Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Brucefields Family Golf Centre - Main Course - Course no 408

I played this 9 hole Parkland pay as you play course on 31 May 2011, on a blustery day that threatened rain (which seemed to fall everywhere but on the course).  The course  is in Bannockburn near Stirling and is part of a large commercially-operated golf centre that includes an excellent par 3 course, driving range, shop, restaurant/bar and even a sports injury clinic.  I'd given playing a rest for a few days, now that I've started a new caddying job at a nearby club to raise some more cash to cover fuel etc. costs.  However, I'd had an encouraging 79 off the back tees at my own course on 30 May, so I was keen to get some more new courses done before a major trip to play the 3 Shetland courses with Craig and Stu starting on 6 June.  the main Course is a short 2419 yards off the yellow tees, Par 34.  This is the 1st Hole, a slightly downhill and downwind 279 yard par 4.  I'd almost driven the green and had an easy pitch to the green.  Unfortunately, the greens had just been tined prior to overseeding and topdressing and were disappointingly slow and bumpy.  They'd be fine in a few days, but I guess I just got my timing wrong.  Anyway, a couple of putts and I'd had an easy opening par.    The 2nd was more testing, a 393 yard Par 4 Stroke index 1, played over a pond (that was more in play on the 4th).  I dropped a shot after missing the green in 2 and falling foul of the slowness of the green.  The 3rd was an uphill 146 yard Par 3.  A good 15 foot putt for par there.  The 4th was a tight 254 yard Par 4, downhill dog leg left, with OOB on the left and a pond just about in range to the right of the fairway.  A really straight drive would have left only a short pitch to the green, but the safer option was a long iron, short of the pond.  Fool that I am, my driver was only slightly to the right of centre, but what I'd failed to note was that the fairway sloped down towards the pond, costing me a bogey and a nearly new ball. The 5th was a steeply uphill 467 yard par 5, with OOB all the up the right side.  Another bogey there, after missing the fairway with a pulled drive. 

This is the 6th, a steeply downhill 125 yard Par 3, requiring an accurate tee shot to find the narrow green and avoid trouble all around, particularly to the left of the green.  This hole is named "Battlefield" in tribute to the battle fought nearby in 1314 which features so prominently in Scottish history.  There was a stiff crosswind, right to left, but an easy 9 iron or wedge would have been the
sensible approach.  Instead, I hit a full 9, which rode on the wind and finished 30 yards through the green on the path to the next tee.  Luckily, I had a free drop under a local rule, hit a pitch to within 10 feet and holed the putt for an unlikely par.  My thanks to the 2 elderly ladies who had let me play through and applauded this lucky recovery.  The 7th was an easy downwind 273 yard par 4.  I only had a short lob wedge to the green and holed the short putt for a good birdie.  I should also have birdied the steeply uphill 303 yard Par 4 8th hole, after a good drive and a wedge to front of the green.  I rattled the pin with another wedge from just off the green, and had a tiny tap in for par.

This is the last hole, a 179 yard slightly downhill and downwind Par 3. I missed the green to the right and had to settle for a closing bogey and a 37 total, net 32, or 2 under net par.  Not bad and 14 putts on (temporarily) slow greens wasn't too shabby either.   There's a good variety of holes here and it was an enjoyable round, dodging rain clouds.  I'd certainly recommend the Centre as a whole for anyone taking up golf or just wanting somewhere to practice.  The facilities are very good indeed.

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