#12: Crieff’s Dornock Course: A Delight with my Daughter
As life gets seemingly busier, finding time for golf is a challenge for us all. But when your daughter asks, “When are you going to play golf with me, Mum?!” It was sweet music to my ears and the question I have been waiting all year to answer! Moreover, that is why this ‘gift of golf’ is so brilliant: it keeps giving me unexpected joys.
We decided that Tuesday evening after school we would go up and have a round on the second course at Crieff, The Dornock Course. It was a lovely evening as you can see.
There were several groups in front of us, so we warmed up with a hotly contested ‘wee match’ on the practise putting green. Here is Siobhan winning the first hole!
But I am relieved to report that her dominance did not last long. The intense match went back and forth. I was 2 up after 5, only to be all square by the 8th. Going down the last tensions were raised, but the ‘golfing gods’ were on my side and I took the hole with a ‘tap in’ two. The match, however, was NOT conceded, as I am informed by the Match Referee (aka Ms. Siobhan Bell). So it will continue, but at least it does with me 1 up!!!
It was time to get out to the course, and as a course I have played before, sometimes I forget its finer details. So when Siobhan pointed out to me this sign, I had to smile.
You really do have to take notice of the road! The Dornock course follows the road out of Crieff, and yes, if you go too far right, you need to be careful of cars. So I gave her the advice, I give myself, ‘Aim at the green tree on the hill!’
As you can see there are several to choose from, so we had another good laugh!!
Here she goes and she hit a great shot off the first.
Siobhan is only using a seven wood, but she can hit it almost as far as I hit my driver! I am going to have to get to the gym or I am sure to be out played sooner rather than later.
It was great fun playing with my ‘teenager’ and it reminded me what I love most about golf: it gives you time to connect to yourself, your playing partners and the beauty of the world. It was outstanding to talk golf and life on such a beautiful evening in the ‘heart of Scotland’ with our beautiful girl.
The course traverses the hill side, and as Siobhan found out, the greens are very tricky. It's sometimes not as easy on the course as it is on the practise putting greens. And at Crieff, everything runs downhill away from the famous ‘Knock.’
As we were discussing the course features intently, Siobhan was concentrating so hard, she didn’t realise that there was a pool of water on the seed cover. (These are green bins full of grass seed mixed with sand which you are supposed to put down if you take a divot off the tee. This was a famous discovery Old Tom Morris, Sr. made in St. Andrews: the grass grows better mixed in with the sand. And its still used to this day throughout the world.)
So she went to sit down on one to rest, and Little Miss ended up with a wet bum!
She had to play the rest of the round with a wet backside. But she played really well, so maybe she might have to do it every time!!!! It certainly kept us laughing for the next several holes: that is one way to play 'happy golf'!
The Dornock Course at Crieff is the original nine holes before the Club expanded to add a further 9 holes, giving it its current format and layout. There is something of Old Tom Morris still out on the Dornock Course, and I was telling her how her Dad remembers the ‘lemonade stand’ at the back of the 5th hole when he was a boy. (To which she naturally responded, ‘Boy you guys are old!’ Thanks.) But its a lovely course with plenty of challenge.
The sixth hole is straight uphill and Siobhan hit an amazing shot just short of the green to be almost there in 2! This is the view from the green, and it's an amazing vista over the Strathearn Valley. Here is the reward once you get to the top ....
We finished the hole with a par and a bogey, so we happily went to the 7th tee.
There is a deceptive amount of trouble behind the 7th green. Siobhan was long at her peril. But we navigated the tough par 3 8th and moved happily to the 9th with the sun setting.
Siobhan can be barely made out on the green ... but she made the putt. She loves clouds and there were some amazing displays for her as we finished. It really was a terrific evening. We had a fantastic time and as we walked off, Siobhan said, ‘Thanks, Mum, for playing golf with me.”
I had to laugh and tell her the story of when she was just a few days old Nana said to me, ‘What ARE you going to do if she doesn’t like golf Beth?!” I just shook my head and looked at the baby in my arms, before replying, ‘Well, she will have to or she will be spending a lot of time with a child minder!!!’ Fortunately, my daughter seems to take to golf just like her mother: we have another ‘lady of the links’ in the making!
Oh by the way, halfway round, we took a 'selfie.' Here it is ....
And once home, I was informed that my 'selfies' are a disgrace. So I was duly put through a hilarious hour of ‘selfie instruction.’ I had no idea it was such a complicated procedure! I seem destined to fail miserably. Oh well, I am more concerned with my putting stroke, but that's just me.
Golf, fun and and selfie lessons to be continued ....