The course at Scarista has been described as one of the most picturesque 9-hole courses in the world and after playing it on a beautiful sunny spring day, I wouldn't disagree. I actually played the Harris course in March 2006 so this was not a new course for me, but my blog entries covering our trip to the Western Isles would not be complete without full coverage of this lovely course. From first to last, this course is an absolute joy to play, with fantastic views of the Sound of Taransay, the Atlantic Ocean, other smaller islands and the Harris mountains. Even before we played, we'd had a great welcome from Hugh MacLean, so here's a photo of himself and me, to the side of the extensive new works to develop the new clubhouse. From the brief tour we made, this looks set to be a super addition to the club's facilities.
My favourite hole on the Isle of Harris course was the 2nd, a short 254 yard par 4, with the whole of the island on the right and only water to the left. I took a bogey 5, but I did wonder about the new coffin bunker going in at the front of the green as it looked too small to even swing a club in the direction of the green. Thankfully, I didn't go in it to find out! Here's my somewhat over-aggressive tee shot at that hole. I really must shorten my backswing and slow the swing down to a blur. Below is a view of the 3rd, a difficult uphill 215 yard par 4 with a blind tee shot that plays far longer than it looks. At only 2094 yards, par 34, the Harris course is short by any standards, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in character and even the odd poor shot (and there were many!) didn't seem to matter in such beautiful surroundings. Indeed, I was even able to laugh off an alarming outbreak of the sh---s, though I suspect my new nickname of Armitage might stick for a while! However, my score did suffer and 43 was pretty poor, given the ideal conditions. Craig and Stu also thought the course was superb and despite all of the golf we'd had, they went round the course again, with Craig even getting within sight of the course record. I've great memories of the views from this course, but I'll also remember the remarkable birdies all 3 of us had on the 6th hole, a short uphill par 4 of 247 yards. We all drove the tiny green, and here's part of the celebrations.