Polly and I played this excellent 18 hole heathland course just north of Glasgow on 8 July 2011, this being the longer of the two 18 hole courses at Hilton Park GC. The Hilton Course is 5942 yards off the Yellow tees, Par 70 and is a really good test. 8 July was a baking hot day after the heavy rains in recent days, so the course was soft and playing to its full length. We'd been advised that the course was quite hilly. With peat-based soil and tree lined fairways, the course was in great condition, with excellent fast-running greens, despite the recent rain. I'd really need to play it again, but my impression is that some of the longer holes were quite similar, with tee shots from elevated tees, played downhill to narrow tree lined fairways, some with streams running across, before long uphill second shots to elevated greens. For example, this is the 369 yard 11th Hole, which plays a lot longer thahn it looks. I played the Hilton Course pretty well and found it easy to bogey most holes. However, pars were quite elusive (I only parred 2 of the Par 4s and 1 of the Par 3s).
This is the excellent 17th, a steeply downhill 184 yard Par 3. I'd found the course quite tiring and the heat and humidity didn't help. Being so steeply downhill, I knew the hole would play short, but I still played my 7 wood. Bad idea, since it went long and right, leaving me an awkward pitch over a bunker to a green well below my ball that also sloped away from me. I played a decent lob wedge but couldn't stop it from rolling off the front left of the green, taking double bogey from there. That left me needing a par up the last and for Polly not to score a Stableford points for me to avoid losing our Summer Competition by 7-4.
This is the last on the Hilton Course and another steeply uphill hole, this time a 360 yard Par 4. I hit Driver, 8 iron to the back of the green, but the green is huge and sloped steeply downhill, from back to front. Meanwhile, Polly was on the green in net 3, so I really had to hole a 60 foot downhill putt with a 4 foot break (to quote the Scottish double positive, "Aye, Right!") I had a closing 3-putt for an 89 shot total, net 79, with 32 putts. Polly had won 7-4, our miniature Claret Jug and a year's domestic bragging rights, so well done Darling! We'd enjoyed the course and the sunshine, but it was time for a quick beer before I tackled the equally hilly but thankfully shorter Allander Course at Hilton Park. I didn't see the irony immediately, but I'd bought myself a pint of a local real ale named "Bitter and Twisted" - but at least I'd avoided the stronger "Theakston's Old Peculiar."