Thursday, 6 September 2012

Cawdor Castle Golf Course - Course no 539

I played here after my round at Nairn Cameron on 4 September 2012.  As a note on the back of the scorecard says, "Cawdor Castle was built in 1370 at a time when clubs were in constant use in Scotland, but not for sporting reasons.  Things have subsequently been refined so that now people enjoy picking on small white balls rather than each other, and they have done so at Cawdor with much delight and occasional oath since 1976.  The Course covers 25 acres of mature parkland.  its 1303 yards (Par 32) offer a variety of challenges that will amuse the seasoned player and welcome the beginner.  The course record is 27 (2001)."  Amongst the usual Local Rules there's the rather quirky "Ducks and deer are protected species and have priority."  This is a decent enough fun course, not to be taken seriously.
The wind was near gale strength when I played the course, swirling unpredictably amongst the many mature trees, so the course was certainly more challenging than I'd expected.  The 1st is a 72 Yard Par 3.  I missed the green long and unsurprisingly, the Cawdor greens proved to be really slow in comparison to the ones I'd just played at Nairn Cameron.  Still, a bogey on such a short hole was disappointing.  The 2nd, a 134 Yard Par 3, is named "No Swearing" presumably because the green has some really crazy slopes.  An easy enough par, but I'm still wondering why the 4th, being shorter than the 2nd, is a Par 4.  This is the 8th, a 194 yard Par 4, and for some unfathomable reason the Stroke Index 1 hole.  The hole plays gently downhill (and severely downwind when I played it!)  Accordingly, I was through the back with a Rescue club, but chipped back well and hold a short putt for a good birdie.
The last hole, as shown here, is a 247 Yard Par 4 and is a final indication that this course is not to be taken seriously.  The tee is bordered immediately to the left by a stand of very tall mature trees and there are more trees 80 or so yards in front.  The hole actually dog legs 90 degrees left after about 60 yards, so the only way to play was with a short chip and with the wind behind me, a 6 iron.  Easy enough, but I had to wait fully 10 minutes for my second shot while 3 non-golfers started their round by playing from the 1st tee to the 9th green, a distance of under 20 yards.  The 1st hole is clearly marked on the Scorecard as 72 yards and faces in almost the complete opposite direction.  I suppose the non-golfers didn't know any better (and couldn't speak any English either when I politely advised them that they'd played the wrong hole), but if you play this course, be aware that it might attract some complete beginners.
I've played Cawdor Castle once and given the number of other more serious courses in the area, I doubt I'd bother to play it again, even on a sunny Summer's day.  My score of 34 (net with 28.5) with 15 putts was nowhere near the course record, but can now stand as my own record score.

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