The first three holes in Mannan are demanding ones. The 1st, a testing par 3. Your line is along side the out of bounds on the left. Anything right leaves a difficult pitch over a bunkers that is provided you have a shot and are not obstructed by young trees. The green is two thirds sloping towards the fairway.
The 2nd is a right hand dog leg and a par 4. It needs a good drive. The ideal position for your second shot is on the right hand side on the corner of the dog leg. There is a spinney of trees on the right hand side should you end up there you’ll have little option other than to chip out and take your punishment. A stream runs across this hole but should not be an obstacle. The left hand side of the fairway runs alongside a road which is out of bounds. The green is two-tier and is guarded by two bunkers.
Those who are familiar with Mannan will know the correct club to use but this can vary depending on the wind direction. It is a par 3 across a stream and a small pond. The stream should not cause anyone any trouble but the pond is a real obstacle. Both are lateral hazards. The green slopes gently down to the water. This is the feature hole of the course. It is bordered by a millwheel to the left and a stone wall to the left which runs along the back of the hole. Beyond the back wall is a topiary spelling out Mannan Castle Golf Club.
A par five where your drive should be left of two bunkers. If you go right you may end up out of bounds. A second shot from the left hand side means you’ll probably have to hit out over the tall oak tree or else try to go between it and the out of bounds. A road runs along side part of the hole and this corresponds with the out of bounds markers. The hole veres to the right where another sloping green awaits you. This is also guarded by two bunkers. The hole is framed by tall evergreens. The second shot is usually a lay up leaving a nice pitch for your third onto the middle of the green.
This is a par 4 and the most difficult hole on the course. It is a long par four with a very tight drive needed as the second shot is through a narrow gap. Since the introduction of the new green here, beyond the original one, this hole has lengthened considerably. The ideal drive is alongside the edge of to the right. Too far right and you’ll be in a drain and probably need to take relief. Too far left and you’ll be playing a pitch so that you’ll have a chance of making boyey. Also, on the left is a very hungry bunker. The ideal position would be 5 yards to the right of this bunker. This would left you with a straight forward iron onto the green. The green has also two bunkers to the left and right of it’s entrance. This is a very large green, probably the largest on the course, with some had to read slopes on it.
The second par 5 on the front nine. This is a great driving hole. You’ll be aiming for the whins on the left hand side of the fairway knowing that you won’t reach them. The fairway begins very wide and then narrows down to a channel bordered by whins left and right. Your second shot will be to keep the play in play through this channel leaving you a pitch or an 8 or 9 iron onto a raised green. The bunker on the left of this green is very inviting and anything over the back can be very difficult to hold when coming back.
The drive here is over the corner of the spinney. It is up hill and your legs will feel the pull when walking up to play your second shot. The fairway slopes right to left. The green has a bunker well left and probably not within sight. It is intended to catch those wayward shots and prevent then ending up in the spinney. The right hand bunker has been reduced in size but one still needs to play over it with the second shot. Take a club extra would be the usual word of advice here. The green is very deceptive and there is no easy putt on it. Every angle should be considered as there is no level surface for a hole on this green.
A par 3 on the highest point of the course. This is a raised green with a bunker to the front and right. Anything left, long or right will be very hard to find. You are better short but then the bunker at the front will get you. The green is pretty flat and should not trouble many.
Another par 4 where the drive is critical. To have a chance to get on the green in regulation you should be positioned on the left of the fairway or as near to the roadway that intersects this hole. Some of the bigger hitters try to hot out over the trees to the left. This is a hazard and although you can play out of this the more prudent golfers make use of the drop zone. You are coming down from a height but your second shot is back uphill. The bottom of the flag cannot be seen. Bunkers again guard this green left and right. The green is framed by grass banks so that anything though the back should not go out of bounds. A par here is a good score.
A par 3, you are hitting downhill to a two tier green. The wind can play a big factor here. This hole is located beside the 3rd tee.
Three bunkers down the right hand side and a sloping fairway to the left make drive placement crucial here. The prudent golfer will play to be just left of the bunkers. It means playing a blind second shot but the walk to the top of the hill is not far. Another pair of bunkers are at the left and right entry points to this hole. This is a back to front sloping green making for some tricky putts if you play you shot in behind the hole.
The shortest par 3 on the course. The green is placed in a plantation and has a grass bunker at it’s entrance. The green slopes back towards you as you stand on the tee.
A seemingly simple short par 4. Those who can hit the ball long and staight can do so and hope to be on the green in one. For the rest you can play an iron and be in the middle of the fairway where a straight forward pitch (over an ash tree) should see you on the raised green. As you stand on the tee the ash tree is mid way down a small slope and balls landing here can roll up close to the green or be in one of the three greenside bunkers. The green itself is sloping towards you. Leaving yourself with an uphill putt is the prudent thing here.
The first of the back to back par 5s on the back nine. Centre of the fairway here may give you a chance to go for the green with your second. Water guards the left hand side of the fairway. If you end up playing a long pitch in and overshoot the green you could also be in water as a stream runs at the back of the hole and across the 16th and 18th fairways.
A more difficult par 5 than the 14th. Your drive depending on its length will leave you asking yourself will I get over the river with my second or should I lay up. A small island with enough room for a bunker lies in the middle of the river. Laying up is the best choice here. The left hand side of the fairway is a spinney of trees with very dense undergrowth. The right hand side has three lines of young trees running down it bordering with the 16th hole. The green is large and flat.
The second most difficult hole in Mannan. Rows of young trees guard either side of the fairway but as it is a dog left right you will want to be close to the right hand side of the fairway for your second shot. This will need you to hit over a stream. The green has two bunkers on it’s right hand side. The green is longer than it is wide therefore your shot in has a small target to aim at.
The final par 3 on the course which has a man made pond to it’s left hand side. It is not magnetic. Again depending on the prevailing wind this hole can prove a difficult one for club selection.
The drive here should be to the right of two fairway bunkers. Too far right and you’ll be on the road and out of bounds. The second shot is over the river and onto a flat green. Bunders on the right hand side prevent balls ending up in the car park.