Monday, 23 April 2012

Torrance House Golf Course - Course no 498

This is an 18 hole parkland course measuring 5984 yards, Par 72, off the Yellow Tees that is owned and operated by South Lanarkshire Council and home to the private Torrance House GC. I played here after my earlier round at the nearby Playsport Golf Heritage Links on 23 April 2012.  As I said in my report on that other course, the Torrance House Starter had told me that his course could be prone to flooding, so I was keen to see whether the 2 courses, being so close to one another, would play differently.  Playsport had been dry underfoot and fast running, but from the first squelch and signs of casual water on the 1st at Torrance House, it was clear that the courses would play very differently.

The start at Torrance House is pretty good, with 3 Par 5s in the first 6 holes.  I don't hit the ball far enough to convert many Par 5s into birdie opportunities, so I was expecting the Front 9 to be quite a test.  The best hole on the Front 9 is probably the 6th, a 499 Yard Par 5.  The tee shot is played blind uphill and the fairway narrows considerably the further it goes, with a stream running across the width of the fairway just where a decent second shot would finish.  I'd mis-hit my second, leaving a simple wedge to the green, but this is a good hole, as shown here. 

I pretty much had the course to myself, meaning I could make decent time and even when I did catch up with a couple of guys on the 9th, they let me play through. This is the 9th fairway, with some ominously dark clouds gathering overhead. Heavy showers had been forecast for the afternoon and at the time it looked as though my round might include a good soaking, but the rain held off until shortly after I'd finished.  The 9th is a pretty typical Par 4 at Torrance House.  A decent drive is required to clear a water hazard, but the hole is only 326 yards, so a reasonable drive should set up a par. With that safely achieved I was out in 40, only 3 over par and since the back 9 is a bit shorter, it looked as though a decent score would be possible.

The Back 9 is also easier and 4 over on those holes meant I was round in 79, net 69, or 3 under net par, with 29 putts.  Torrance House finishes with 2 outstanding holes.  The 17th is a 494 Yard Par 5.  The tee shot is easy enough, to a wide and flat fairway.  However, your 2nd shot is slightly uphill and needs to be threaded between mature trees to leave a view of the green, as shown here.  There are no yardage markers on the course and I hadn't packed my leaser range finder, so the distance the green for my third shot was pure guesswork.  There's a deep gully in front of the green and anything slightly short runs back down the slope.  Anything long or wide catches other downslopes.  I opted for a 9 iron but that was a club short, hence my bogey 6. 

The 18th is a downhill 133 Yard Par 3 and one of the prettiest closing holes you could wish for, spoilt only by some overhead electricity cables.  An easy 7 iron set up a closing par.  It's difficult to believe that within 10 minutes the skies had opened, with torrential rain leading to a couple of nasty looking road accidents on nearby roads that I passed by on the way home.  Torrance House is well worth a visit but as the Starter had advised me, avoid the Winter months. These are a couple of photos of the last hole, with and without the cables.


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