Ranfurly Castle Golf Club – April 2016 Another glorious day in the Scottish sunshine. Today I was playing at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club.
I am staying about fifteen minutes away and I enjoyed the drive along the tiny roads between farms with rock fences and lambs dancing around their mothers.
The sun was shining and I was off to play golf.
I arrived at the club and met with Joy McLeod who is the current Ladies Captain and has golf in her blood. Uncles, cousins and her father (who was on the selection committee of the Walker Cup) all have their names on the Club Championship board however Joy only took up golf upon retirement.
We were joined by Maureen Cook and I must say the weather was stunning and it is the least amount of clothes I have worn since I left Abu Dhabi in January.
No tights, no undershirt – not that less clothes helped my golf any.
My driving was ok today but not fantastic and my putting was a little off. The Hawk was still the best club in my bag but I just seem to have lost the knack of hitting my irons. Topping them a lot which would be ideal for links golf but on a parkland course not so much. I did hit a few great iron shots but I would prefer to top a few, not the other way round.
As with every other course I have played in this part of the world, there has been a lot of rain and there are still soggy patches which will be quick to dry if this weather continues.
The ladies informed me last weekend it was snowing, which seemed ridiculous given the weather today.
Being out in the fresh air, looking down to Glasgow and listening to cuckoos calling is an amazing way to spend the morning and with some patches of good golf, just makes it even better.
I played my first ever skins match and we went all out playing for five pence a hole. I was very lucky to come away with anything considering I was outplayed however we tied a few holes and my only par of the day enabled me to win a couple of holes that had carried over.
I hit a few balls into the rough, they just get buried so easily and while I considered hitting them out I took Maureen’s advice when she commented I could hurt myself and maybe I should take a drop.
After the treatment on my shoulder on Monday, having Tuesday off then playing yesterday and today, my shoulder feels alright but I didn’t want to jar it by trying to do something unnecessary.
Golf is a much easier game if you stay on the fairway.
The ladies can play some good golf and took turns in winning holes while I managed to halve a couple before winning my one and only on the 14th.
I had so much fun out there on the hills. On the 6th I hit two balls into the gorse (Maureen found my first sitting high in the bush) and while she was below, Joy and I were looking for my provisional at the top of the gorse.
Once my first was found, I ran down the hill pushing my cart delighting in the experience. Joy commented that people had fallen and I laughed saying if I did it would be a shame that it is not being filmed and perhaps I would have to video a reenactment.
After taking a drop I was pleased to finish the hole with a bogie after hitting a fantastic 7 iron on to the edge of the green.
Then on the 10th, I ran full pelt down the big hill pushing my clubs in front of me laughing all the way. Golf is so much fun.
The ladies were hitting well consistently and I look forward to the day my golf is a little more consistent.
I was heavy handed or short with my putting on most of the holes but on the 18th I dropped a very long putt to end the round with a bogie.
I was in four bunkers today and got out of all of them very well (first go even) and after some terrible bunker work in Ireland I was very happy with this.
There were at least ten drop shots so get rid of that and I am shooting under 100.
I will get there as I plan to crack 90 this summer and with a bit of practice I am sure I will do it.
Following our round we enjoyed a salad in the clubhouse and had a bit of a golf chat. I asked the ladies about the jobs one must do as Captain and Handicap Secretary and Maureen told us of her adventures playing on various teams golfing all over the area.
I am seeing these courses for the first time and am not playing amazing golf but I am doing pretty well. I could do better and I will, but I also have to remember I have only been golfing for twenty one months.
I know if I play the course again I would improve but instead I am off to play the next track.
Tomorrow it is on the Isle of Arran.