Monday, 9 January 2012

Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort - Wee Piper Course - Course no 469

Piperdam is a golf and leisure resort 3 miles west of Camperdown Park in Dundee, with holiday lodges, fishing, an 18 hole course and a 9 hole course and an excellent clubhouse complex.  Polly and I had played the 18 hole course some years ago, a parkland course, hilly in parts, that surrounds a small loch.  I remember the course as being pleasant enough with some good holes but not so great that I'd play it again.  I'd not played the Wee Piper Course at Piperdam then, but my quick round at Camperdown on 9 January 2012 meant there was enough daylight to play this course.  The Wee Piper is a 9 hole Par 3 parkland Course, 1399 yards, Par 27.  With holes ranging from 111 to 201 yards and various changes in elevation, good bunkering and tight holes, this is a tricky and very interesting course, well worth playing.  I'm finding that some Par 3 courses are not much of a challenge but the Wee Piper has been well designed and was in outstanding condition, with firm underfoot conditions and smooth running sand-based greens. 

The 1st hole is a 201 yarder, played to a plateau green over a small gully.  Miss the green right and you could be talking double bogey or worse.  The flag was right at the front of the green and my 3 rescue tee shot had finished just short, some 4 feet below the surface of the green.  A good lob wedge from there and a single putt from 2 feet ensured an opening par.  The 155 yard 2nd, as shown here, was probably the best hole on the course, played over a deeper gully to a 2 tier green.  I just missed a 30 foot downhill putt for birdie, but these were the best parkland greens I'd seen for months and a refreshing change from the sodden, hairy, bumpy and slow greens to be found on most of our parkland courses at this time of year.

The 3rd is also 155 yards, this time steeply uphill, with 4 large and deep bunkers protecting the front of the green.  With the hole positioned close to the largest and deepest bunker, I was happy enough with bogey after missing the green and the bunkers.  The 4th is a 197 yard downhill hole.  Only one small bunker, but with hidden hollows to the front of the green and the hole cut at the front, this was a tricky test and another bogey on the card.  The 5th is 119 yards uphill.  Nothing too tricky, but a poor tee shot led to another bogey.  The 6th is a flat 170 yard hole.  5 Rescue to the front fringe and an easy birdie to steady the ship.  The 111 yard 7th is really tricky, with a deep gully to be crossed and 7 bunkers avoided.  A good par there.  This is the 8th, a downhill 153 yard hole.  I'd missed the green short but a 9 iron pitch and run to an impressive 2 inches left an easy tap in for par.

And so to the last, a 138 yard hole that plays longer than it looks.  This hole runs back to the clubhouse and played into a strong wind off the loch, so my 5 Rescue tee shot fell just short of the green.  Another good pitch from there and a tap in for par meant I was round in 30, with 14 putts, equating to net 2 under par.  The Wee Piper is really good fun, but far from easy, so be warned! 

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