Sunday, 19 September 2010

Hayston GC - course no 352

Hayston is another of the good parkland courses to the north of Glasgow. Polly and I played in the Hayston GC's Mixed Foursomes competition on 19 September 2010. Hayston is 6080 yards off the White tees (par 70) and 5246 yards off the Ladies tees (par 71) so it's not a long course by any means. Foursomes is always a "testing" format and it didn't take us long to be reminded of that fact. Polly had the drive on the 1st hole. We limped to a double bogey 6, so a bit disappointing. The 2nd turned out to be a tricky 502 yard par 5, played at the start of a heavy shower that was to last for all of the front 9. I hooked the drive into the trees, got the wet suit on, juggled with the umbrella and generally was the main contributor to our pathetic 11. The weather then closed in, the pace of play became equally dismal and we were already out of contention. However, amidst the wreckage of our round we had some rare signs that we'd actually played the game before. Above is a photo from the 3rd tee a short 264 yard par 4, the blurring being the heavy rain, rather than any fault of mine as duty photographer! Polly hit a great drive, I hit an equally impressive short sand iron to 7 feet and we were only just outside the "nearest the pin" prize marker, but an easy par followed. This is the 4th hole, a 118 yard par 3. My 9 iron tee shot left Polly an awkward 4 feet putt (if anything that short can be so described) but another easy par. Hayston is a mixture of parkland and moorland and although undulating in parts should be generally easy walking. However, with heavy rain, an independently minded umbrella and leaky shoes to contend with a hilly course would really have put the tin lid on the competition. As it was, we were out in a poor 52, with the prospect of beating 100 as our main remaining target. Thankfully the rain stopped after the 9th, a watery sun emerged (for all of 5 minutes!) and we could dry off our gear. We could also start to enjoy the Hayston course better, rather than just try to minimise our soaking. I particularly liked the 14th, as shown here, a 165 yard downhill par 3. We'd watched a couple playing in front of us get pretty close to our earlier 11, so looking back, our double bogey was relatively respectable. However, the shot of the day was on the 16th, a 489 yard par 5 playing its full length after the rain. I'd hit a decent drive, Polly had mishit her fairway wood and I'd left my 6 iron a few feet short of the green. Hayston's greens were really good but were pretty slow after catching of the rain that had actually missed us on the front 9. Therefore, Polly's 50 foot putt was pretty daunting, particularly as one of us (!) had been leaving most putts short. Just when you least expect it, the golfing gods intervene so when Polly's putt found the middle of the middle of the hole for an outstanding birdie, we could only laugh (although I also laughed when our playing partners 4-putted from inside 10 feet on the 14th, and that reaction wasn't the best in the circumstances!)
Hayston is well worth playing and has an interesting last hole, an uphill 145 yard par 3, with OOB on both sides and immediately behind the green and the clubhouse windows alarmingly close for anything hooked off the tee. I tried to hit a hard 8 iron, but only succeeded in finding the OOB in front of the clubhouse and we finished with a triple bogey. We'd gone round in 98, net 83, to round off a poor run in our mixed competitions for 2010. Still we'd enjoyed ourselves and I'd played some more new courses. Next year we're going to target some courses we know and have played well in the past, so Powfoot here we come and maybe Cruden Bay too (our only win to date!)

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