Friday, 12 February 2010

Troon Lochgreen Golf Course - Course no 247

I played this excellent course on 11 February 2010. Lochgreen is operated by South Ayrshire Council and is one of three links courses served by a single clubhouse, the others being Fullerton and Darley. Lochgreen is a 6459 yards par 74. The course was set for temporary greens, so was playing a bit shorter than normal but any benefit that provided was negated by the random bounces on and slowness of the greens. Overall, Lochgreen is a formidable test, deserving its reputation as a tricky course to score well on. I'd played very poorly on my own course a couple of days previously, so I was not expecting anything particularly good.
I pretty much had the course to myself, so took my time and for once, concentrated well. I had to, since after an easy bogey on the first, the next 5 holes were played into a low winter sun, and with some frost on the ground, it was very difficult to see where shots went. Much is written about the excellence of the 5th hole, but at 392 yards, I don't think it merited being classed as Stroke Index 1. I duly took a bogey after a pulled drive, but on the front 9 I preferred the short 285 yard par 4 4th hole, the 181 yard par 3 6th and the 417 yard 9th. I was out in 41, to the par of 38, striking the ball pretty sweetly. The weather had also turned springlike, with the thermal vest and wet suit trousers being shed by the 7th hole. It was pretty unusual to be able to swing without several layers and my thoughts were turning to even warmer days on well kept courses.

Lochgreen is primarily a links course, but has string of good parkland holes from 11 -15. This is a view of the 13th a lovely little 302 yard par 4, the mountains of Arran in the background.

Lochgreen's back 9 was also good, with the only significant blemish being a double bogey on the 16th, thanks to a cunningly hidden bunker in the folds of the fairway that, had I played the second properly, I'd have been nowhere near. I finished Lochgreen with a solid par 5 up the last for a total of 81, net 69. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, a good strong test and if the other 2 courses here are of a similar standard, I'm in for a treat.

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