Friday, 18 June 2010

Skelmorlie Golf Club - course no 307

I played this hugely enjoyable wee course on 14 June 2010 on my way back to Renfrew, where Polly and I were based for a few days. Skelmorlie Golf Club lies on the east side of the Firth of Clyde and is a short moderately hilly parkland/moorland course playing to 4746 yards, par 65, off the yellow tees. The course was in great condition with fast running smooth greens. It was a warm dry and largely sunny afternoon and although the course is quite hilly and physically demanding in parts, the clever design minimises the severity of the climbs. This is a view of the 1st green with the Bute and Arran islands in the background. The views to Dunoon and the Argyll mountains the north are equally impressive.

I'd started with an easy par at the 323 yard 1st but messed up on the second to take double bogey after a poor drive. Although a run of 7 consecutive 4s followed to take me out in 38, I was already 6 over par. I'd also been held up by a couple of guys who were having a bad time keeping their shots in play, and their bags seemed be getting lighter by the minute. I was finally waived at on the 10th, to let me play through (or to borrow some balls?). I never saw this pair again, even after a quick Coke at the 19th hole, so I trust that they made it back OK. My golf on the back 9 was pretty steady, but came badly unstuck on the short par 4 13th, a tight driving hole, with gorse on both sides. At only 275 yards, I should have played safe with my 7 wood, but my driver had been effective thus far, so out it came again. My second ball, with my 7 wood this time, helped to minimise the damage to double bogey, but what a waste of 2 shots. This is a view of the 14th green with the CalMac ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay just visible in the background (I've many happy memories of working in the ferry business for much of my career, so it's always good to see one of CalMac's ships on my golfing travels).

I also managed a 38 on the back 9 for a 76 gross, net 66, or 1 over net par. For most of the round the only sounds were the occasional skylark and sheep and with the weather being so kind and the course in great condition, I'd thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I'd also made it round (just!) before the midges came out to feed on unsuspecting golfers! I'd recommend Skelmorlie as well worth playing. The views are superb and there are some really good and interesting holes, such as this, the 17th, where your second shot to a 364 yard par 4 needs to find a tiny green. Maybe I'll be more successful next time, since I missed it by miles!

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