Monday, 2 August 2010

Orkney GC - course no 336

Craig, Stu and I played this excellent parkland course on 29 August 2010, after our rounds at South Ronaldsay and Stromness earlier that day. The 18-hole Orkney GC course is located on a hillside on the outskirts of Kirkwall, the main town on the Orkney islands. The course is short, at 5411 yards par 70, but is a good test and was in great condition with really good fast-running greens. We'd teed off around 1700 hrs in front of a large crowd assembled on the patio outside the clubhouse to celebrate the Captain's Invitation Day shotgun competition, just as the speeches were in full swing. Thankfully, we all hit decent drives and got out of their way without incident. In fact, I was playing pretty well until we got to this, the 6th, a downhill 323 yard par 4 with a burn in front of the green and OOB behind it. My drive found a fairway bunker, but in an effort to make sure I got over the burn with my third shot, I ended up hard against the wall behind the green. I played the ball against the wall and escaped with a tired-looking double bogey. From that stutter, I parred or bogeyed the remaining holes, finishing with an 84, net 74, or 4 over net par. Not too bad, but we are all pretty tired by the time we'd finished this, the 18th hole, a 290 yard dog leg par 4 which finishes worryingly close to the clubhouse. The post-competition barbecue (and bar) was still going strong, and from where I played an easy wedge to the green, it looked as though anything even slightly overhit could scatter the audience we had. We'd been planning a quick exit back to town for dinner and a beer or three, but that plan was quickly ditched when the Club Captain, no less, invited us to join the party. It turned out that the Captain was originally from East Lothian and had gone to school with one of my friends at the Glen GC! We were far from home, but Scotland was still a small place. Thanks again to all concerned at Orkney GC. We thought your course was great and really enjoyed it, and the post-game barbie and beers were a real life-saver, as it had been a very long day. If you ever have time to play golf in Orkney, do not under any circumstances miss this excellent course and the friendliest club members you'll meet for a long, long time.

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