HEN RUN - The 9th & 18th


The Greenkeeper's View

A well-rewarded mid-iron or high wood from the back tee will see you land on the nicely sculpted green.  At that point though, it’s not over.  Some fierce borrows and, in dry weather a propensity for a putt hit too far to roll back off the front edge towards that ubiquitous burn can be a bit of a card wrecker.  If you’re a bit long and hit into the bank, you can sometimes end up in a good position for your putt, but beware being really long: that chip back over the wall from the short rough of the 2nd fairway is a very demanding shot!

The 18th

‘There’s plenty of space’ is the mantra to keep repeating as you take what can feel like an executioner’s walk to the back tee from the 8th green.  That’s true, just make sure and remember that space is all at, and to the right of, the green.  The eponymous Hen Run is not the place to be.  It might have been a while since Rhode Island Reds roamed what is now the out of bounds to the left of the green and over the drystane dyke from the first fairway, but their ghosts still seem to tempt the wayward golfer’s shot.  If you're unsure of your prowess with a long or mid-iron, don’t feel disgraced about laying up on the fairway on the tee side of the burn.  A flick over the hazard, with its burn and uncut bankings, a couple of putts at worst and walking off with a bogey feels a whole lot more competent than a lost ball, poor recovery and a 7 on your card.

The 9th

To finish off this is a good test of golf.  If you have a nasty crosswind to add to the mix of uncertain bounces and possible clashing with tree branches for the less accurate then there is a bit of a lottery going on as to where players end up.  That lottery usually allows me to pick up a good few downstream balls from the burn, the Monday morning after a weekend’s competitive play.  I try and keep the back bank cut just enough so that a ball just rolling off the top of the slope behind the green will stop on the short stuff.  Doesn’t always work mind you and I might go to my grave hearing the complaints of errant golfers ringing in my ears about the unfairness of it all.  Or, I might not: after all, if they wanted fair they’d be playing some other sport and the really good ones amongst them can tune their brain out to make sure it’s the next shot that counts, not the previous one or three!
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