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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Peaked PITLOCHRY GC New
« on: September 20, 2023, 02:12:31 PM »
The picture-perfect postcard Victorian town of Pitlochry is an arresting setting for a golf course. Yet golf is merely one attraction which draws tourists. The town largely developed after Prince Albert purchased the nearby Balmoral Estate (and a few nearby estates as well!) in 1852 as a summer home and the arrival of the train in 1863. The current Balmoral Castle wasn’t completed until 1856 after it was decided the original building was too small. The working estate now covers about 50,000 acres in the middle of the Cairngorms National Park. Below is a painting of Balmoral by Queen Victoria.


In summer it can seem as though every tourist without a golf bag on their shoulder is in town. This shouldn’t be surprising as Pitlochry, also known as the Gateway to the Highlands, is located on the edge of the Cairngorms on the A9 which connects the Highlands with Edinburgh. The distractions in town are numerous. There are two distilleries, one of which, Eradour, is the smallest legal distillery in Scotland.  The fish ladder is an entertaining detour which allow spawning salmon to bypass the dam which was completed in 1951. The man-made Loch Faskally completed the Tummel hydro-electric power scheme. The fish can be observed from an underwater viewing station. Pitlochry is the final event of the Scottish Highland Games schedule which is held annually on the second Saturday of September. For those interested in performing arts, the Festival Theatre hosts the marvellous annual summer season of six plays in daily repertory. And then there is golf…

The original nine-hole course was on the River Tummel. It was never found to be a satisfactory site hence the reason for a new course on the other side of town built to Willie Fernie’s design in 1908. Cecil Hutchison had his say in the 1920s. Suffice it to say the current course is quite different from the original. For one, there are currently no par 5s. Previously, two par fives were included on the card. Pitlochry now tips out at just under 5700 yards to a par of 69.


If there is to be climbing, its best to get it squared away at the start. And my, there is climbing at Pitlochry. The first three holes seemingly ascend to the heavens. For that, the 1st is one of Pitlochry's best holes. We plunge to the fairway then scamper back up the far hill.
   

The second involves more climbing. A fine green is the reward.
   

The front of the green is a gully.


The third is another down n' up hole. Its not just the photo, in the light we had it was difficult to discern the features.


The only flat hole on the course, the fourth is probably the best short hole of the three.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 05, 2023, 04:31:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-4
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2023, 06:10:02 PM »
My wife and I stumbled on this little gem on our first trip to Scotland. We had time so we played and enjoyed it. It was great fun.  I’m glad we were younger because it was a hilly walk.
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

"Deep within your soul-space is a magnificent cathedral where you are sweet beyond telling." Rumi

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-4
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2023, 02:49:19 PM »
My wife and I stumbled on this little gem on our first trip to Scotland. We had time so we played and enjoyed it. It was great fun.  I’m glad we were younger because it was a hilly walk.

You are right, its a hilly walk.

Pilochry Tour Cont

Queen Mary's Rest is the name of the 5th due to the legend which purports that she rested near the tee. Its possible because she did stay at nearby Blair Castle in 1269. The greensite is the most exciting on the course as it is perched on a rocky outcrop.


We come back down the slope for the 6th. This is when trees start to become a problem for playing corridors and views.


The short two-shotter 7th can be reached by many a golfer. I expect many will be forced to club down! The 8th continues the downhill trend. The green makes this a more intiguing hole than the 7th. Sometimes Pitlochry reminds me of a less sophisticated Gleneagles.


The side ends with a sharp downhill legger left. The hole is short enough to take on the dogleg, but there are houses and high fence on the straight line. However, this isn't obvious until closer to the green.


A big hole, the two-shotter 10th will reward a big drive with a better idea of the green location. For the likes of me its blind down the hill.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 03, 2023, 02:56:16 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Ben Stephens

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Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-10
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2023, 03:55:20 PM »
Sean,


The Head Professional at Pitlochry is my former coach - Gary Casey.


Have been meaning to go up there an play it.


Cheers
Ben

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-10
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2023, 07:56:45 PM »
Great memories of a Saturday round at Pitlochry with my son before last year's Senior Open Q.
My favorite pic of the day at Pitlochry was one of all the kids lined up on the putting green for a junior clinic/tuition.

There was a pic there :) ?

« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 11:08:21 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-10
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2023, 11:16:47 AM »
Sean/Tommy


It's certainly not a flat course and the look of the first few holes is daunting as you stand on the 1st tee, however I've found that the first 3 holes aren't as bad as they appear and that once you get to the fourth there is little uphill play from there, if any. And like courses from that era tend to be, there isn't a lot of walking green to tee.


Niall

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-10
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2023, 01:07:56 PM »
Home town and course of the great John Panton - and the delightful, refreshing beverage named after him:

Cheers,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-10
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2023, 09:42:33 AM »
Ahhhhh, John Panton. Not quite as good as a Gunner, but what the hell.

Pitlochry Tour Cont

The 11th is a fine short hole. You first get a glimpse of it from the 8th tee. More issues with trees spoiling views.


Much less daunting from here.


We continue descending. The 12th has an interesting green even if divorced from the left bank.


A great change of pace to have a relatively flat hole, #13.


But its the mounding on the 14th which calls to me. This par 4 is a mere 265 yards and downhill.


This hole feels like a meadow. Its tremendous.


More to follow.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Peaked PITLOCHRY GC:1-14 New
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2023, 04:06:40 PM »
Pitlochry Tour Cont

I bet the 15th was a lovely a looking hole at one time...the bones are there.


This par four is short, but the approach is seriously steep. The green mimics this slope resulting in severe downhill putts for anything above the hole.


Another drop shotish short hole follows. We quickly move to 17, a reachable par 4 with one of the more interesting greens on the course.


The green as seen from 15 tee.


The home hole is basically a ski slope to the house.




Pitlochry has been a course on the back burner of "my list" for some years so I was pleased to play it. There are some lovely holes, but nothing which really captured my imagination considering  the course in its current lush, over treed state. The severe up and down walking isn't handsomely repaid as well as at some of my favourite hilltop courses, yet Pitlochry may be better than the sum of its parts. The convenient location makes for a good diversion if a cheap green fee can be secured.  2023

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 27, 2024, 03:45:13 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

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