Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Inverurie GC - Course no 430

Polly and I played here on 13 July 2011, the last of 12 rounds I'd played in 12 days.  I'd not known much about the Inverurie course before we played it, other than that it was an 18-hole parkland course, measuring  5430 yards, Par 69, from the Yellow tees.  By chance, we'd saved the best until last, as this turned out to be a really good course, in excellent condition.  The hot and sunny weather helped too, but we both thought that this was probably the best parkland course we'd played in recent days.
The course is moderately hilly, starting with a short downhill 285 yard Par 4.  I'd hit a really good drive and had only a short lob wedge to the green, holing the short putt for an opening birdie.  The next couple of holes are uphill and downhill respectively, making club selection tricky.  I over-clubbed both approach shots and was badly stymied on the 3rd by trees and under-clubbed on the 4th, a testing Par 3 to a plateau green, so I was 3 over after those 4 holes.  The 5th is a good uphill 495 yard Par 5 that plays longer than it looks, so a par there was good.  I then did the next 4 holes in 1 over, getting to the turn in 4 over par.  My one criticism of the course is that the fairway bunkering does not generally not pose much of a test.  For example, I'd found a bunker at the corner of the dog-leg on this, the 334 yard 6th, but from there it was easy to hit the green with a 6 iron.  Later on, I found a fairway bunker on the 17th and got out using a 7 wood.  Maybe some deeper bunkers would set more of a challenge.

There were certainly lots of trees on the front 9, but if anything, the back 9 was even more wooded, with some holes reminding us of the excellent heathland courses at Blairgowrie, with their mixture of pine, silver birch and other trees lining the fairways.  For example, this is the 15th, a gently downhill 162 yard Par 3.  I should have taken a 7 iron but instead opted to go down the grip with my 7 wood, a really stupid choice, as I hit the ground well behind the ball and only moved it 30 yards forward.  I got down in 3 from there but what a poor shot.
There are some really cleverly designed holes at Inverurie, my favourite being the 13th, a 254 yard par 4, aptly named "Dinna [don't] Ditch It" requiring a draw off the tee short of a ditch immediately in front of the green and OOB behind it.  The fairway is quite narrow and the tee shot is semi-blind, with a large tree to the left of the fairway around 100 yards out.  This is where my drive finished, a yard short of the hazard.  A short lob wedge to within a foot, a tap in putt and I'd birdied the hole.  Now if only I could remember how I hit that soft draw!
I'd recovered from my mistake at the 15th by parring the 16th, a 436 gently uphill Par 4, and the Stroke Index 1 hole, so was 8 over with 2 holes to go.  I'd escaped from a fairway bunker on the 17th with my 7 wood, just missing the green but still took a bogey after missing a 4 foot putt for par.  This is the 18th at Inverurie, an uphill 334 yard par 4.  I'd hit a good drive and 8 iron to the front of the green, leaving a long uphill putt with what looked like a double break.  Unfortunately, I left that putt over 6 feet short and missed from there.  I'd gone round in 79, net 69, matching the net par, with 29 putts.  Not bad, but this round could and should have been better.  I'd won against Polly, taking our final score to 7-6 in her favour.
We'd both really enjoyed the layout and excellent condition of the course and I'd strongly recommend it.

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