Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Galashiels Golf Club - course no 286

I played the Galashiels course on 26 April 2010. Galashiels now has 16 different tees to 9 greens so is really an 18 hole course in disguise, and at 5412 yards par 68, off the white tees, is a pretty good test of golf. I'd played off the medal course by mistake, since the men's tees were blue rather than the more normal yellow (I'd mistakenly assumed that the blue ones were the junior tees!) The course was in excellent condition and for the most part was really great fun to play. The course is hilly in parts and I'd noticed that some members missed out the first 3 holes for that reason. This is a view from halfway down the 2nd fairway, giving some impression of the hill involved in playing the 1st, 2nd, 10th and 11th holes. Although it would be tempting to miss the climbs involved in playing those holes, it would be a pity to miss the 3rd/12th a difficult blind uphill par 3 requiring accuracy (or at least avoiding a hook) off the tee, given the proximity of a large house to the playing line. I was glad to play away from the house, but doing so cost me 3 strokes over the round. Some locals I met on the 4th tee told me that the course had originally had 18 separate holes and had gone far higher up the hills than at present. The views had been great but the upper holes had not been popular or easy walking. Best holes on the course were the 4th/13th, par 5's of around 520 yards to a small plateau green.

This is a view from the 5th medal tee, giving some impression of the slopes to be found at Galashiels. Generally, the fairway grass had been kept moderately long to hold the ball on such slopes. Even so, there were some pretty unusual lies, reminding me of my former playing days at Lothianburn. Below is a view from the 17th tee, a formidable 208 yard par 3 that plays longer than it looks due to the prevailing wind. I took a bogey there and also had trouble up the 9th/18th as the second shot is longer than it looks and is played semi-blind uphill to a small green. A difficult finishing hole that cost me 3 strokes on my round in total. I managed to get round Galashiels in 86, net 75, which wasn't bad under the circumstances. I enjoyed the course and was thankful that it was not too windy, as I can imagine that the course would be an even more stern physical test when there's a gale blowing.

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