Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Lilliesleaf Golf Course - course no 288

I played at Lilliesleaf after my 26 April 2010 rounds at Galashiels and Melrose. The somewhat quirky course was deserted when I arrived apart from 2 lady members having a refreshment outside the modest clubhouse. I'd noticed a small and tired looking platform of the kind normally used as a winter tee, but there was no sign of a men's first tee. My apologies to the ladies for asking where the men's tee was. The said platform was indeed a communal tee, but my timing could have been better, as one of the ladies was about to choke on her crisps such was the apparent daftness of my question.
Lilliesleaf is a 9 hole par 34 course of 2545 yards off the yellow tees. The scorecard shows a medal course of 2735 yards, but I couldn't find any white tees, or space for them. I didn't check with my laser range finder, but given some of the club selection issues I faced, I suspect that the yellow tees had been laid out over the medal course. That oddity aside, Lilliesleaf was great fun to play. Scoring was tricky, as the greens were lightning fast and being so early in the season, the greenkeeper had put all of the flags near the edges of the greens (and on slopes!). For example, here's the pin position on the 8th. I can't recall ever seeing a pin position within a putter's length of the edge of a green before. Nor can I recall seeing anything quite like the Local Rule relating to dogs on the course "Poops must be scooped off fairways, tees & greens (sand wedge)." I didn't need to take this action, nor did the Local Rule define the penalty for using a different club. The best hole at Lilliesleaf was the 3rd, a 185 yard par 3 played over a wall requiring absolute accuracy. My 7 wood went through the back, just short of the burn and a bogey followed. A good hole, though. I also enjoyed this, the 7th hole. This is a tricky 160 yard uphill par 3 with a viciously sloping green. I'd been concerned that my car was also within range behind the modest clubhouse, had I sliced anything off the tee. I even holed this putt for my first birdie of the day. Trickiest hole was the 9th, a 325 yard par 4. Although there's ample space for the drive, the last 100 yard or so of the hole is about 20 yards wide, with the green nestling at the top of a hill between 2 dense pine tree plantations. My second shot was just off line and was never found, so a disappointing 7 meant I'd gone round in 41 strokes, with only 13 putts (despite the greenkeeper's pin positioning).
Lilliesleaf is an enjoyable course, well worth the effort to find it!

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