Truly breathtaking¦ best links course I've played!
Silloth on Solway GC is a links style in Silloth, Cumbria, along the English side of the Solway Firth!
The course is ranked #1 in Cumbria, #21 in England and #?? In the Too 100 countries in GB&I!
The course is a par 72! It comprises the usual 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s, associated with a par 72!
There are 3 men's tees, ie blue, white and yellow, and red for the ladies! The ladies play to a par of 75!
The course played was off the yellow tees at 6,141 yards. One yard less than at Cherry Lodge! However that's where the similarities end!
My outturn gross score was 94,ie +22 over par, or 28pts Stableford! Or looked at another way, it was +9 over my 13 handicap!
The Division 1 (up to 13 handicaps) winning score was 39pts! I finished 35th of 68 competitors! Overall categories I finished 53rd of 123 competitors!
The greens........, and my putting stats!
The greens are big, very firm despite heavy overnight rain and drizzly rain throughout the majority of the round, are mostly raised above the fairways and are undulating! Pin placements were also tricky because of the competition!
Putting numbers were very good, ie 32 putts off which there were 5 single putts, 12 x 2 putts and only 1 triple putt!
I missed 3 birdie opportunities of which one led to an overly aggressive long birdie attempt running a good way above the pin hence the triple!
The Par 3s.......
#6th: (index 16) , a 172 yards tee shot to a green with 2 pot bunkers short right and left! Into the wind I didn't reach the green but chipped on and 2 putted for a bogey!
#9th: (index 14) , a 121 yard downhill tee shot to a green surrounded by 4 left hand bunkers and 3 right hand bunkers! A poor swing resulted in a triple bogey!
#12th: (index 11), a 191 yard tee shot to a raised green! I left my tee shot short by about 30 yards and ran my approach putt through the back of the green so a 1 putt bogey was a good score!
#16th: (index 9) , is a 169 yards tee shot from a raised tee to a raised green! I found this green with a mishit low runner and got a 2 putt par! Lucky!
Overall I was +5 for the 4 par 3s! Given that 2 were shot holes my triple bogey on the 9th was the main reason! An avoidable ball striking error off the tee compounded by a duffed chip up and over the green!
The Par 4s......
The Par 5s.......
The par 5s include 2 holes that usually play into a headwind and 2 holes that usually play with the wind assisting! I don't get shots on the 2 wind assisted holes (14 & 17)!
My outturn score for the par 5s was +5! Not too bad on the face of it given the conditions!
However +3 of the outturn was down to one hole! I had problems with the index 1 13th, a brute of a hole into the wind, where my semi blind severely uphill approach shot wind assisted, veered away offline to the right ino the gorse resulting in a penalty and +3 for the hole!
The Club History
The club was founded in 1892, and was laid out by Davy Grant, with the advise of prominent Scottish professionals Willie Fernie and Willie Park!
The course has been visited by (patronised) by at least 10 former Open Champions, including Harry Vardon, JH Taylor and James Braid!
The Club claims it is the #1 course for less than £100! Visitors weekday green fees are £50, or £65 weekends!
My 'golf only' entry fee into the annual Seniors Open Stableford competition was £25!
The welcome provided to visiting competitors, by staff and members, was excellent!
The pro-shop was moderate but good!
(PS: The full membership fees for Silloth are £525, with a £300 joining fee!)
Silloth a Superstar
No surprises then that I love this course - it appears in The Top 100 for GB & I and rightly so. Tough even in calm conditions, fast raised greens, perhaps lacks the length to get in the top bracket but just wonderful for myself and others I have spoken to. Visitor fees are very good value.