Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Green Valley Golf Academy - Course no 620

This excellent looking golf range and teaching academy in the village of Castle Kennedy near Stranraer also has a 6 hole 1086 Yard Par 20 golf course. I'd passed it several years ago (when it was called the Castle Kennedy Golf Centre) en route to Ireland, and I'd planned to play it early on 24 September 2013, then travel the 32 miles South to play the course at Burrow Head before driving home. Unfortunately, the Academy didn't open until lunchtime that day, so rather than hang around I played Burrow Head first, adding to my diesel costs for the trip.  Burrow Head was just a tick in the box kind of a course, but I'm pleased to say that Green Valley was much better.  For a start, the course has been built with serious golfers in mind and offers a decent challenge.  The greens had suffered from bird damage, with several areas showing clear signs of birds having pecked extensively looking for worms etc. A pity, as the small greens were otherwise in great condition. The fairways could have been more closely cut, and it would have been helpful had the one member of staff on duty been able to find where the scorecards were stored, but I liked the layout and really enjoyed the course, despite those reservations.

This is the 1st, a 318 Yard Par 4.  Clear the pond or reload.  I got the drive away OK, but my 9 iron just missed the small green, which was far faster than it looked, so an opening bogey.  The 2nd is a flat 148 Yard Par 3.  I'd just missed the green but a good lob wedge and easy putt gave me a par.  Much the same at the 99 Yard 3rd.  The 4th is a 135 Yard Par 3, with the green enclosed by OOB on 3 sides.  I finished just off the green with an easy 7 iron and pitched in from there for a birdie. The 5th is a 238 Yard Par 4 with the green almost as enclosed, this time by bushes and marsh. My drive was slightly short and a thinned  lob wedge went through the green, stopping just short of real trouble. However, a decent pitch from there set up an easy putt for another par.  I was still level par with a hole to go.

This is the last hole at Green Valley, a 148 Yard Par 3 over the pond that had been in play on the 1st.  I hit an easy 27 Degree Rescue to within a yard of the left side of the green and had a simple job from there for my closing par.    Level par 20 strokes, and 6 putts, net 3.7 under par, so a good score.  I liked the facilities at Green Valley and would play this little course again if I had the time to spare when in the area. Not bad at all for the £5 Green Fee.

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