Thursday, 28 July 2011

Bonnybridge GC - Course no 432

I played this really good 9 hole parkland course just west of Falkirk on 27 July 2011 on another hot sunny day.   The course is 3066 yards Par 36 off the White tees, but since the scorecard doesn't give Yellow tee yardages, I'm guessing that the course I played was around 2850 yards.  The layout is gently undulating, with blind or semi-blind shots on several holes adding to the interest and difficulty.  Although parkland in nature, the course was pretty dry after the recent hot spell, so the fairways were running fast.  The greens also deserve special mention, as they were in really good condition, fast and true running.  Indeed, if I can have only 12 putts over 9 holes, they must be really good!

I'd turned up without booking in advance and was dismayed to see that there was a men's competition on all day.  But as soon as I said I was playing every course for a cancer charity, I was invited to play as soon as I liked and the green fee was waived and one of the club's officials gave me some hints on the course layout etc.  I really appreciated that help and support, so thanks again to Scott Bruce (a great name, by the way!) and to the other club members I met on the day.  
The 1st Hole, a 367 yard Par 4 (off the White tee) is gently downhill, with a blind tee shot and semi-blind second.  A good drive there, but I just missed the small green to the left and rescued par after a good lob wedge and short putt.  The 2nd is a short Par 5, played blind over a steep hill, with a blind downhill second.  I'd only a short pitch and run to the green and holed my birdie putt from 20 feet.  The 3rd was an uphill 392 yard (off the White tee) Par 4 Stroke Index 1, requiring a blind tee shot over a hill.  I'd hit an 8 iron second shot, avoiding the lateral water hazard to the right of the fairway and behind the green but this ran through the green into heavy rough.  Another single putt gave me a bogey after I'd struggled to get out of the rough.  This is the 4th, a tricky 193 yard Par 3, played to a plateau green avoiding a lateral water hazard to the left of the green.  I'd missed the green on the left, ending up between the green and the hazard, so another bogey there after I'd missed a short putt.  The 5th is a downhill Par 5 of only 483 yards (again off the White tee) with a semi-blind drive.  I'd found a shallow fairway bunker with my drive, escaped with an easy 7 iron and found the green with my 7 wood, avoiding a lateral water hazard in front of the green, so another good par there. 

This is the 6th, my favourite hole at Bonnybridge.  This is a short Par 3, playing to around 115 yards off the Yellow tee, with mounds in front of the green, bunkers and heavy rough all adding to the difficulty.  I'd hit an easy 8 iron over the flag to 20 feet, and I missed the tricky downhill putt, but another Par on the card.  The 7th is also good, requiring a long drive and an accurate pitch uphill to an elevated plateau green.  I'd just missed the green to the left, ending up in a bunker a few feet from OOB, but a good bunker shot and single putt meant I'd escaped with another Par.   The 8th was a short slightly crosshill Par 4, playing to around 290 yards off the Yellow tee.  This was my worst drive of the day, a slice that finished in the middle of the 7th fairway, leaving a wedge to the green, 2 putts and another Par.  The last hole at Bonnybridge is a 400 yard slightly uphill Par 4, with a semi-blind tee shot.  I'd just missed the fairway to the left and could only hack out from under low-hanging tree branches, so I finished with another bogey. 

I'd gone round in 39, 3 over par, with only 12 putts.  Bonnybridge is not too demanding if you hit the ball straight and scoring on the day was certainly helped by the excellent condition of the course (and the greens in particular).  I'd enjoyed the round and the friendliness of everyone I'd met, so I'd recommend a visit here.

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