Scottish Open 2019: Hole-by-hole guide to the course, with Richie Ramsay

Richie Ramsay, who is attached to The Renaissance Club, knows every nook and cranny of the course. Picture: Getty Images
Richie Ramsay, who is attached to The Renaissance Club, knows every nook and cranny of the course. Picture: Getty Images
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Richie Ramsay reckons the Renaissance Club will prove a great ASI Scottish Open test

1st: 594 yards, Par 5

Normally the seventh, this is a good opening hole. There’s a large bunker down the right that could be in play if it is downwind. It’s a tough green to hit in two due to a strong right-to-left slope as you approach the green. Par is okay here, but you’d want to get off to a nice start with a birdie.

2nd: 475 yards, Par 4

This is a good driving hole and you can easily be blocked out if you are down the right. You’ll probably be coming in here with a longish iron, which makes it tough, especially as it is probably the toughest green on the course with lots of little slopes. There’s no real bail-out, so you have to hit four good shots to make par.

3rd: 204 yards, Par 3

The first of five short holes has an infinity green, which generally slopes right to left. It’s probably a 6 or 7 iron, and middle of the green is a decent result here as it is quite tough to get it pin high. It can be a tricky hole, especially when the pin is tucked on the sides of the green.

4th: 418 yards, Par 4

A stunning hole with the Firth of Forth running the length of it on the left. The prevailing wind is at your back so, if the tee is forward, you have an early decision to make. You can lay back where the fairway is at its widest or you can hit driver and go for it. There’s a huge camber from right to left at the green, which makes it tough to hit it close. You can expect to see some variations in scores here. It is a good spot to view here, especially on a nice sunny day.

5th: 163 yards, Par 3

The green here is angled, with the left probably 10 yards longer than the right with a wall behind. It is from an elevated tee into the prevailing wind, so you need to keep the flight down here to stop the wind hitting it. Clubbing is going to be critical.

6th: 444 yards, Par 4

You really need to keep it up the left-hand side here, away from some bunkers on the right. The left gives you the best angle into the green. It’s another hole that normally plays with the wind helping, and you want to try and land it on the front and feed it into the flag.

7th: 541 yards, Par 5

The drive is key here as there are a couple of pot bunkers down the left. It is a pretty generous fairway and, if you can get your drive away, the slope down to the green means you have a good chance of getting on the green in two and having a chance of an eagle and, at worst, a birdie.

8th: 448 yards, Par 4

This is probably one of the toughest greens on the course. It is probably a case of laying up short of the bunkers with your tee shot and then you have a choice with your approach into a green that is elevated with some slopes running off it. You can be aggressive or you can play more conservatively for the middle and accept two putts.

9th: 218 yards, Par 3

This hole can play anything from a 7-iron to a 3-iron as the prevailing wind is in off the right. That’s where the difficulty comes as the green is angled left to right. You are coming across the green and anything that comes up short on the right is likely to end up in a bunker. It’s another one where the middle of the green is a good result.

10th: 462 yards, Par 4

Normally the first, this is quite a solid hole to start the back nine. The tee shot is key as you need to be on the fairway to be aggressive here with the approach. There’s a large bank that defends the right-hand side and a huge one at the back that guys will be aiming to use if they are coming out of the rough. The green slopes front to back.

11th: 480 yards, Par 4

This is probably one of the hardest holes on the course. The fairway has been narrowed in and if you hit driver it is really narrow. If the wind gets up, you could see guys having to hit rescue in there to what is a really long green. If you were selling a 4, guys would take it, for sure.

12th: 559 yards, Par 5

This hole is very dependent on what tee they choose to use. If it’s the back one, that will stop players going over the trees and cutting the corner off. If it’s up, you can get into trouble if you take on the trees and there’s also a bunker that is a pretty central line. Back left pin is tough here. If you don’t get the tee shot away, you are playing defensively and will be happy with a 5.

13th: 422 yards, Par 4

This is a good hole, which is made tricky by the prevailing wind being off the left. I think some guys will hit driver and take the bunkers on the right out of play and get it as far down as possible. The more you can cut off the dogleg, the better the angle for the second shot. The green sits slightly elevated and the back end runs away from you.

14th: 338 yards, Par 4

This short par-4 has a wall that will come into play for a lot of guys. Most people will be trying to lay up 10-20 yards short of that because unless you can reach the green, there is no real reward for hitting driver. The pin on the left is pretty straightforward but back or right can be quite tricky because there’s fall-aways short and back. Guys will be making 3s but there will be slip-ups, too.

15th: 147 yards, Par 3

Normally the sixth, this has a beautiful backdrop, with the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh making it one of the nicest spots on the course. Hopefully they will play the front pin position of 115-120 yards because, even though it’s a little short iron, it can be tricky into the prevailing wind whereas it is more straightforward from further back.

16th: 551 yards, Par 5

This is a potential eagle chance, which is what you want down the closing stretch. The drive is key as there are pot bunkers lying in wait down the right. Down the left leaves you a semi-blind shot into the green. You can be aggressive if you get the tee shot away, but you can be playing out sideways if you find one of those bunkers.

17th: 203 yards, Par 3

The green here is really wide with quite a big tier on it. The wind is normally right-to-left and I think you will see a lot of guys trying to hold-up right-to-left shots into the wind to stop losing control of the ball. It’s a little bit of a shot-maker’s hole as you could hit a lot of different shots here. I see the hold-up being the one to play here.

18th: 483 yards, Par 4

This is probably the hardest hole on the golf course. It’s straight back into the teeth of the wind. It’s a tough driving hole as there is a centre-line bunker that is probably in play for most guys. The green is raised up, falling away on all sides. It will comfortably play over par. It’s a good stern test and will prove the worth of anybody who wins.