As winter approaches, stimp still 13

I’ve now been in Scotland for over three months and still loving it – wish I’d come over 30 years ago!

In the past three months our two courses have hosted several superb events, starting with the Valiano Cup and ending with yesterday’s final round of the EUROPRO Tour Championship. In between we hosted the British University Championships, the UBS Scotland Pro Am, the R&A Foursomes Championships, the Sam Torrance Golf Day and the regular mix of “normal” play. Last week we had 3 groups of US PGA members doing a “fam” of Scottish courses for their memberships. They enjoyed the greens and really like the fact that our fairways are around 7 on the Stimp.

After the Sam Torrance Day we were told that our course conditions were as good as it gets, the greens were the best! I should have paid attention and, as members usually say we do anyway whenever they say the course is great, done some work on the course.

This week our challenge for the Europro Championship was to slow our greens down. The Torrance greens have stimped at 12/13 for the past two months and on Thursday the slightly breezy conditions (gusts to 50 mph) forced the PGA officials to suspend play as both balls and markers were moving on the surfaces. Without cutting them for 3 days we got the speed up to 11 on the Stimp and all went well. “This is the best course that we’ve played on all year” is a comment that we heard several times from the leaders, including one who penalized himself in the first round when his ball moved while addressing it (shot 79) and then finished with a course record 66 on Friday (same conditions but slower greens).

While play was postponed I “checked” conditions and we played 18 holes with friends Kevin and Maggie from Atlanta (and Edmonton). Great fun.

Now, as business slows down (we stay open 12 months with regular greens) I hope to keep in touch more with my impressions of living here in the Mother of Golf (Boo Weekley when asked how he was enjoying playing in the Home of Golf said “I though Florida was that”).

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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