I'd played the BSHGC's Winter Course on 10 March 2012 (see my Blog entry for Course no 478) and as mentioned there, the Summer Course opens each April. I played the Summer course on 1 May 2012. The Summer Course is a 36-hole Par 3 Pitch and Putt Course Par 108, with holes ranging from 34 to 93 Yards. The history of the course is detailed more fully in the above Blog entry, but golf has been played on the site since the 15th Century. Nowadays, the course is owned and operated by the City of Edinburgh Council. The golf is totally free and you can hire clubs and a ball in the adjacent Golf Tavern, the World's oldest golf clubhouse established in 1456. This excellent pub also supplies scorecards and serves a range of great local beers, but I digress!
Although all of the Summer Course holes require only a flick with a wedge at most, the greens are tiny and fast-running so you need to land your ball short and hope for a kindly bounce. As with the Winter Course, the Summer Course is divided into sections by public footpaths and you'd be wise to wait until spectators (students en route to and from the nearby University, young mothers out walking with toddlers or businessmen taking a shortcut to meetings, etc) are well out of range. Most of the greens are also cut on slopes, and good shots from the tee will often run off into very light rough. Even if you get a tee shot close, putting can be tricky, but most of the time it's still possible to rescue a par if you should just miss the green itself. This is a view of the 3rd, with the 5th green (and my parked car) in the background. If you're parking locally, allow at least 90 minutes for the round (£3 for the parking meter). I cut it too close and was very lucky to escape a parking fine!
My national handicap had gone up to 10.5 on 28 April 2012, so I'm now playing off 11. With that extra allowance my score for the 36 holes was 109 gross, net 87, or 21 under net par, with 58 putts. Sounds good, but 6 birdie 2s on such short holes was easy enough. The more telling statistic is that I scored a gross bogey 4 on 7 of the 36 holes (measuring between 40-63 yards!) Here's a few random photos of the course and the Golf Tavern.
This is a map of the course, which thankfully is well sign-posted.