Are you thinking about playing a round or two at the Roxburghe Golf Course? Lowland Lettings’ golf ambassador takes you for a round at this simply stunning course…
The Roxburghe is a large, championship- style parkland golf course which is always kept in immaculate condition, and set in the gorgeous rolling hills of the Scottish Borders – no wonder it’s one of the most popular courses for visitors to the Scottish Borders.
But what’s in-store in terms of playability? Well, my father and son are both members there, so I’m fortunate to play it fairly regularly and it is without a doubt the best conditioned course in the Borders.
I can also say without a doubt that the Roxburghe is a very fair test of golf with plenty of risk and reward holes!
Below, I’m going to use my experience as a PGA pro to provide you with some extra insight about the course, including a detailed hole-by-hole guide.
An introduction to the Roxburghe
With its full USGA layout, a good sat nav will really help you find your way around the Roxburghe, as the greens are very large, and you’ll really benefit from knowing the front, middle and back. There’s also a course guide available in the shop!
I was invited recently to play in the Captain’s Day, with my father and son, and I really enjoyed the format which involved using all the tees from reds to some very back championship tees – it really made you see the course differently. More golfers should do this on their own course.
I also broke 70, which is rare for me!
The Roxburghe hole-by-hole guide
Now, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the Roxburghe has to offer, with my hole-by-hole guide…
1st hole: Home Farm
I’m afraid this course dumps you right in the deep end, figuratively speaking, with a relatively tricky first hole. You’ll be introduced to a fairway lined with trees, making the accuracy of your first tee absolutely crucial.
This first hole typically plays into the prevailing wind, and there’s no let-up on your second shot, either; precision here is key to avoid the large bunker 25 to 30 yards short of the green.
2nd hole: Whinny Braes
This 2nd hole has an interesting shape about it; a dog-leg from right to left, which demands a high draw around the corner in order to open up the green. The wall running the full length of the hole makes it even more of a challenge!
Two things to avoid here: the woods (otherwise known as lost ball territory) and the bunker on the right – if you manage that, you might be in with the chance of a birdie!
3rd hole: Beeches
This is without a doubt the shortest par 4 you’re going to encounter at the Roxburghe, and it’s a fun one, too! It follows a light walk around the woods into the ‘Garden Field’ part of the course. It only takes a drive and a quick flick with a short iron – just watch out for the bunkers!
4th hole: Azalea
The first par 3 of the course, the name ‘Azalea’ summons up thoughts of the Augusta National – you’ll find this hole won’t let you down! Guarding the green, you’ll find man-made ponds, while the azaleas are to be found towards the back if you accidentally over-club.
There’s also another large bunker, just to catch you out! I definitely recommend a crisp iron shot off the tee if you want to make par on this one.
5th hole: Mount
This is quite a long hole, which can be a three-shotter depending on the direction the wind takes on any particular day – sometimes you can find it assisting you to get there a little easier. You’ll find some some mature trees to the left of the fairway, along with some well-placed bunkers!
You could be in with a chance of a birdie here if you play your game right!
6th hole: Rounded
After another quick wander through the woods from Garden Field, you’ll welcome the change in scenery as the course opens out with some fabulous views. There’s a garden wall on the left, so you’ll want to really concentrate on your tee shot to the green 382 yards off.
Once you’ve got your bearings on the fairway, it should only be a short-iron to the green, but beware of the angle and judge your approach carefully – don’t forget to avoid the woods!
7th hole: Teviot View
This hole requires a bit of careful planning, but if you can avoid the out-of-bounds skirting and the bunkers designer Dave Thomas is notorious for, you can probably reach the hole itself in just a couple of shots.
Just like you’d expect from the name, Teviot View features some gorgeous views of the Teviot, perfect for a relaxing game of golf – however, stay sharp and you’ll maybe manage a birdie here!
8th hole: Badger Sett
Next up we have nice little test in ‘Badger Sett’ – but also quite an enjoyable par 3. You’ll need a long to mid-iron for this one, although it will most likely depend on which way the wind is blowing on the day. This hole is also predominantly downhill, so bear it in mind.
