Monday, 16 May 2011

Huntly GC - Course no 404

Polly and I played this course on 15 May 2011 in the Huntly Golf Club's annual Greensomes Open.  The competition was open to any combination of pairs, so we were drawn to play with Mike and Dod, a couple of guys from Inverurie GC (another course I've yet to play).  For any readers not familiar with a Greensomes format, both players drive, select the best drive and take alternate shots to complete each hole, with a handicap deduction based on individual handicaps.  My handicap is still 10 and Polly's is 20, so we had a handicap of 14.  The guys from Inverurie had a 17 handicap (but more about them later).

Huntly is a 5359 yard Par 67 (off the White medal tees I played from) and is a flat parkland course in rural Aberdeenshire.  When we'd entered this competition several weeks ago, we'd not realised that we would be teeing off within minutes of the start of 2 major football matches (in Scotland anyway) involving Rangers and Celtic that would determine which of those 2 teams won the Scottish Premier League title for 2011.  I'd arranged for any scores to be texted through, but even before we'd teed off, my team were 3-0 up, ensuring yet another league title was Rangers-bound.  I mention this only since this was to be a really memorable day.  We'd known that Huntly was a short parkland course, but we'd not known just how good it would be.  OK, the greens were far slower than those at The Glen, our home club, and the drizzle that fell for most of the round was just enough to be annoying, but Huntly turned out to be a really good course, with some excellent holes.  The Greensomes format can be tricky and real test of relationships if taken too seriously, but given the  football scores coming through (Rangers eventually winning 5-1) we were both happy enough, regardless of our actual golf.  This is a photo of the 1st hole, a 352 yard Par 4 with OOB on the left and a stream cutting across the front of the green.  We avoided that hazard but still ran up a double bogey, so not the strongest start.  We were out in 42, or 9 over par, so nothing too exciting there.

Our mediocre play was to continue on the back 9, with a bogey on most holes, a notable exception being the 339 yard Par 4 11th, the Stroke Index 1 hole, which we parred thanks to a good single putt from Polly.  Meanwhile, our new buddies from Inverurie just got better and better as the round progressed, with back to back birdies, great recovery shots and accurate iron play, enabling them to record a net 61 (losing out to a 60.4!)  Polly and I limped home in 43, for a gross 85, net 71,  with 35 putts, which clearly didn't trouble the leaderboard.  This is the 18th, a 280 yard Par 4, slightly uphill, finishing as all good final holes should, right in front of the clubhouse windows. Polly had a blind second shot which found a bunker to the left of the green, leaving me a tricky shot in front of the small gallery at the 19th, but at least I got it out and we scored yet another bogey.

We really enjoyed the course and would recommend Huntly.  Not a long course by any means but good fun to play.

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