And so on to Taynuilt, which we played on Sunday 11 April 2010, before catching the afternoon ferry to Barra. Like its near neighbour at Dalmally, Taynuilt is a visually stunning golf course as this view from the second tee shows, with Ben Cruachan in the background. Although the Dalmally course was some distance from Dalmally itself, the Taynuilt course was an integral part of the village. It was also far drier than at Dalmally and the greens were also much faster, which we found very surprising, given that the courses are only a few miles apart and looked to be similarly low lying. Taynuilt is a 9 hole course of 2255 yards, par 32 off the yellow tees and was a joy to play from start to finish. We'd received great support from the club and were delighted to see that a notice had been put up beside the first tee about our trip and that the tee had been reserved for us, interrupting a club medal competition (and there are many clubs where that simply would not happen!) Highland hospitality at its best!
As anyone who has seen me play could testify, my 9 iron is used for all sorts of short game play in addition to approach shots from around 110 yards. I'd had a poor drive at the 303 yard 5th, so out came the 9 iron for a pitch to the green. I hit the ball cleanly without taking much of a divot, but the shaft broke and the club head went almost as far as the ball itself. I can probably get a new shaft fitted in due course, but this incident was to plague the rest of the trip, given my heavy reliance of the 9 iron for chipping around greens. The greens had some severe slopes, as shown here at the 6th, so the loss of that club was annoying to put it mildly. We all thought that the best hole on the course was the 9th, a devilishly tricky 337 yard par 4, with a severe dog leg to the left and a very narrow entrance to the green, with out of bounds to the right, left and behind the green, as this photo shows. I managed a bogey after duffing a short chip and run that I would normally have played with my 9 iron. I went round Taynuilt in 39, but on reading the Local Rules after the round I saw that "any shot hitting overhead cables must be retaken." My tee shot at the 1st was deflected by overhead cables but I played the ball as it lay, so a rules decision would have been necessary had we been playing in a competition. I must look up the rules again to remind myself what the decision should be! Thanks again to the club for their generous help to ensure we could play the course, which we all thought was in superb condition, given the harsh winter now thankfully behind us (we hope!!)