Craig and Stu had risen well before sparrowfart on 9 July 2012 to play 3 short courses before joining Polly and I for rounds over the 2 excellent courses at Royal Aberdeen GC. Silverburn is the shorter of the 2 at only 4021 Yards, Par 64, but don't go thinking that this is an easy course just because it's short. There's heavy rough, gorse bushes, blind shots, tricky greens, narrow and in some cases madly cascading fairways, deep bunkers with steep rivetted faces and everything else that you'd expect on a traditional Scottish links course. Accordingly, this is a real test in its own right and good scoring requires straight hitting, imagination and considerable patience. We all loved this course. This is the 2nd, a slightly downhill 255 Yard Par 4, well protected by severe bunkering. An easy par if you get your drive away, but it was a windy day and far from easy. The 3rd is even more tricky off the tee, with your drive having to avoid deep bunkering, gorse and rough either side. I found a cavernous bunker on the 3rd after slightly underhitting a pitch and walked off with a double bogey, so that was an early warning.
This is the 17th, a great 143 Yard Par 3, with the small green set on a plateau at the end of a gorse covered ridge. Craig played a fabulous shot that looked to be resting against the flag, but was actually a few feet behind the hole, after hitting the down slope short of the green and letting the ball run on. I tried the same shot and was only just further away, so an easy par for me and a good birdie for Craig. This hole wouldn't look out of place on any links course and Silverburn as a whole was a really good test for things to come in the afternoon on the awesome Balgownie Course. I'd gone round in 76, net 65, with 36 putts so a good round and a narrow win over Polly, taking our Summer Trophy score to 4-3.5 in my favour.
This is Polly playing a great bunker shot at the last hole to within a few feet. Silverburn was simply great fun to play, and I'd strongly recommend it. As we were about to find out in the afternoon, Balgownie would be a far more daunting challenge.