Friday, 22 April 2011

Dalmunzie GC - Course no 395

Spittal of Glenshee is probably better known as a winter sports centre (and there's ample evidence of that by the number of ski hire shops etc. on the drive up) but there's a pretty good golf course there too.  The Dalmunzie course is part of the Dalmuzie Estate and is a 9 hole course measuring a modest 2099 yards off the men's tees, Par 30.  There's no clubhouse, as the course is managed from the adjacent hotel, an impressive former Victorian country house.  Polly and I played here on 22 April 2011 on a warm Spring day (after the morning fog had cleared). 

The course was described to us by the hotel staff as demanding and tricky, a fair description as it turned out.  The greens are tiny and unfortunately still showed some damage from the recent Winter, as might be expected.  Leadhills claims to be the highest course in Scotland, but Dalmunzie can't be far behind.  The course is pretty well-maintained, but even so, the greens were fairly bumpy and mossy, making putting pretty tricky.  Dalmunzie opens with a 235 yard Par 3, Stroke Index 1, played from an elevated tee over a river to a small green protected by trees on the left and the river (again!) on the right.  This is a view of the 1st green, sloping devilishly towards the water.  I'd hit a good drive but was stymied by the trees, my pitch and run ending up hard against the fence that at least saved my ball from going OOB.  However, a double bogey was not the start I'd been looking for.  The 2nd, at 140 yards, plays shorter than it looks.  In other words, my 5 iron was far too big, almost going OOB behind the green. 

The 3rd reminded me of the 1st at the Glen GC, my home course (and I can't play it either!)  At 354 yards, Par 4, the 3rd looks OK, but the second needs to get up a very steep hill and anything short is completely blind.  This is a view from the fairway.  I escaped with a bogey here.  The 4th was a 162 yard Par 3, played over a bank to a small green, perched on a shelf, meaning that anything left or long could finish a long way away.  No surprise I went right off the tee, but this left an extremely tricky downhill pitch, so another bogey.

This is a view of the 5th, a 160 yard par 3, with the hotel in the background, as taken from the 4th green.  Note the Ladies tee to the left of the picture.  The scorecard said 70 yards, but I doubt it was more than 50.  After yet another bogey, I tried my 60 degree lob wedge from the Ladies tee, but went 20 yards through the back!  Dalmunzie was proving to be just as demanding as we'd been advised.  Still no par in sight and next, the 450 yard Par 4 6th hole, played from an elevated tee to a wide fairway, with the river coming into play again.  I'd hit a good drive, but the tiny green, adjacent to the 1st, is well protected by trees and the river, so another bogey went onto the card and with only 3 holes left, I was in danger of recording a parless round.

The 7th is a flat 116 yard par 3, with a steep bank behind the green.  Should be easy enough, but the river sits right in front of the green as shown here.  You know it's there, but the flatness of the hole means the river isn't visible from the tee.  I found the back left of the green easily enough with a 9 iron, but this green was even more bumpy and slow, so a 3-putt simply increased the pressure for a par.  The 8th hole was a 162 yard Par 3, well protected by a trees to the right and OOB behind the green.  I'd eased back on a 7 wood off the tee, hit a tree and finished just short of the green.  Thankfully I got down in 2 from there, so at last, I'd actually parred a hole.  Any joy was pretty short-lived as I made a right old mess of the 9th a right dog leg 320 yard Par 4.  My drive was OK, but I'd left myself a wedge over a lateral water hazard (a swamp with mature trees and bushes blocking any view to the green).  A triple bogey and a lost ball was all I deserved after not clearing the hazard.

I'd gone round in 42, with 17 putts, so not very good.  Still, the greens were tricky and this was a course where it would definitely help if you kew where you were at least trying to go, so maybe I'd score better next time round.  For all that, Dalmunzie was great fun to play and I'd recommend you give it a try.  Don't be fooled by the shortness of the course though, as you'll need some straight hitting and luck on the greens to score well.

No comments:

Post a Comment