Monday 2 August 2010

South Ronaldsay GC - course no 334

Craig, Stu and I played this excellent 9 hole course on 30 July 2010 after a ferry trip from Westray to Kirkwall and a drive down to the village of St Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay, where the islanders built themselves a 9 hole course some 5 years ago. Since then, the course has matured into a lovely little course, full of interest and variety. The course was in great condition, with lush fairways and fast running greens and was a real treat to play, particularly after the difficulties we'd had the previous day. So, well done to whoever designed the South Ronaldsay course and to the members who continue to look after the place so well. This is a general view of the course and some of the village. Water and/or OOB comes into play on 7 of the holes, but the rough was pretty modest and the generous fairways helped to encourage good hitting. Just as well, since there wasn't a flat green on the course, with most having severe slopes. The course was playing to its full length (a modest 2623 yards, par 33) and was a pretty good test of our differing skills. We thought that the best hole on the course was the 434 yard par 4 8th, deservedly the Stroke Index 1 hole. This is played from an elevated tee, with a water hazard short of the green, as shown below. I took a double bogey, thanks mainly to missing the small green with a short pitch, but this is a really difficult hole. I went round in a disappointing 42, mainly as a result of missing some greens in regulation or finding one of the water hazards. As with most courses, I think I'd play it better second time round and we were sorely tempted to go round again, despite still having two 18 hole courses to play that day. South Ronaldsay is that kind of course. Once you've played it, you'll want to do so again. Don't miss it if you're ever in Orkney with your clubs and have around 90 minutes to spare!

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