Pitlochry Golf Course

From the second tee...

From the second tee...

Played and survived.

What a different experience of playing a “short course”. Hmmm. The first three holes are not only a test of your golf skills but of your fitness levels. As you stand on the first tee, little do you  realise as you look up the hill that you’re actually heading up…up…and up again.

The 5th is a challenge…at first it looks like a straightfoward hole until you realise that the pin is about 30ft above you on a raised platform… The elevated 6th tee has amazing views of the valley below, the Atholl Palace hotel and the rest of the hole. And it’s pretty much the same as your round progresses – stunning views, uncompromising golf, and immaculate grounds. Advice from the locals – push on through the first three holes to settle into an easier pace on the way around and always take a club longer than you think you need…

Golf buggies are not allowed on the course as it’s too steep! But, if you have a Powakaddy or something similar, it’s definitely worth the effort to take it! If not, speak to Mark (the Pro) in the shop and hire one of those on offer.

Stop for a bite to eat at the restaurant and enjoy the views of the first tee and the 18th hole as you do. Spectacular golf course! Challenging golf!

http://www.pitlochrygolf.co.uk/home.php

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Rafting

At the weekend we asked about the possibility of rafting down the Tummel with my wee sister’s boyfriend. Before we could say “is it a good idea?” a raft was booked and we were set to paddle down the Tummel the next day.

Mum, Gran and cousin J, sat on the riverbank – watching the river as we went up to the dam to get in the boat. Wow! Four rafts in a row – we paddled our way down the river under the expert guidance of our instructor – Iain. What an experience. Not a huge amount of “white water” but a brilliant taster of what it would be like if more water were coming down from the top…

The final drop in the river is great. Iain guides the boat with ease (seemingly) while we do as we’re told to get the right line over the top and down the drop to the pool at the bottom. The four boats wait so that the guides can ensure the safety of all the other boats going over the falls and those of us at the bottom get to watch what’s happening (and see people’s faces as they splash down into the pool below). Fantastic experience, exhilarating trip!

Want to do it? Check out

www.naelimits.co.uk – rafting in Scotland on the river Tummel – but also the Orchy, the Tay and various other activities. (I really want to canyoning down the upper and lower Bruar).

Quality of Life

It’s a big thing, isn’t it?

My mother is carer to my grandmother and has been since Gran’s health deteriorated a couple of years ago. Gran, on her good days, has a sharp wit, is unbelievably funny and has a wicked sense of humour that makes us grandkids turn our heads. On her bad days, it’s awful. She doesn’t remember who we are, where she is or even what day it is. Her health is failing and it’s hard to see. We’ve always believed that Gran is better off living with the family than in a home, but this weekend, that’s been called into question and it’s shaken us all to the very core.

What quality of life does Gran have? What quality of life does Mum have? And, what about Dad?

At what point do you have to face the question of what’s best for all of you? And, how do you make that decision? My sister and I know that if Gran has to have 24/7 care that Mum will feel guilty she’s not the one doing it, yet, Mum will kill herself trying to do everything.

This weekend gone, Gran had another bad seizure and because she forgets things then tried to get up and carry on like nothing had happened – resulting in a fall. She’s in hospital now. The nurses are seeing first hand how difficult life is for Gran and for Mum.

None of us know what will happen just now. We’re waiting for test results and Doctor’s reports – but whatever it is, has to be a “better quality of life” for all.

Fingers crossed.

Things for the home…

If you are looking for the little luxuries for home or for a special present for an upcoming birthday – I recommend the website below. It has some wonderful, luxurious items that are ideal.

http://www.alsohome.com

While the range is not extensive, I like the idea that the products listed are ‘handmade, hand crafted and heart felt’.

I now need to decorate my house so that I can make the most out of these exquisite selections…

Golf again :-)

I did it. Friday, Am Golf was doing a special on a set of ladies intermediate irons…so I took the plunge and ditched my starter set of irons. Down at the range after the purchase, I worked up through the new set comparing them to my old irons – net result – longer & straighter! Yay. If only it were that easy on the golf course…? However, I only bought a set of irons, so trying my old woods (from the starter package) left me out in the cold. Slice after slice after slice. Yuck. What would become of my much-loved 3-wood??? Answer: special promotion at Am Golf on a Taylormade Ladies Hybrid… Ouch, expensive weekend behind me, just one golf game (9-holes) and I’m itching to get out and play 18-holes!

So, how did I do?

Not so good. The PW is much heavier than my old PW and I need to practice the ‘bump and run’ and ‘punch’ shots that I favour around the greens. My short game was pretty good – on Saturday, unfamiliarity led to a rubbish short game. Putting being my only consistent.

With a gap in traffic on the course, I did take my new Taylormade off the tee at the ninth and hit a cracking shot down the right hand side. Happy I’d hit it well, my BF suggested hitting my new 4-iron – well, what a shot that was…straight down the fairway. I followed that with a 5-iron which, unfortunately, hit the branches of the trees…(rather lucky as it was heading for the clubhouse at that point).

Am I happy? I will be if I can achieve my course best tomorrow.

Next? Join the ladies club so that I can get myself a handicap…eeek!

More Films

1. Juno – 3.5/5

Don’t think about this one too much. Watch it for a laugh, without BF in tow. It’s a chick flick. A good laugh for an hour or so. The main character – Juno – is very funny. I look forward to seeing the actress take on different roles in the future.

2. 27 Dresses – 3.5/5

Katherine Heigl in another chickflick/comedy about a girl who is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. A very predictable storyline unfolds as the film prgresses. Like the earlier film, it’s a chick flick (sense a theme here…?). Another where you leave the BF at home, disengage brain, and just laugh.

3. Tin Cup – 4/5

Kostner & Russo in a movie about playing golf. It’s worth watching for a laugh, to see Kostner hit those shots, to see the familiar golf pros of today, as fresh-faced golfers of yesterday and because…yes, just because.

Birthdays…

My BF wanted a couple of specifc things for his birthday – one of them a set of golf clubs. So, we went out and got a new set of clubs last weekend, since then, he’s taken 7 shots of his previous best. Wow. Fantastic to see the difference, fantastic to try the clubs ( a wee bit heavy for me, but still managed to hit them quite a bit further than my own)… So, at what point do I replace my clubs for something better…? Should I be considering replacing mine?

And, what happens if BF gets so much better than me…will it mean he just gets bored playing with me and our other “not so good” friends who play? think I need to get a few more rounds in – quickly!

On another note, went to a great birthday party last night. It was a great night – fantastic company, wonderful atmosphere and lovely to catch up with many familiar faces. Only slight irritation was around some good friends that weren’t there. It left me feeling a little cold to think that there’s a big issue there, but my gut tells me it’s a much bigger issue than I hoped it would be.

I can’t help feeling a little sad about it.