I played the excellent Glenrothes Golf Course on 24 June 2010 on yet another hot and dry sunny day. This was the last of the 7 municipal courses operated by the Fife Council that I had to play and I must say, the Council does a fantastic job to promote golf in local communities through these courses. Glenrothes Golf Course is a 6223 yard par 71 moderately hilly parkland course. I can't remember the details now, but on a previous trip to play in Fife I'd been discussing courses generally with a local golfer when the subject turned to hilly courses. I'd mentioned a few that are pretty hilly, but these were dismissed by the comment "just wait until you play Glenrothes, that's really hilly." Either that was a wild exaggeration or I must be getting fitter, because I thought that apart from a couple of hills, Glenrothes was pretty easy walking. This is a view of the 1tth,12th and 13th fairways, the most physically demanding section of the course.
The Starter had kindly put me together with a 3-ball of local players since the course was quite busy. Andy, Craig and Jock were great company and we had a good game together, with Craig and I just sneaking a victory over his other pals. Glenrothes was playing pretty short, like all other Scottish courses affected by the recent weather, so scoring should have been easy, particularly since the greens were also in very good condition and had been well watered. However, it was pretty much bogey time on the front 9 for an outward 42 (7 over), the only real highlight being the 6th hole a par 5 of 564 yards. This hole is pretty flat, but with the wind behind and a dry fairway, a good drive and 3 wood meant I'd only a 20 yard pitch and run to the flag. That shot stopped a couple of inches a way, so I had an easy birdie on Glenrothes' longest and best hole.
A mishit drive on the tricky 357 yard 13th led to a double bogey, but at least I parred the hole with my second ball. We'd been playing nearest the pin on the greens at the par 3s for £1 a head, but such was the moderate standard of the golf that no -one was out of pocket by the time we got to the last par 3, the 160 yard 15th, as shown here. This hole was played from an elevated tee into a strong head wind, but luckily my 7 wood hit and held the middle of the green, so that was another £3 into the Cancer Research UK kitty. Funny how golf quickly brings you back down to earth though, as my drive at the next hole sailed wildly out of bounds!
The last hole at Glenrothes is called "Hell's End" as if to suggest that "you've suffered enough, now it's finally over!" The 18th is a good finishing hole which, though only 359 yards, plays much longer, as the second shot (and the walk to the green!) is steeply uphill. There is also a stream cutting across the fairway about 200 yards from the tee, a lateral water hazard to the left and woods to the right, so there's lots of scope for a weak finish. Thankfully, I'd not even noticed the stream and good straight drive, an easy 8 iron and a couple of putts meant I'd finished with a par. My 86 total, net 76, was 5 adrift of par, but I'd lost a couple of balls and 3 putted the 14th, so overall, the result wasn't too bad. I'd really enjoyed the course and met some good guys, topped up the tan and won another few quid for the cause, so a good day on a very good course.