Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Corrie GC - Course no 587

There are 7 courses on the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde.  I'd played 5 of them some years ago on a short golfing holiday with Polly, long before I decided to play every course in Scotland.  I also had some courses to play on the Kintyre Peninsula so with good weather forecast, I set off to play 7 courses over 24-26 June 2013, starting with Corrie, a very short 9 Hole moorland course on the east side of  Arran, at only 1915 yards, Par 31.  What Corrie lacked in length it made up for in spectacular scenery and really good greens.  The course starts quietly enough with the easiest hole on the course, a tree-lined 127 Yard Par 3.  A simple par for me after a decent 8 iron from the tee.

Next, a 134 Yard Par 3 that plays a lot longer than it looks, with the "Arran Alps" in the background.  The green is tucked behind the mound to the right of the lone tree in the middle of the first photo below.  The hole is also slightly uphill, so I took a my 27 Degree Rescue, hit the tree, came up short and took a bogey.   As befits such a small course, the greens were pretty small, as this photo of the 2nd green clearly shows.

The 3rd hole is an uphill 219 Yard Par 4 which also plays longer than you'd expect.  There's a carry of 160 or so Yards to the fairway over heavy rough, as shown here and left off the tee is dead.  I hit a good drive just short of the green, chipped close and holed an easy short putt for a birdie.  The 4th is a steeply downhill 130 Yard Par 3, but with the green being so small, you need an accurate shot or risk losing your ball in bushes around the green.  The 97 Yard Par 3 5th is blind and steeply uphill, so take at least 2 extra clubs and be very straight.  I took one club extra, was slightly wayward, still had a blind second shot and took a double bogey, so not very impressive there.

The 238 Yard Par 4 6th is again steeply uphill but there's also a steep side slope to the right to contend with and OOB to the left and the green is probably the smallest on the course.  A par there is actually a very good score as it's easy to miss the green in regulation.  This is the highest point on the course, giving a great view over the Firth of Clyde and the Ayrshire coast in the far distance.  Have a look for the 7th green to your left as you play the 3rd as you might struggle to locate it from the 7th Tee.  The Par 4 7th is actually only 302 Yards, as shown here, but the small green looks miles away from the tee and be careful not to play if anyone is on the 3rd fairway at the time.  The hole is steeply downhill and the green is driveable, even with a 3 Wood, but to do so you need to carry that fairway and get your ball over the patch of rough in front of the 7th Green and the 3rd Tee.  My 3 Wood tee shot finished on a steep down slope in that rough, but a 40 yard reverse swing with my wedge made the green (face away from the intended line of play and turn your club round the other way, gripping only with your right hand, take a good swing and try not to hit your ankle).  I don't routinely practice that shot, it's just that my erratic play sometimes leaves me with that as my best option!  A par from there was pretty good.

The 8th is another short Par 3, but I took a bogey after finding a bunker off the tee.  The last hole at Corrie is a 225 Yard Par 4.  Water comes into play twice and the hole narrows considerably the further you hit off the tee.  Luckily, I hit a dead straight drive just right of the green but I hit a poor chip and run and had to settle for an easy par rather than the birdie I was hoping for.  Still, I was round in a gross 34, only 3 over par, with 14 putts.  But even that isn't much of a score.  Hit the ball any real distance, keep it straight and avoid 3 putting and you should score really well.   I had another couple of courses to play that day or I would have gone round again to enjoy the views once more and try to beat my 34.

Regular readers of this blog will recall my deep aversion to midgies and other biting insects to be found on Scotland's west coast and elsewhere during the Summer months.  Visiting Corrie I was actually stung during the 20 yard walk from my car to the small clubhouse to pay the green fee, so be warned!  But don't let that put you off paying this little course a visit.  It's really good fun to play and you'll be round in about an hour!


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