Friday, 24 February 2012

Strathclyde Park Golf Course - Course no 477

This is a 9 hole parkland course in Hamilton, owned and operated by South Lanarkshire Council, playing to 2964 Yards, Par 36, off the Yellow Tees, which I played on 23 February 2012 after my round at nearby Dalziel Park.   The Strathclyde Park course forms part of a large Country Park and is bordered by Hamilton racecourse and runs close to the M74 motorway.  The full course was open for play apart from a couple of the normal greens and although some fairways were soggy, the conditions were pretty good.  The earlier rain had stopped and it was pleasantly warm, a rarity for a Scottish February.  The only problem was that the wind had really strengthened from the morning, such that none of the flags would stay in their holes.  I'd stupidly been blaming the guy a couple of holes in front for not replacing the flags and it was only after I'd walked forward on the 4th (up a steep hill!) to replace the flag that I realised it was really just the wind doing its best to make things more difficult.  This is the 1st, a slight rightdog leg  369 yard Par 4.  Although the full greens were open for play, they were slow and pretty bumpy, so putting was almost a case of hitting the ball harder than normal and hoping for a kindly bounce!

I'd bogeyed the 1st but a good long drive up the 2nd set up a wedge to the green and a couple of lucky putts secured an opening par.  This is the 3rd, a downhill 168 yard Par 3, with the M74 just visible in the background.  I'd played an easy 5 Rescue to the green and another couple of putts secured the par.  The 4th is a 361 yard Par 4 played from an elevated tee down into a valley, with the second shot being played blind over a hill.  I missed the green in regulation but a good pitch and single putt gave me another par.  The 5th is an uphill 279 yard Par 4 - and another easy par.  This was becoming a good round...

The 6th is a formidable 477 yard Par 5 and the Stroke Index 1 hole, played slightly down and across hill.  I was on in 4 and a 15 foot putt gave me yet another par.  The 7th was an uphill 174 yard Par 3, played directly into the wind.  This is the view from the tee, with the racecourse directly behind the hole and the flag nowhere to be seen (again). I'd just missed the green with my Driver (!) and wasted the effort of walking forward to replace the flag, which had fallen out of the hole again by the time I'd got back to my ball.  By that time I was also blaming the greenkeeper for making such shallow holes!  Anyway, a lob wedge to within a few inches after hitting the flag led to my 6th successive birdie.  The 8th is a 373 yard downhill Par 4.  I'd hit a good drive and 3 Wood to within a few yards of the green and a good pitch and run set up my 4th single putt of the round.  Still only 1 over par after 8 holes!

The last is a 448 yard Par 5, down and across hill after the drive.  The fairway slopes steeply from left to right for the second shot, so I'd aimed my drive on the line of a hard-surfaced pathway.  There had been little run on the fairways but my ball actually hit the path and bounded on, giving me a good sight of the green.  I was still short after a 3 Wood, but a sand iron to 10 feet and a couple of putts gave me an 8th successive par for a gross 1 over par 37, with 14 putts.  Net 32, or 4 under net par was a really satisfying end to the day's golf. This is a view of the final green, with the flag displaced, as usual.  The Strathclyde Park had been in pretty good condition and was not overly-demanding, hence my run of successive pars.  A good "cooncil" course and amazing value for money at a mere £2.75 for the round. 

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