarded by bunkers on both sides.
A short hole, but deceptively tricky due to cross winds here and a fairly small putting surface. It’s easy to take 4 on this one, so take one more club than you think you need and hit it straight. Long is the only good place to miss this green.
This next one’s a very scenic hole as you cross over the hill, with a drive that needs to be central or slightly right for the best angle in. You can be hitting medium-to-long irons in here on a windy day, and it’s a small green, so keep your approach left and use the banking.
Here we have a sharp dog leg where the trees have really grown in over the years to make this quite a testing hole. The tee shot has plenty of space out right, but then you have a longer approach to a very small green.
Walk up the hill and see where the flag is before hitting – it’s worth it!
This one’s a long hole back up the hill, and it’s often made tricky by winds. Drive is best kept straight to right side in order to leave an often mid-to-long second shot into a slightly raised green. It’s hard to judge distance here without GPS so take plenty of club for your second.
Next up is a short, quirky and challenging hole, where some players try to drive the green, but don’t pull it left or you may have no shot from the woods. A tee shot right of centre up the fairway leaves only a short iron over the hill – but walk up to see where the flag is, as it’s a wide green.
In my opinion, this is the most iconic and scenic par 3 of the course with fantastic views of the surrounding hills from the back raised tee. A larger putting surface is well-guarded by several bunkers all around, and it often plays up to a long-iron even for better players.
A par here is always good!
My personal favourite par 4, the 14th is a really well-defined hole with a drive that has to be straight to slightly right to open up a good approach. With no wind it can play fairly short, but be sure to aim your second left-of-centre at the green as everything tends to move right on landing.
Next we have a long, straight downhill that heads you back towards the Old Grey Town of Hawick and the Clubhouse. The fairway has seemed to narrow over the years due to the visual of the trees growing in on the right and left sides, but it’s still fairly generous.
The best approach comes from the right side as you can see more of the fairly larger putting surface from there – just don’t go long with your second!
Across the hill and down steeply to this drivable par 4 for the better players. The safe drive goes right of centre off the tee to a fairly wide fairway, and then a short shot to a green that’s always tricky to read.
If you end up with a longer second shot and you cannot see the surface of the green, keep your approach left as the slope will help you.
Another fairly short but tricky hole, this one should give up a birdie to good players, but a slightly wayward drive can leave a very difficult approach here. Safest bet is to play up to the top of the hill and leave a short-iron’s approach.
Last but not least, we have a big shot (80 feet) down Vertish Hill onto the double green that shares the first par 3. If you have ever played the postage stamp at Troon, or only seen it on TV, then you know how small that green is – well this is similar, but the hole is 80 yards longer.
Finishing here with a 3 always feels like a birdie; if you’re going to miss, go right or slightly long. Short and left leaves a very tough short to get up and down for par. Pro’s tip: If you’re unsure which club to use, it’s normally the same club you used up the first hole!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide, and that it hasn’t put you off this amazing but challenging course! It’s well worth taking the time to have a meal and relax in the elevated Clubhouse overlooking Vertish Hill – oh, and buggies are always best booked ahead of time.
If you’re looking to play a round or two at Hawick, it’s definitely worth contacting Lowland Lettings to see if they have any exclusive deals available for visitors.
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