Monday, 7 November 2011

Caprington GC - 9 Hole Course - Course no 463

I played the 9 Hole Course at Caprington on 7 November 2011 after my round over the 18 Hole Course.  The course measures a modest 1894 yards, Par 30.  I'd not noticed that the hole lengths on the 9 Hole Course card were given in metres (the 18 Hole Course Card was in yards, as you'd expect) so that might help to explain some of my difficulties in playing this course.  The course is mostly flat, with only 2 serious hills and the ground was just as wet as I'd expected, following my earlier round over the longer course.  The greens on this wee course were small, but in good condition and true running, so no complaints there.  However, the fairways were too narrow and there was little semi-rough.  Anything off-line would risk being lost.  Indeed, I lost 2 old balls in what I judged to be abnormal ground conditions (mud and standing water). 

This is a view up the 4th fairway, highlighting the late afternoon shadows.  I don't remember ever playing November golf in such contrasting conditions.  Soaking wet underfoot and just a tee shirt in warm Autumn sunshine.  It was just a pity my feet were so wet!  The fairway grass was just too long and unless you saw your ball old balls were the order of the day.  The best hole was probably the 5th, played directly into the Sun, with OOB close by to the right and a very small target for a 189 yard Par 3.  I managed my par there after missing the green to the left.  I also parred the last 3 holes for a total of 35, net 30 or even par, with 13 putts.

This is the 8th, yet another hole at Caprington played blind over a hill.  It was just as well I'd walked forward to see where the green was, since although the card said the hole was a 185 yard Par 3, it looked far shorter and the green was definitely a good few yards to the right of the line of the fairway as it crested the hill.  I gambled with a 6 iron over rough at the top of the hill and found the front of the green, but with little run on the fairways due to the wet conditions, I doubt I hit the ball more than 160 yards, if that.  This 9 Hole course would be good for general practice and a chance for beginners to learn the basics before trying the bigger course, but  some work is needed to widen the fairways and keep the rough under better control.  If money was available, clearance of trees and bushes that presently restrict views of the ruins of an ancient castle in the middle of the course would add to the visual experience, but I can't see that happening any time soon, given the more pressing drainage issues at Caprington.

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