Friday, 1 October 2010

Foulford Inn Course - course no 356

This is a 9 hole par 3 course of 916 yards, par 27 on the quiet country road between Crieff and Dunkeld. The Inn is now closed, the owners having recently retired. The course is very much still open, but the greens hadn't been cut when I played it on 30 September 2010 and from the lack of footprints in the morning dew, I was the first player on the course. This is the 1st hole, an uphill 94 yarder. An easy wedge, being careful not to go out of bounds (10 feet behind the green!). I missed the tiny green but almost chipped in for a birdie. The greens turned out to be ridiculously slow, with lots of worm casts, thanks to the heavy dew and overnight rain. I also parred the next couple of holes quite easily, but the owner had advised me to be very careful on the 4th as the green was almost surrounded by a small pond. This is a view of the hole from the 6th tee (with the 4th tee back beside the brown road sign). The hole is only 90 yards long, but only the top half of the flag is visible from the tee. I should have walked forward to have a look at the pond and even played to the right of the green as a result, but I was keen to get home to see the Ryder Cup opening ceremony live, so didn't bother. The pond isn't even marked as a water hazard, but as my ball was clearly left of the flag, it was definitely in the aqua. I ended up with a double bogey 5, but a really good hole. Here's another view of the pond! The 5th hole is also very tricky, being a steeply uphill 86 yard hole, with the tiny green set alarmingly close to the OOB fence. I bogeyed that hole and was lucky not to go OOB. Foulford is fun to play, though a bit frustrating due to the lack of pace on the course generally. Nearby Crieff had been completely different. I wonder how long this little course will survive, now that the Inn has closed. Maybe the owners will keep it going for visitors and their own entertainment. I hope so, as the 4th is worth the £6 green fee on its own. I went round in 31 less 5 for a net 26, or 1 under the par. I parred 6 of the holes and next time I'm back that way, I'll be trying to get the better of the 4th.

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