Beware of the ridge that cuts across the green and ensure you’re on the right side of it if you want to get a birdie. And do I really need to mention the bunkers by now?
9th hole: Deer Park
Ending the front 9, you’ll find this uphill hole isn’t quite as tricky as it first seems, as it invariably will play downwind. Stay away from the two bunkers on the left, along with the ones guarding the front of the green, and you’ll be just dandy.
You should be happy enough with a par on this one.
10th hole: Monument
This hole is particularly pleasing to the eye, but it’s also one of the most challenging of the course. It’s a dog-leg that’s shaped perfectly for those who like to fade their shots from left to right, but if you have a handicap, it’s no.1 on the stroke index.
It’s vital you don’t overshoot on the fairway going left, as there’s a sharp downturn on the terrain once you get to the driving area. There’s also a nice view of the River Teviot to accompany you.
11th hole: Old Plantation
This hole follows a nice wee stroll downhill, leading you back up to another dog-leg – only this time it’s right to left and accompanied by quite a steep, sloping fairway.
Try your utmost to aim towards the right edge of the green, as it’s protected on the left by a huge bunker which can catch you off-guard.
12th hole: House Park
Next up, you’re faced with another right to left dog-leg, and I’d really recommend using a three wood or iron off the tee to ensure you keep the ball in play. Most like to play conservatively here, as the rough off the fairway is penal.
If you get a good tee shot, the green opens up and you might find yourself with a birdie in sight – watch out though, as putting on the sloping green can be a bit of a challenge!
13th hole: Scott-Kerr
Another easy-on-the-eye hole, Scott-Kerr features a generous expanse of water and some stand-out beech trees just out from the putting surface. Try a long to mid-iron tee shot taking you out beyond the water, leaving a little room for a ‘bail out’ shot if needed!
14th hole: Viaduct
This is the Roxburghe’s signature hole, and when you get a glimpse at it, it’s not hard to see why! Just a short walk from the 13th, you’ll be met with some glorious views, and the River Teviot running alongside you to the left throughout the entire hole towards the viaduct (hence the name).
On a good day, facing downwind, you can expect to reach the green in just two shots.
15th hole: Quarry
Further down the river, and closing in on the viaduct on the left, Quarry is another pretty hole and a fairly short par 3 (uphill and downwind). However, it’s also home to the largest bunker on the green, so beware!
16th hole: Kerr’s Cleuch
Next up, you’ll find yourself back into the prevailing wind, with a tee shot that will mean flying the two featured fairway bunkers. Get a solid drive and you should be fine here, opening the hole up for a long and fairly simple second shot.
There’s a low wall behind the green – it looks nice, but it shouldn’t make a difference to your game.
17th hole: Floors
A relatively short, but testing par 4, your best bet here is an iron off the tee finishing up on the crest of the hill ahead. This should allow you a better look at the green which slopes rather sharply from back to front – it’s also well-guarded by some strategically placed bunkers.
You’ll find the putting surface is the slickest the Roxburghe has to offer, and I’d advise keeping the ball on the low side of the hole to avoid any downhill issues.
18th hole: Sunlaws
A good, strong hole to finish, Sunlaws is another right to left dog-leg, with a good scattering of fairyway bunkers and a fairly challenging second shot leading up to an equally well-guarded green. Thomas (the designer) certainly knew a thing or two about bunkers!
Watch out for the ditch located just 100 yards from the green – accuracy for your second shot is vital here if you want the chance of a birdie. An excellent finish to this challenge – and picturesque – course!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and by now you should have a better idea of the type of game you can expect from the glorious Roxburghe Golf Club! The Roxburghe also has a stunning hotel which is a joy to stay in, so it’s always very tempting to make a long weekend of it!
If you’re looking to play a round or two at Roxburghe – and maybe even stay a couple of nights – it’s definitely worth contacting Lowland Lettings, as they may well have some exclusive deals available.
And finally, good luck!
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