Tarbert GC lies at the head of West Loch Tarbert at the North end of the Kintyre peninsula and is a short 9-Hole moorland course of only 2156 Yards Par 33. I played the course on 26 June 2013 at the end of my 3 day trip to Arran and Kintyre. I could have gone on to play another course on my way home but Tarbert was my 7th course in 3 days and I had caddying and playing commitments when I got back home, so 9 holes over Tarbert was enough.
Tarbert starts gently with a couple of 257 and 284 Yard Par 4s. "The Hill" a 141 Yard uphill Par 3 that plays more like 170 is next, then this little course really shows its teeth. The 4th is only 156 Yards long, but I'm not ashamed to say that I hit a full 3 Wood and came up short. This view from the tee doesn't really show how steep this hole is, so just take my word for it. I was happy enough with a bogey 4!
The 5th is called "Lone Tree" and at first I thought this referred to the big tree just to the left of the tee and that the green was the one that's clearly visible centre-left of this photo, as taken from the 5th tee. However, the scorecard said that the 5th was the Stroke Index 1 Hole and was a 315 yard Par 4, suggesting that the tee shot had to carry beyond the bushes 200+ yards away. I hit Driver and sure enough, the second shot has to avoid the lone tree in the middle of the fairway, as also shown below. I managed a good par after finding the green in regulation.
The 6th also brings that lone tree into play and at 282 yards, this Par 4 should be a just a decent drive and an easy wedge at most, but a stream and a gully lie in front of the small green, so don't be short.
Next, the 311 Yard 7th takes you slightly up and across another hill and your second will be longer than you might think, to a tiny green. I missed the green, my ball running 30 yards downhill, leaving me an awkward pitch uphill back to the green. From there, the 8th goes steeply downhill. This is a 128 Yard Par 3 but the tee shot is almost completely blind. There are no bunkers or other trouble to contend with. You just have to take the right club and swing easy. A 9 iron was right for me, setting up an easy birdie.
The last hole is a flat looking 282 Yard Par 4 with OOB all the way down the right and rough/bushes down the left. The fairway is far narrower than the others and you won't see that a stream cuts across the hole around 200 yards out from the tee and that the fairway dips at around 180 yards, meaning that anything landing just short of the stream may run into it. Play well short or hit a good straight drive. This is a view back up the hole from under the big oak tree at the back of the green. The 9th and 5th are probably the best couple of holes at Tarbert. I scored 37 gross, 4 over par with 15 putts, but if I was going to Kintyre again, I'd probably give Tarbert a miss and press on to Carradale.