Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Craigie Hill GC - course no 340

Craig, Stu and I played this extremely hilly course on the outskirts of Perth early on 10 August 2010. We'd suspected that any course with "hill" in its name was unlikely to be flat, and as parts of the course is overlooked by the main M90 motorway, we'd seen some undulating fairways countless times on our way past. However, this course is seriously hilly and we'd concluded after a only few holes that despite the excellent condition of the course, we preferred flatter courses. Craigie Hill is only 5131 yards par 66 off the yellow tees and is a seriously physical and mental test, being both hilly and tight. For example, the 377 yard par 4 1st hole (played in torrential rain!), requires an accurate and long drive to get beyond a hill in the fairway. We'd not warmed up much due to the rain, so my weak 190 yard drive meant I'd a blind shot to the green (the first of 13 such blind shots during the round!) Luckily, I managed to find the shelf to the left of the small plateau green, as shown here, while Stu struggled with his umbrella. From there, my second blind shot was well played, but the green was bordered by wet clinging rough, so a double bogey start in the pouring rain was disappointing. The run of 3 consecutive pars was better but the 5th, a 301 yard par 4 and the Stroke Index 1 hole was next. Another blind tee shot up and over a hill led to the green, perched precariously on top of another hill. I'd put a (blind!) pitch to 4 feet, but missed the par putt. Still, the rain had stopped by then, so Craig and I had the chance to dry out. Stu delayed that pleasure by sliding down the hill on his backside on his way to the 6th fairway. Nice one, Stu!

I was out in 41, relatively dry and becoming increasingly frustrated by the relentless rise and fall of the course and the number of blind shots (I'd started with a new ball!), so it was good to take revenge at this, the 150 yard 13th hole. A good 7 iron to within 10 feet was followed by an equally steady putt for a rare birdie. Predictably, I took a double bogey at the next. What the golfing gods giveth, they soon take away! I ended up with a 37 for the back 9, for a total of 78, net 68, or 2 over the gross par. I suppose I was happy enough to have got within the buffer zone and to finish dry, having lost only one ball. On the plus side, the course was in fantastic condition overall, with truly superb fast running greens and the designer had done well to fit 18 holes into such a compact area. However, there were just too many hills and blind shots for our liking. This is a view of the last green, with Craig and Stu waiving their goodbyes to a course that I suspect we'll not return to any time soon. I'd predicted as early as the 3rd hole that there wouldn't be a flat hole on the course. Sadly, I was right, but if you don't mind hills and blind shots, this would be a good fun course to play. Like us, you'd be mighty impressed by the excellent condition of the course.

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