KILMARNOCK (Barassie) Golf Club has adapted to its members and visitors' wishes and undergone a makeover to help boost the status of the club.
The club is home to one of the finest championship links courses in Scotland – a former Open Final Qualifying course – and it now boasts a number of subtle changes that have helped increase membership.
The most notable change to members and visitors is the new 12th hole, which is now an impressive, 145-yard par-3 featuring an undulating green and pot bunkers surrounding the green.
The former Scottish Amateur Strokeplay venue underwent a project in the early 2000s to add an additional nine holes to the existing layout to offer members more variety but this, in turn, created problems for golfers.
Two parts of the site required having to walk over 400 yards between holes, resulting in slow play, but Barassie moved to address this issue through its course changes.
"We are absolutely delighted with the new 12th hole. It couldn't have looked better," said Bob Anderson, the greens convenor at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
"It is a well-designed signature par-3, with a nice yardage and improves the enjoyment of playing Barassie without the walks.
"Visitors or potential members were previously coming to Barassie and it was too long, overall. Over the years, we have tried to get the playability but retain the enjoyment and the new hole has already proved tremendously popular with all the members."
Renowned course designer Paul Kimber deserves a lot of the credit, as he assisted in using an area of the club's property to create the exciting new par three, known as 'Hillhouse', which replaces the former par-3 sixth.
New teeing grounds near the fifth green have allowed play towards the new sixth fairway from a completely different angle, resulting in a right-to-left dogleg.
"We are thrilled with the new par-3 12th hole," said Clare Middleton, general manager at Kilmarnock (Barassie).
"Paul Kimber and his team managed not only to meet our budget and a tight schedule but, even more importantly, meet members' expectations.
"We look forward to another great golfing season and our members and visitors enjoying the course changes."
Kilmarnock (Barassie) was founded in 1887 and through the course changes and initiatives, the club now has a total membership of over 1,100.