Monday, 5 August 2013

Aboyne Golf Centre - Pussycat and KittyCat Courses - Courses 608 and 609

I played these 2 short 9 Hole parkland courses concurrently on 1 August 2013 after my round over the Centre's Tiger Course.  The Pussycat Course is an 1800 Yard Par 31 and the Kittycat is a 1320 Yard Par 28.  Generally, both of these courses are set out over the same footprint as the longer Tiger Course and are intended to cater for casual play and in particular, occasional higher handicap golfers and beginners.  Accordingly, these courses are less demanding but cannot be played when the Tiger Course is open for play.  However, if the courses are otherwise empty, it's possible to play the Pussycat and Kittycat at the same time, if you know the layouts that is and don't find it too confusing.

The 1st holes on both the Pussycat and Kittycat are basically shorter versions of the 1st Hole on the Tiger.  However, the 125 Yard Par 3 2nd on Kittycat is played from the 9th tee on Tiger to the 8th Green on Tiger, as shown here.  This requires an accurate tee shot as you're playing side on to a very narrow inverted saucer green with deep bunkers on either side.  I hit a really good 8 iron to the green and had an easy enough par, but this is a really tricky hole, with no obvious bale out for beginners. From there, both courses follow the 2nd Hole on Tiger uphill, then take some different routing before turning downhill towards the Tiger 5th and 6th Holes.  I managed a Birdie 2 on the 5th on Pussycat - then again, it was only a 110 Yard hole, so no great challenge.

Perhaps the best hole on either of these shorter courses is the 8th on Pussycat, which goes from the 6th Tiger Course Tee to the 8th Tiger Course Green, as shown here.  This requires absolute accuracy to find and hold a very shallow inverted saucer green and it 155 Yards, this is a seriously difficult hole. Bearing in mind I was playing these courses in what had fast become torrential rain, I was really delighted to hold the green with my 23 Degree Rescue and make a great par. From there, the last Pussycat hole is the same as the 9th on Tiger, but the 9th on Kittycat is played from close to the 8th Green on Tiger to the 9th Green on Tiger. If all of this sounds confusing, I should perhaps stress that the Pussycat and Kittycat Courses were really not designed to be played concurrently.  I just did it that way because no-one else was daft enough to be playing golf that morning.  I'd fiddled my way around 3 new courses in a little over 2 hours and had got seriously wet in the process and I was glad to have my 4 x 4 to cover flooded roads on the way back to our holiday cottage and a well deserved beer (even if it was just barely lunchtime!)

Overall, I was impressed by the 3 courses at Aboyne Loch.  The Tiger is difficult and physically demanding, so a net 32.5 was really good and as the conditions worsened my scores of 34 gross with 17 putts on each of the Pussycat and Kittycat courses were pretty good too.  The Lodge on the Loch does golf breaks and looked to be an excellent out of town base for a golf break.  I'd certainly recommend you give any or all of these little courses a try.