Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Inchmarlo Resort and Golf Centre - Queen's Course - Course no 551

I played this short 9 Hole heathland course after my earlier round on 22 October 2012 over the Inchmarlo Laird's Course.  The Queen's is only 1960 Yards, Par 32 and although it's clearly popular with senior members, juniors and beginners, there are some pretty demanding holes.  The 1st is a 164 Yard downhill Par 3 with a bunker right in front of the green.  Tricky enough, but with the late afternoon sun coming straight at me (and the Club Pro teaching a group of members close by the green) the tee shot was pretty difficult.  I'd no chance of seeing where the ball went due to the low sun in my eyes, so it was great to find my ball only 10 feet away, directly in front of the hole.  I missed the putt, but was happy enough not to sh--- in front of the small audience.  That dreaded shot almost appeared on the 2nd, where the Pro and his pupils had very kindly stood aside.  A dodgy Par 4 went onto the card and I'd a clear run at the rest of the course - if I could find it.  The 3rd runs uphill back to the clubhouse, not as I'd initially thought, 180 degrees the other way.  Thanks again to the Pro for his guidance!
The 4th should have been an easy enough 299 Yard Par 4, but with the low sun again causing problems I hooked my second shot with my wedge into a bunker.  Bogey time again. This is a photo of the sign at the 5th - another hole straight into the sun.  This 125 Yard hole is played over a small pond and a bank in front of the green that feeds anything underhit back into the water.  Again, I'd no idea where my tee shot went and was delighted to find that I'd made the front of the green.  Another par on the card.
The 6th is a 257 Yard Par 4 with another pond in front of the green. I underhit my sand iron from light rough and almost came to grief in the pond, but a good pitch from a steeply hanging lie to 4 feet and a single putt rescued the par. The 7th is a 183 Yard Par 3 that played a lot longer than it looked and the area surrounding that green was particularly soggy, hence my bogey 4. This is the view from the 8th tee, this hole being a sharp left dog leg 269 Yard Par 4.  The fairway extends over the wall in the middle of the photo below, but there's a also another water hazard to contend with beside the wall, so I laid up short of the wall with my 27 degree Rescue club.

However, the green was really tricky to find as I was a few yards short of the ideal position and had only this narrow view to the flag.
I played an easy 9 iron (too easy!) but was a couple of yards short of the green.  The hole was cut at the back of the long green on an upper tier, but a good chip to within a foot left me with an easy tap in for par.  A really good hole that I imagine tests Inchmarlo's members to the full.
The last hole is also quite tricky.  This is a 294 Yard Par 4 played downhill out of a narrow tunnel of trees with a steeply uphill shot to the green, as shown here. I'd skied a sliced drive into light rough on the right of the fiarway, leaving myself with 3 bunkers to clear in order to reach the green.  I missed them all, and the green, on my way to a closing bogey.  Still, 36 gross with 17 putts wasn't bad and my net 30.5 was under the course par of 32, so a decent round.  Like the Laird's Course, the Queen's is great fun to play and I'd strongly recommend it.  We didn't have time to sample anything from the bar and restaurant at Inchmarlo.  Maybe next time.  we were really impressed by the facilities here, and our thanks go again to Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Pro for all of his help and kindness on the day.

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