Saturday, 9 July 2011

Innellan GC - Course no 421

I played here on 4 July 2011 before a planned round at nearby Cowal GC in Dunoon.  I'd also thought about playing  the 9 hole course at Blairmore & Strone, but it was developing into another hot day and I'd heard from a couple of guys I met in the Innellan car park that Blairmore & Strone was extremely hilly, so I (wisely as it turned out) decided to leave that one for another day.  I'd not booked to play at Innellan as I'd seen from the club's website that there was a men's medal competition on that day.  I was just hoping to squeeze in somewhere as a visitor, but the guys I'd met were so welcoming and assured me that it would be OK to play.  They no longer played in medals themselves - one was 82 and his pal was 86.  It was a pleasure to follow these guys around the course and to blether to them on the way, since some of the holes are pretty close together.  I just hope I'm playing as well as they did if I get to my 80's!

Innellan starts with a tricky 367 yard Par 4.  The drive is played over a hill, with the fairway sloping away to the right.  I'd hit a good drive and avoided the folk playing on the adjacent 9th fairway, but I had another blind shot over another small hill to a tiny plateau green, well protected by nearby bracken and bushes.  I missed the green but rescued the par after a good lob wedge and single putt.  The 2nd  at Innellan was a 184 yard par 3, steeply downhill.  This is a view from the tee. I'd taken my 7 wood, but that was far too much club and my ball easily cleared the green, finishing in heavy rough just short of the trees.  I rescued a bogey from there.  The morning had started overcast and the ground was wet with dew, but with the temperature already in the 20's, conditions became really sauna-like when the sun came out on the 3rd, as the humidity climbed even higher.

I also bogeyed the 3rd, an easy looking 134 yard par 3, but good pars on 4 and 5 left me 1 under 4s after 5 holes, so not bad.  Next was the 6th a 401 yard par 4, steeply uphill, with a gully and a burn crossing the fairway, Stroke Index 1.  I'd hooked me drive way left, down towards the 4th green and could only hit a wedge sideways, short of the gully.  Three more shots from there for a bogey 5 was a minor miracle as this is a really tricky hole, where a 7 or 8 could have been possible.   I parred the tricky 7th, a steeply uphill 199 yard Par 3 and bogeyed this, the 8th, a downhill 198 yard Par 3, after a poor drive. 

The 9th is an uphill 295 yard par 4, with a blind tee shot over another hill.  I'd missed the green to the right with my second and waited while the greenkeeper cut the green.  The others had been fast enough and my ball finished well above the putting surface, so it was no surprise when my approach putt sped 6 feet past.  The greenkeeper kindly conceded the putt even before I holed it for a closing par.  I'd gone round in 35, net 30, equalling the course par.  However, my putter had saved me again, as I'd taken only 11 putts.  I'd really enjoyed the course, the fantastic views and the friendship of the 2 guys in front (who really could teach a thing or three to the idiots I'd played behind Balfron a couple of days previously).  Polly had sat this one out, keeping her energy for the game at Cowal, but she really missed a treat because I really liked everything about Innellan.  Play it if you get the chance and enjoy.  I just hope you miss the midges, as I did.

This is me suitably relaxing after the round, taking in the view of the 9th green from the clubhouse veranda.  I'd demolished my  first pint of the day by then and was also cheered by the Club Secretary's news that the members play the course backwards at the end of each season.  I was given a copy of the separate card and invited back to play the backwards course later this year, so that's another new course added to the list!

No comments:

Post a Comment