By Ian Callen
It’s quite a walk from the par five 15th Green to the 16th Tee Block and one many golfers, both ladies and gentlemen, take contemplating what might have been.
But for Biddy Nolan, the moment she began the walk to the bridge that crosses the burn to make her way to the 16th she had already taken note of the wind, the up coming pin position and by her reckoning the ground staff had set the ladies a distance of 98 metres to the cup.
Having set her Bridgestone ‘Precept Lady’ on a tee, her next objective was to flight the ball a short distance to the green – is it that simple you might ask?
It’s only 90 odd metres, you could putt it that far!
Well not really! The course designer Michael Clayton obviously considered this and deliberately butted the entire front edge of the dance floor up against notorious ball swallowing burn preventing golfers from running their ball up on to the putting surface.
The writer has lost count of the times he’s had to fish his ball from the watercourse and make use of the ‘drop zone’.
But Clayton wasn’t finished. He needed to add his final touches: two well placed sand traps were built into the bank that supports the platform the ‘island green’ on the 12th sits.
This allowed the native grass to grow uninhibited between the bunkers, about dead centre of the green and this is the flight path Biddy would choose for her ball.
Standing behind her ball Biddy hesitates, but only for a moment just to check the breeze and said, “Normally I’d use an eight iron, but with the fluctuating wind I’ve chosen a seven. Better to be over the back than in the drink.”
The seven iron strike was timed well and the ‘precept’ was launched into its flight path directly into a southerly breeze.
At its zenith it seemed to hang for a moment just before it dropped into banked area to kick backward between the two traps, finishing just off the green.
The words “better over the back than in the drink” rang true today for our lady golfer now selecting a 56° iron for her chip.
It turned out to be just the tool to run the ball close, allowing Biddy Nolan to calmly walk up to close out the hole for par.