Saturday, 28 July 2012

Langlands Golf Course - Course no 522

This is an 18 hole parkland course in East Kilbride a largely industrial and commuter town south of Glasgow.  The course is owned and operated by South Lanarkshire Council and is the home of Langlands GC, a non-course owning private club. Langlands is 5957 Yards, Par 70 off the Yellow tees.  I'd not booked ahead and just turned up on spec on 27 July 2012.  The car park was alarmingly busy and there was a substantial queue waiting to tee off.  Luckily, there had been a late cancellation and if I could be on the tee in 5 minutes....  That, sadly, was the only time I was able to move at anything more than a snail's pace.   It's difficult to identify precisely what the problem was, but from what I saw of the many golfers ahead of me, few could play to even a modest standard.  It would have been easy to get impatient and I do sometimes find slow play deeply frustrating to the point that it affects my game, but on this occasion I managed to keep my cool, since I was really lucky to get on in the first place. Four hours+ for a single player on a tight course of less than 6000 yards is not good and on the basis of the number of groups behind me who gave up and walked in, I reckon I spent over an hour hanging around between shots waiting to play.  Normally I'd have expected to be invited to play through, but it looked as though there were 2 or more groups on every hole, with queues forming on the par 3 tees, so it was just a case of accepting that this would be a slow round.  if you ever want to play here, I suggest you book in advance.

Langlands is a decent enough course and was in pretty good condition overall, despite some greens being slow and bumpy, with others running faster and smoother, but I didn't think the design was particularly challenging.  For example, this is the 6th, a downhill 463 Yard Par 5.  By the time I'd reached that hole, some squally showers were blowing through on a strong gusting wind that would increase to almost gale force by the end of the round.  This wind helped me to maintain my interest and keeping control of the ball became the main challenge.  The 6th is a modest Par 5, the main difficulty being to hit a couple of reasonably straight shots and decide whether to lay up short of a cross bunker 90 yards out, or take it on. Being downhill and downwind, it would have been a far better hole as a Par 4, albeit way beyond the limitations of the folk playing ahead of me, the best of whom took something like an 8. 

The back 9 is probably the better half, with some modest slopes, the odd blind shot and water hazards adding to the interest.  This is the 12th, a 466 Yard Par 5 requiring a long drive over water hazards to find the fairway, with the second shot being played blind over a small hill. I'd hit a good drive and 3 Wood and was just short of the green, leading me to think that on some other parkland courses this would probably be a very strong Par 4 (note the 6 golfers still waiting to play on the next tee!).  The back 9 is also slightly more exposed to the wind, with downwind holes being a Driver and short iron and even some of the shorter Par 4s into the wind needing Driver and 3 Wood/Rescue clubs.

I'd gone out in 7 over par after a double bogey on the 2nd, the Stroke Index 1 hole, played directly into the wind, but I birdied the 10th, a 357 Yard Par 4 played into the wind (and rain) and then parred the next 5 holes in some of the toughest conditions of the whole round.  The rain stopped completely for the last 3 holes and I was safely back in 36 strokes, only 1 over.  I'd gone round in 78 gross, 67 net, with 32 putts.  Three strokes under net par was a great score in the conditions, especially as the pace of play was so desperately slow.  This is the 18th green, with Langlands GC's clubhouse in the background.  There are some really good courses in the area, notably East Kilbride GC and the excellent pay as you play course at Playsport.  I'd prefer to play them again, given the choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment