The golf course laid out over Wenlock Downs in the Nilgiris Hills of South India is a challenge to the golfer as well as a delight to the senses. In over 100 years since the formation of the Ootacamund Gymkhana Club the town has grown into a bustling resort with hotels, shops and amusements for all tastes. Since the 1896 the golf course has served as a quiet place of refuge from the town. All over 7400 feet the course commands magnificent views of lofty mountain ridges and is surrounded by Eucalyptus and Fir forests. And remember, balls fly further and straighter at altitude.There is no gentle opening at Ooty.
Men Yards: 583
Ladies Yards : 463
PAR : 5
Stroke Index: 13
Challenges and Playing Tips for 1st hole
The first hole’s tremendous length ( 583 yards from the back tees) is offset by fast running downhill fairway all the way to the green, but the drive must avoid the road on the right where members may be watching your efforts from the magnificent Clubhouse.
Men Yards: 223
Ladies Yards : 181
Stroke Index: 11
Challenges and Playing Tips for 2nd hole
The second is a rare thing in golf a blind a dog leg par 3! The hilly ground forced the designer ( Colonel Ross Thompson, the Executive Engineer of Nilgiris District) to include several blind shots in this unusual golf course.
Men Yards: 395
Ladies Yards : 351
PAR : 4
Stroke Index: 3
Challenges and Playing Tips for 3rd hole
The third is a gem of hole. The drive must be placed up the right side if you are to have a clear view of the green nestling in a sleep dell. It deserved its stroke index of three and a par here is a considerable achievement.
Men Yards: 367
Ladies Yards : 302
PAR : 4
Stroke Index: 15
Challenges and Playing Tips for 4th hole
The fourth is another to shotter, but if the drive carries the hill then a short iron will the green.
Men Yards: 500
Ladies Yards : 427
PAR : 5
Stroke Index: 9
Challenges and Playing Tips for 5th hole
Now the fifth – another par five but this time of more reasonable proportions. Again, an intimidating tee shot waits with trouble on all sides.
But if the safety of the fairway is found then the green is reachable in two and a birdie is a distinct possibility. Pause to enjoy the views as you walk over the crown of the fairway here and catch your first glimpse of the high mountains beyond.
Men Yards: 432
Ladies Yards : 386
PAR : 4
Stroke Index: 1
Challenges and Playing Tips for 6th hole
The difficult sixth marks the end of these long, cross – country holes.Another uphill drive leaves a log blind approach over the brow to a secluded green. The next few holes offer some respite in terms of distance, but still demand pinpoint accuracy especially when the ground is running fast in the dry season ( December – May).
Men Yards: 171
Ladies Yards : 139
PAR : 3
Stroke Index: 7
Challenges and Playing Tips for 7th hole
The seventh is a stunning but tricky par 3 with a shallow green.
Men Yards: 294
Ladies Yards : 243
PAR : 4
Stroke Index: 17
Challenges and Playing Tips for 8th hole
The eighth offers a good chance of a birdie so long as the drive carries 150 yards of impenetrable rough. Before the half – way but is reached another monstrous par 3 must be survived.
Men Yards: 215
Ladies Yards : 185
PAR : 3
Stroke Index: 5
Challenges and Playing Tips for 9th hole
The ninth is a heroic hole. The target is a small elevated green which falls away on 3 sides and features not only a private valley but also its own small shrine. This hole needs no bunkers to protect it! After this you may well feel you deserve a snack at the hut, easily arranged with the club’s friendly staff. The back nine is certainly, both on the score card and on the legs. The holes become less wild and less long, but still require patience.
Men Yards: 314
Ladies Yards : 253
Stroke Index: 10
Challenges and Playing Tips for 10th hole
The tenth is a great little hole. A long drive may bounce down to the green, but anything other than a perfect line may result in disaster as the Old Mysore Road ( now disused) waits silently to gobble up wayward balls. The prudent thing is to reach the sharply sloping green with two irons.
Men Yards: 212
Ladies Yards : 174
Stroke Index: 14
Challenges and Playing Tips for 11th hole
The eleventh is another lovely secluded par 3, but despite its small pond (the only water hazard on the course) the twelfth is perhaps rather plain.
Men Yards: 327
Ladies Yards : 295
Stroke Index: 18
Challenges and Playing Tips for 12th hole
The twelfth is perhaps rather plain.
Men Yards: 385
Ladies Yards : 337
Stroke Index: 2
Challenges and Playing Tips for 13th hole
The thirteenth offers a temptingly wide fairway and the chance to give it a rip, but again green.
Men Yards: 208
Ladies Yards : 170
Stroke Index: 6
Challenges and Playing Tips for 14th hole
The fourteenth is the last par 3 – with serious trouble short and left.
Men Yards: 308
Ladies Yards : 308
Stroke Index: 12
Challenges and Playing Tips for 15th hole
Now the fifteenth takes you back up the hill to a well defended green. The tee shot here must be fired up a tree-lined corridor to a sloping fairway that makes this hole tougher than its yardage suggests.The last 3 holes form a loop and offer easy walking and some of the best birdie chances on the course.
Men Yards: 576
Ladies Yards : 503
Stroke Index: 8
Challenges and Playing Tips for 16th hole
The sixteenth is another very long par 5 but when the fairways run fast it is quite reachable and not overly penal.
Men Yards: 328
Ladies Yards : 282
Stroke Index: 16
Challenges and Playing Tips for 17th hole
The seventeenth can be driven by the long hitters but perhaps requires some caution with a well placed fairway bunker and another sloping fairway to cope with.
Men Yards: 370
Ladies Yards : 318
Stroke Index: 4
Challenges and Playing Tips for 18th hole
The eighteenth is a good strong finishing hole. The tee shot requires gorse-avoiding accuracy from the tee-just aim straight at the clubhouse! But you cannot compromise too much on distance if you want a view of the target. The second shot, downhill to the most interesting green on the course requires precise distance control or you could be left with a tricky downhill putt before you reach the safety of the club house.