RIFLE RANGE - The 6th & 15th


The Greenkeeper's View

For the straight driver, open your shoulders and launch the ball straight down the middle, the gable end of the stone shed down at the old croft being the best line.  If it’s wet a bit left of centre is best, the fairway to the right has a tendency to swallow every high shot.  Make sure your iron distances are correct and hit to the centre of the green; don’t try and be fancy – too short and you’ll catch the burn, too long and it’s into the out of bounds.  Another green with some lovely borrows just to confuse you, but the ball below the hole is best.
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The 15th

If you have a tendency to be wild off the tee with your driver this is just the place for you, as long as you’re really wild left!  If that’s your weakness then you have any amount of open space below the quarries and onto the 1st fairway even, where all is not lost.  Just don’t roll into the face of the wall.  Too little wild left will see you in the wee quarry, probably lost .Wild right is likely calamity – out of bounds in the woods at worst, wet rough if just short of that, to the point where three off the tee is a better bet.  All that thinking might point you towards a 3-wood or long iron to clear the first part of the downhill, then a relaxed mid-iron to about 50 yards short of the burn, a flick onto the green, seeking to be close enough to the pin to allow the chance of a par putt, or even a well thought through bogey.  

The 6th

I hear a bit of girning from time to time about folk losing their balls on the right-hand side of the fairway, but I’m a greens specialist, not a drainer! In any case, that is only really bad in wet winters and autumns. In any case, there’s a huge amount of space from the tee to allow players to set up a decent shot to the green.  I wish those same players would fix their pitch marks mind you, this green is particularly prone to damage because incoming shots tend to come from on high.  Also, for goodness sake ring the 1862 Bell at the tee when you know folk are likely to be in front of you as you drive off.  Tommy Angus reminded me that it was dragged all the way up here, probably on Dr McCammond’s say so when the course was being fashioned by staff and patients from the nearby Argyll & Bute Hospital, post WW2.  The bell was part of that original hospital building and used to be rung to give warning locally that secure patients might have made a dash for it and also as a Curfew Bell for live-in staff in the evenings.  The advent of an electrically powered hooter for the hospital was the golf course’s gain.