Monday, 12 July 2010

Rosehearty GC - course no 322

I played this course after our round at Inverallochy on 7 July 2010. Rosehearty is a short 9 hole links course measuring 2077 yards par 31 off the yellow tees. The clubhouse is pretty basic, but this is a modest course run by volunteers in a tiny fishing village, so good on the guys that put in the work to keep it going. Greens fees are payable in the public bar of the Masons Arms Hotel opposite the clubhouse, but if you want to play here on a bright sunny day, take your time entering. I'd not allowed time for my eyes to adjust to the relative dark of the bar and missed the small step, careering across the thankfully near-empty bar in a somewhat drunken fashion. Not the "play it cool" entrance I'd planned, but at least the few golfers and locals in for their liquid lunch had a good laugh.

The course was in reasonable condition, but I guess the club does not have the same range of equipment as other more affluent clubs. What it does have is excellent views out to sea and some of the smallest greens I can remember seeing anywhere recently. Add to that, the wispy grass on the narrow fairways and light rough and the generally fast running greens and Rosehearty was not as easy as it looked. Indeed, I bogeyed the first 2 holes, a couple of easy looking par 3s. Putts would also take unpredictable bounces, meaning that even short ones were a challenge. I also bogeyed the 3rd, an excellent dog leg par 4 with a blind uphill 2nd shot to a tiny green. A small plaque by the tee pays tribute to Bert Stoopman, who died there in August 1992. I wondered for a while about a man who had simply gone out for a game and had never returned. It's possibly a crass comment to make, but perhaps that's not a bad way to go. This is the view from the tee, with the road into the village on the left. I managed to par the next 4 holes with single putts on each green (I'd missed the green each time but my chipping was good). I'd forgotten to take any water onto the course so by the time I got to the 8th I was pretty weary and was lucky to only bogey the hole after a poor drive. I actually drove the 9th green with my 7 wood, only to find that the ball had run off into the rough. I found out why when I got to the green. As shown here, the slope on this green is just silly. I managed a bogey after 2 putting from below the hole, for a 36 stroke total, 5 over gross par. Not bad, but I spent a few minutes putting from above this hole and never even got close to holing out. I'd not seen another soul on the course, but the 2 full sets of clubs on the pavement outside the public bar of the Mason's Arms when I started were still there. Now that's something I'd not expect to see in certain other parts of our lovely country!

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