Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Caird Park GC 18 Hole Course - Course no 390

I played both the 18 and 9 hole courses at the Caird Park sports complex  on 5 April 2011.  These courses are owned and operated by Dundee City Council and are another good example of the provision of golf facilities by Scottish local authorities ensuring that golf is accessible at community level.  The 18 hole course measures 5772 yards, Par 69 off the Yellow tees that I played from and is a mainly flat parkland course just off one of the main roads running through Dundee.  Being pretty flat, this course should have been easy walking, but there were high wind warnings across most of the country, so the round was quite tiring.  Although the fairways were mostly tree-lined, giving good separation between individual holes, the strong blustery wind also made shots played into the wind  pretty challenging.

The front 9 holes were generally pretty unremarkable, with the first 5 being short par 4s played into the prevailing and swirling wind.  I'd been let through on the 1st tee by a 3-ball (thanks again guys) but quickly got stuck behind a seniors 2-ball who clearly had all day to play their (thankfully!) 9 hole part-round.  I was out in 44 after losing a newish ball on the 3rd with a wild hook into trees made worse by the strong  head wind.  Still, at least my ball had stopped short of the busy dual carriageway just beyond the OOB.  I'd teed off at 1030 hrs expecting a reasonably quick round but my packed lunch was still in the car and I was hoping for a more interesting and speedier back 9.

The back 9 is by far the better half of the course and I had over 2 hours to study it, thanks to the 3-ball I caught up with on the 10th.  OK, a single player has no status on the course but guys, when you can't find a ball (twice!) and can't hit a drive more than 150 yards downwind between you, try thinking about whether the guy behind you might be invited through without any impact on your own game.  Thankfully I found a rather elderly Snickers bar in my bag, which helped take my mind off the hunger and boredom of waiting for my turn to play.    The best hole was probably the 12th, a 196 yard Par 3 played over a gully with a stream running through it, with the green half hidden by a tall tree.  This is the view from the tee.  I needed my driver, straight over the big tree, given the head wind on this hole, but managed an easy par. 

Prettiest hole was the short 15th, a 269 yard Par 4. The fairway wasn't particularly well-defined from the tee so I'd waited on the tee even longer, to see where the 3-ball in front had dawdled. With the hole being downwind, I was just short of the green, as shown here, with an old castle in the far background.  Another easy par there, offset by a bogey on the 16th, a slightly uphill 473 yard Par 5, played directly into the strengthening wind, almost gale force by then.  I did well to reach the green in 4!  Trickiest hole was probably the 17th, an excellent 132 yard Par 3 played over another gully, with deep bunkers in front of the elevated plateau green.  I hit a good 4 iron to the heart of the green, straight into the wind and just missed the birdie putt.  It was also satisfying to hit a great drive up the 18th, an uphill 405 yard Par 4.  With the wind behind, I only had a 9 iron to the green, but the second shot is blind, over a steep bank, with OOB behind the green adding to the difficulty.  I managed a good closing par to go round the course in 84, net 74, with 31 putts.  I'd played reasonably well given the wind and the slow pace (almost 4 hours).

This is a reasonably good course with some interesting holes on the back 9, but I doubt whether I'd play it again.

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