Saturday, 9 April 2011

Aberfoyle GC - Course no 392

Polly and I played this excellent  course on 8 April 2011.  The Aberfoyle course is only 4767 yards, Par 66 off the Yellow tees and we'd played it on the warmest day of the year so far, with only a very light wind, but this little course was far from easy.  The main difficulties are that the greens are small and the course as a whole is very hilly.  The greens had obviously suffered during the Winter and were not at their best, with a few bare patches and bumps, but although we had caught the course before it would be at its best, we loved it as a challenge.  This is the 1st, a 262 yard par 4, with the green in a dip that left a blind second shot to the green.  Polly hadn't read the scorecard too well, as her second shot (a 3 wood!) was well through the green.  This was the first of a few blind shots and one of the larger greens. 

How small were the greens?  This small!  This is the 3rd hole, a 307 yard uphill Par 4, looking back down to the tee and the second hole.  I was through and above the green in 2 shots, but my third, although played softly with a lob wedge went right through the green and  down the hill and I ended up with a double bogey.  Although the village of Aberfoyle  at the South end of the Trossachs (a lovely part of Scotland) is less than an hour's drive north of Glasgow, the course looks feels and plays like a Highland course and reminded me of Kingussie or Pitlochry, a couple of excellent courses in their own right. 

This is me playing the 5th hole a 148 yard downhill Par 3, with a great view behind the green.  I'm not sure about that flat swing or the closed stance, but on such a scenic course I wasn't really concentrating very well.   I'd also made the mistake of going round the Renaissance course the day before, prior to working there as a caddy this year, so I wasn't exactly at my freshest playing such a hilly course.  Still, Aberfoyle is great fun to play and there's not a weak hole on the front 9.  I was out in 41, nothing spectacular (an I was certainly not competing with the scenery!).

The back 9 at Aberfoyle starts with a great Par 3 of only 118 Yards, slightly uphill, with a stream to the right and an old dry stone dyke to the left and various trees to avoid en route.  I'd found the top level of the green OK, pin high.   Polly  had been only slightly wayward off the tee and had a tricky shot over the wall.  I wish I'd taken a photo of her second shot, a great lob wedge to a few feet which deserved a par.  Sadly, the green was a bit bumpy, but take my word for it, she deserved a par.  Roll on the mixed 4's competitions this year!  The 10th is probably the best of the 6 par 3s at Aberfoyle (other holes are 12 Par 4s from 247 to 403 yards with no Par 5s), but the 12th is also a superb little hole.  At only 130 yards, it looks easy enough, but the green is cut into the side of a hill and anything short or left (such as my tee shot) ends up well below the level of the green.  Still, I can't defend taking 6.  It was just rank poor play.

This is another view of the surrounding grandeur at Aberfoyle, this time behind the 14th, with the ever-patient Polly waiting for me to finish taking yet another view of the outstanding scenery.  I'd gone round in 84, net 74, or net 8 over par, with 33 puts, so not an impressive round.  Great course, though and I'd strongly recommend it.  Even if you don't play well, the views are great and the small clubhouse is cosy and friendly too.  We'd finished mid-afternoon and there were some fresh scones and cold beer awaiting.  Just play it if you get the chance.

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