Monday, 27 August 2012

Wick GC - Course no 532

This is a truly great 18 hole classic links course, 9 holes out, 9 holes back, located behind towering sand dunes just outside the town of Wick on the far North East corner of the Scottish mainland.  The famous course designer James Braid at his very best.  A local member told me that the course was in fabulous condition thanks to the work of a new and hugely hard-working young greenkeeper.  Rain was threatening, but it was warm and sunny and the course was almost deserted apart from the 3-ball in front, who kindly let me through on the 2nd hole (and who unfortunately took a soaking long after I'd finished just as the rain started in earnest, having fallen at least 4 holes behind me).  The Wick course measures just 5777 Yards Par 69 from the Yellow tees and as the man said, was in fabulous condition, with fast-running fairways and superb greens.  The prevailing wind helps going out and with the threatened rain fast approaching as I made my way through the Back 9, the prevailing wind made life interesting on the way back. I needed to score well on the way out and was only 1 over after 6, which for me was pretty good. The fairways were surprisingly wide and with the wind helping to keep things straight, I was out in 39 in little over an hour.  This is the 12th green, offering a tantalising glimpse of the sea and a more obvious hint of the rain on its way.
In addition to the crumpled and rolling fairways that are so typical of Scottish links courses offering all sorts of fair and unfair random bounces, Wick's greens are great fun to play, with some fiendishly difficult slopes to figure out.  For example, this is the 13th green.  I avoided the dreaded 3-putt, finishing with 31 putts in total, but I got lucky more than once after mis-reading putts, only to see them take a break to the hole that I'd not even noticed.  Great fun, though.  I'd also rediscovered how to keep the ball low into the wind and fiddled my way back to the clubhouse in 41 for a total of 80, net 69, matching the par of the course.
This is the 18th hole, finishing directly in front of the clubhouse windows.  Wick is a tremendous course, well worth a visit.  It's also amongst the friendliest of clubs, so thanks again to the Secretary, Steward and Members for being so helpful and generous in support of my efforts to play every course.  It's much appreciated as you know.  I hope I get the chance to play Wick again sometime.  Craig and Stu have yet to play it and their in for a real treat when they do. 

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