Monday, 2 May 2011

Tower of Lethendy Golf Course - Course no 401

Craig, Stu and I played played this excellent parkland course on 2 May 2011, with Iain (and this was another new course for him as well).  The Tower of Lethendy golf course forms part of a private estate and as such is never open to the public.  It's possible to rent the hugely impressive Tower of Lethendy (some parts of the building dating back to the 15th Century) for £20,000 a week and play the course while you're there, so we were hugely grateful to the owner for letting us play here as part of our Cancer Research UK fund-raising efforts.  This is me, pretending I can afford to be here - I wish!

We'd all played on 18 hole courses with 9 greens and 18 or even fewer tees, but in our experieince (including Ian's achievement in playing over 600 courses), the Tower of Lethendy course is unique in Scotland.  This may be complicated, but bear with me.  The course has 6 greens and 8 teeing areas.  The teeing areas provide space for 18 separate tees.  For example, one teeing area in the middle of the course houses the tees for holes 5, 11, 14 and 17.  Picture a rectangular course set out amongst a wide variety of mature trees, with 2 greens close to each other in the middle  and one green at each corner.  The full 18 hole course measures 3274 yards, Par 57 (3 Par 4s and 15 Par 3s) but is laid out on land measuring only around 250  by 350 yards.  As such, the course is not really designed for general play, since as many of the holes cross each other and there are only 6 greens, it would be pretty dangerous (and slow!) if more than a handful of players were playing at any one time.  The design is really ingenious, since at first glance it doesn't seem possible that such a small piece of land could accomodate an 18 hole course.  The course looked to be relatively easy but with so many tall (and wide) trees to be avoided on every hole, absolute accuracy was essential (not my strongest point).  Indeed, we wondered whether it would be possible to play the course without hitting a tree.  Craig managed to go 17 holes before coming to grief on the last, but as this view from the 2nd tee suggests, this novel approach to play would be a real challenge.  I hit so many I can't really remember when the first one was (maybe the 7th?).

Even when  we'd avoided trees finding and holding the small greens was pretty difficult.  I'd put it pretty close at this, the 118 yard Par 3 3rd, but still missed the putt (the greens were slower than the greenkeeper wanted to get them, but it was still early in the golfing year and the greens didn't get much wear, as the course is only lightly used).  I was round in 70 gross, net 60, or 3 over the net par of the course, with 26 putts.  Not very good, considering the shortness of the course.  now if only I could learn to hit the ball straight, or even where I think I'm aiming...

Here's a final view of the course, this time from the 18th fairway, the last being a 325 yard Par 4 and an excellent closing hole.  It was a real privilege to play this excellent and unique course, so thanks once again to the owner and his  staff for being so generous and accomodating.

No comments:

Post a Comment