Monday, 19 April 2010

Ullapool Golf Club

We played this excellent course on the afternoon of 14 April 2010 after coming over from Stornoway after our trip to play all of the Western Isles courses. I'd played the Ullapool course during a downpour in March 2006, when some of the fairways were almost under water, so it was a real pleasure to play it again in warm sunshine and little wind. Ullapool is a 9 hole course of 2699 yards off the yellow tees and is great fun to play, with several really interesting and testing holes. This is the second hole, a 181 yard par 3 played from an elevated tee, with a typical cross wind from the right. We filmed this hole with our camcorder, so my bogey 4 might one day be on You Tube. At least a bogey here is a decent score! Thankfully, we didn't film play at the 3rd hole, a fiendishly difficult par 4 of 338 yards, with surely one of the narrowest fairways anywhere in Scotland, with gorse to the right and Loch Broom to the left. The only sure way to play this hole appeared to be to aim at the narrow shingle beach with a fade, but since I struggle enough to hit the ball straight, moving the ball like that is not something I practice, so I was happy enough with another bogey as this hole is a genuine card wrecker.

I was also delighted to chip in for a birdie at this, the 5th hole, a short 251 yard par 4. However, my tee shot had been just short of the green and an sh--- with my lob wedge took the ball perilously close to gorse on the right of the hole, narrowly missing Stu in the process, so a chip in was barely what my play had warranted. Tiredness had clearly set in again and I was level 8's for the next 3 holes, leading my playing partners to position themselves behind me whenever an iron came out of my bag. Stu actually became quite good at predicting where my next iron shot would go, but as anyone who has ever hit successive sh---s will know, the player has no idea where the ball will go, or how to remedy the fault. I was keen not to practice the fault, so contented myself with 9 holes round the course, despite the fact that Ullapool has 18 tees played to 9 greens and is therefore an 18 hole course. As I remember it, when the played the course in 2006, only the yellow tees were in play for bounce games. However, on this latest visit, holes 1-9 were played off the white tees, so I guess I've now finally played from all 18 of the tees. This is a view of the 8th hole, a good 486 yard par 5, where a bogey would have been acceptable. I'll spare you the gory details of my 9, en route to a score of 50 for 9 holes. Not my finest round of golf, but enjoyable nevertheless, since Ullapool is a fine course. I just wish my golf had done it justice. Another time, perhaps!

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