Friday, 9 October 2009

Brunston Castle GC Course no 230

– Polly and I played this on 8 October 2009 having been impressed by the high quality of the club’s website. This was clearly a course to be played in dry summer conditions, as some parts were quite low lying and looked to be prone to flooding. Unfortunately, we’d played it too late in the year, forgetting that inland courses in the West of Scotland can be less well drained than our own seaside course in North Berwick. Although there had not been any heavy rains of late, parts of the Brunston Castle course were quite boggy, with preferred lies in operation. As a result, it played quite long and as the greens had also been hollow-cored and sanded very recently, scoring was difficult. That’s my excuse anyway, having lost to Polly by a couple of Stableford points in what, to borrow the football cliché, was a low-scoring match.

Although we thought that Brunston would undoubtedly look and play better in the Summer months, we struggled to spot a signature hole. Perhaps it was just that the course wasn’t busy and was clearly being made ready for winter that put us off, but it just seemed that none of the holes were inspiring, with several medium length par 4s either looking or playing similar to each other. I liked the 10th, a shortish par 4 played from an elevated tee down to a generously wide fairway, with the second requiring a longer shot than you think, over a hidden river some 20 yards wide. Having missed the fairway to the right (requiring some skill given the width of the fairway!) I also had a large tree to contend with, managing a rare par after a good wedge from heavy, wet rough over the tree and the river to within 20 feet. Polly’s second shot came to grief amid dark mutterings about a silly place to put a river anyway, and she much preferred the 18th, mainly because it was the last.

Brunston may have been slightly disappointing, but we did discover a real gem on the way home, in Balbir’s Indian Restaurant, near Symington on the A77. Outstanding, and a place to be visited again and again, as there are lots of courses in Ayrshire still to be played.

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