Sunday, 6 December 2009

Kinghorn GC and Lochore Meadows Golf Course Course nos 237 and 238

These are another two of the municipal courses managed by the Fife Council. I played them on 5 December 2009, a wet but mild day (for a Scottish winter!), with no wind. Craig and Stu had recently played Kinghorn and reckoned it was surprisingly good. I agree and thoroughly enjoyed the course, despite the wet overhead and underfoot conditions. Kinghorn is a par 65 of only 4587 yards off the yellow tees and was playing even shorter, from some forward winter tees. However, the greens are small and although most holes are on the short side, it is still a good test and was in really good condition, despite the rain which had affected other neighbouring courses (Lochore Meadows for example!). Although the course is set well above the village and on top of a cliff quite far back from the sea, it plays as a links and has very good drainage. I managed to go round Kinghorn in a net 60, with 30 putts, ignoring a rare navigational mistake at the second - well, it was raining, I got lost, and didn't score the penalty. The 2nd is called Braeside and is a 189 yard par 3, which from the name, I took to be on the side of a hill. True enough, straight in front of the 2nd tee, about 190 yards away, was a hill side green, with 3 golfers on it that I assumed were in front of me. I played the hole, got a 4 and followed the 3 golfers down to what emerged was the 6th tee. After going back to the 2nd tee, it turned out that it should have been played over another hill, to the right, with a blind tee shot.
I managed a 4 there too, then wandered around some more, looking for the 3rd. This is the view from the 3rd winter tee, the green being partly hidden by the right side of the wall. A clever little hole but a hesitant start to the round, 3 over after 3 holes. The best hole on the front 9 was undoubtedly the 8th a 461 yard par 4, stroke index 1. I managed a 5 with a long putt after a poor drive that left me with a blind 3 wood over another hill.
The back 9 was even better, with 5 par 3's and a couple of short par 4's. This is the 12th, a downhill par 4 of 399 yards, showing the excellent new clubhouse. By this time, it had stopped raining and the outstanding views over the Forth estuary and beyond could really be appreciated.

The golf was also improving and although the back 9 is really short, with a total length of only 2186 yards and with 5 par 3's it was great fun. This is a side view of the 15th, looking down the 16th. Overall, I thought that Kinghorn was a really good course, ideal for a summer's evening. Well done to Fife Council for presenting this course so well, even on a wet winter's day. A real bargain at only £14 for a weekend round.

With a couple of hours daylight left, I drove over to Lochore Meadows Golf Course, within a large country park. Like Cowdenbeath earlier in the week, Lochore Meadows was soaking wet, with standing water almost everywhere. Indeed, I was really surprised that the course was open at all.
One local clearly thought that the conditions were pretty poor, having chalked onto the starter's hut door the request that he move the hole at the 6th, which was under an inch or so of water.

The course was deserted apart from me and Jamie, a lad of 13 or so, mustard keen to play his third round of the day, so we played the course together in the quickly fading light. The course was not at its best due to the wet conditions but it looked to be a good layout with tree lined fairways and some pretty good holes. Good value at only £8 a round. My favourite hole was the 3rd, a good 529 yard par 5, Stroke index 1, uphill to the green. I took 6.
This a view of the 8th, a 521 yard par 5, where I managed another 6. By then the mist was coming in and we finished the 9 holes with a few minutes of light remaining. Jamie was tempted to play some more holes, but reconciled himself to the practice putting green. He was still there when I drove out of the car park in the dark!

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