Friday, 8 February 2013

Charleton GC - 9 Hole Course - Course no 561

I'd played the 18 Hole course at Charleton in September 2009 (see blog entry for course no 225) before playing at nearby Anstruther.  I saw then that there was also a 9 Hole Par 3 Course at Charleton and I finally got to play that short course on 8 February 2013 on a rare dry and sunny day. 

Most of the courses I've yet to play are a fair distance from my home in East Lothian and those in the west are probably still closed or almost waterlogged after a long period of rain, snow and generally lousy weather.  Some of the courses to the north are probably in the same state but I'll need to wait a while before playing the Lighthouse Keeper's Course on Fair Isle, the remotest course in Scotland.  Fair Isle is a tiny island mid-way between the Orkney and Shetland Islands and was in the news last week after being hit by a huge storm see coverage at which looks as though it's done some damage to the course as well as to the lighthouse and other parts of the island.  Click on the link at the top of this Fair Isle blog for coverage of the storm and on the "golf" link for background on the Lighthousekeeper's Course.  I think I'll wait until the Summer before making the trip and allow time to help as best I can. 
But back to the relative peace and calm of Charleton GC, on the way to St Andrews in the East Neuk of Fife.  The 9 hole course is a modest 934 Yards, Par 27 and like its big brother next door, is a parkland course built on sandy soil, helping it to drain well after what seems to have been almost daily rain over the past several weeks.  There's nothing very difficult looking about this little course and with holes ranging from 50 to 157 Yards it looked quite easy.  However, the greens were tiny and surprisingly fast, with severe slopes adding to the putting interest.  I'd reverted to my "winter" putter recently, a very early Ping Pal brass-headed model that's more stable in windy conditions and certainly better on slow winter greens than my otherwise ever-faithful Ping Anser 4.  Wrong choice for the greens on this course!  Anyway, a gross 29, net 23.5 with 15 putts was OK.  That's a net 3.5 strokes under par.  Here are some photos of the course, starting above with the 3rd green (sharing with the 5th), looking due south to the Firth of Forth.  On a clearer day, I'd have been able to see North Berwick and my home club in the far distance.
This is the 7th, with a slightly clearer view south.  Readers familiar with the area might be able to see North Berwick Law and Bass Rock in the far background.

Below is the 9th green, with the cosy Charleton GC clubhouse in the background. Notice the 10 foot putt, which I duly holed for my only birdie.  This is a good little course, either for a warm up before you play the excellent 18 hole course at Charleton, or a quiet place for beginners to practice without being disturbed.

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