Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sanquhar GC - Course no 397

This is one of three 9 hole courses that I played on 26 April 2011.  Sanquhar is not too far from Leadhills GC (the highest course in Scotland) but is lower down and easy walking, with only a few modest slopes to contend with.  At 2670 yards, par 35, it's also pretty short, but with small greens (in surprisingly good condition, given the recent hard Winter) and some poor playing on my part, decent scoring was a bit of a struggle.  This is the 3rd hole, a 380 yard Par 4, with a blind second shot played over a hump in the fairway.  I'd missed the fairway to the left, hitting my ball into a dried up swamp area (there were signs that the course could become seriously boggy in wet conditions), finding an awful lie.  From there I took a double bogey.  Notice the fallen pine tree - another suggestion that the course is exposed to the weather. 

I thought the 6th, a 138 yard Par 3, was the best hole at Sanquhar, as shown here.  With a gentle breeze from  behind, I'd have preferred to play an easy 8, but I'd only taken a half-set of clubs, including my 7 and 9 irons.  I tried a very easy 7, but the green slopes from the middle to the front, back and both sides.  I did at least hit the back of the green, but the ball was saved from going into the trees by a small shallow bunker on the back left side of the green (the bunkers were all shallow, and on such an exposed site, I wondered how much sand was lost over a playing year).    This is a side view of the 6th green from the side highlighting the camber.  I managed a bogey, but the pin was really in an awkward position, with nothing to stop anything overhit from finishing in the trees and heavy rough behind the green.

I also liked the last hole, a 451 yard Par 5, with the green hidden beyond a hill in the fairway.  This is a view of the small green.  I'd played an easy sand iron over the hill, finishing just short of the putting surface, but at least I'd avoided the trees and heavy rough that would capture anything overhit.  I parred the hole easily enough, to go round in 41, or 6 over par, with 14 putts.  I'd also birdied the 5th, a 286 yard Par 4, but in truth my play was pretty indifferent.

The Sanquhar course is a good amenity for the village, but I doubt whether I'd play it again.

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