The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre used to be known as the Aspire Golf Centre and is on the South side of the River Dee from the Deeside GC, where we'd played earlier in the week. The Paul Lawrie Foundation does great work to encourage kids to take up the sport and I played the excellent 9 Hole Par 3 course here on 3 August 2013 at the end of our week-long excursion to Aberdeenshire. It had a been a long week. This was my 12th course in 8 days and on top of recent caddying, my body needed a rest. Not bringing a trolley on the trip had been a mistake. Thankfully, this is a very short course at only 1217 Yards, Par 27 off the Yellow Tees. The course is basically parkland but water comes into play on 7 of the 9 holes, so be wayward at your peril and pack some spare balls, you'll maybe need them.
Take your time, and hit everything straight and you'll be fine. For example, this is the 140 yard 3rd. A pond to the left of the hole also cuts in front of the left side of the green. With the pin tucked away to the left side of the green, the safest option was to aim at the right of the green. My 8 iron came up just short, but a good chip and short single putt save the par. I bogeyed the 4th, a 148 Yard hole with more water, on the right this time, after missing the green again. Next, the longest hole on the course at 183 Yards, with more water. I hit a 20 degree Rescue deadly straight to within 20 feet to set up another par - a fine strike. My swing was holding up nicely, and only a few holes to go.
This is the 7th and at 98 yards, the shortest hole on the course. The green is very shallow and slopes from left to right towards a small C-shaped pond that extends behind the green. Going straight for the pin would be highly ambitious, as the green is only 15 feet or so deep and the slope down to the water looked pretty slick. The wise choice was a conservative play to the left side of the green and a couple of putts from there and I was pretty chuffed to do just that.
The 8th is 139 Yards with yet more water up the right of the hole. I'd missed the green to the right, but there's a collar of rough there, so my ball stopped short of going into the water. Another good chip and I'd saved another par.
This is the last, a 159 Yard hole, played into a freshening wind. It seemed sensible at the time to go down the grip of my 3 Wood and play a low punch, under the wind. My Titleist Velocity ball was still having a charmed life, having negotiated its way around the whole of the Trump Course the day before and avoided the many water hazards so far on this tricky little course. as the second photo below shows, I went long and left, avoiding the water yet again. An easy chip from there with my Cleveland wedge and a single putt from 3 feet and I'd gone round in 28 gross, 1 over par, with 13 putts. This is a really good Par 3 course, in great condition and a real test of accuracy and your short game in general. I strongly recommend you give it a try.