Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lybster GC - course no 330

Craig, Stu and I played this remote 9 hole course on 27 July 2010 on our way up to Scrabster to catch the NorthLink ferry for Orkney, where we would play all of the 7 courses on the Orkney Islands over the next few days. The guys had never been north of Inverness much so they were really looking forward to the trip. I'd been to Scrabster and Orkney many times before on ferry operations business, but had never had the time to play, so we were all on an adventure, as our on-course events were to prove. Lybster is a small village on the main road to Wick and the 9 hole course is a par 31 of 2002 yards. I'd remembered the Lybster course as little more than a field with flags in it when I passed it by a few years ago en route to a business meeting in Scrabster. However, that first impression was wildly wrong, as Lybster turned out to be a good little course in great condition, with excellent true running greens. This is me prior to our first round on the "Orkney Tour."

The Lybster course is flat and very easy walking, but the narrow fairways are bordered by heather as shown here at the 90 yard par 3 5th hole, which I birdied with a good wedge and a short putt. My play off the tee was pretty good, but finding the rough around the greens meant that that was the only real highlight of my round. Too many bogeys, but the small size and good quality of the greens meant that I only had 11 putts in total, which I suspect is some kind of personal record. We were playing quickly since I was keen to explore the Popeye's dockside pub at Scrabster (honestly, another place I'd never previously had time to visit!), but not enough to avoid a good soaking on the last 4 holes. We'd started the round in weak sunshine, but since the air was so clear, we could see a dark mass of cloud to the west that looked pretty nasty, and so it proved. No sooner had we boarded the 6th tee, when the skies opened, big time. Here's my quick view down the 6th, a 170 yard par 3, before the camera was stowed away for safe-keeping. I got round in 37 blows (6 over par), so not a bad start to the "Orkney Tour." Needless to say, after I'd parred the last in record time, the rain stopped. However, we could at least get our wet gear into the car before the next deluge and we'd more time for a refreshing pint in Popeye's, so it wasn't all bad! We'd enjoyed out first course and agreed that Lybster was worth another visit, time permitting.

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