Peebles Golf Club’s course record was smashed in style on Sunday afternoon as 16-year-old Darren Howie went round the course in just 61 shots, nine-under par.
Just two days after elder brother Craig had scored a seven-under par 61 at Dalmahoy’s West Course in the Scottish Area Team Championship, Darren beat the previous Peebles record – which had stood for 21 years and held jointly by Colin Fraser and Norman Forsyth – by two shots.
Having parred the first three holes, Howie went on an amazing run of six consecutive threes, starting with a birdie at the fourth hole and finishing the front nine with an eagle three to reach the turn in an incredible 29 shots, six under par.
A further birdie followed at the short par four 13th, and despite finding a bad lie with his tee-shot on the 15th, he squeezed another birdie there to have the course record in sights. Pars came at the 16th and 17th leaving him at eight-under, and while a par on the last would have been good enough to take the course record, he calmly rolled in another birdie putt to be home in 32 and sign up with the magic number of 61.
“I’d been playing solid over the last few weeks with some good scores, including rounds of 5-under and 4-under so I knew I had a good score coming. I managed to get to 8-under par after 15 holes by somehow getting a birdie at the 15th after a bad tee shot, but I wasn’t really thinking about the course record, more thinking about getting a few more birdies to shoot a 59!” said Darren.
“I hit a driver up the right of the 18th and had 200 yards left with a bad lie, but managed to get it down near the green with a 5-iron and get a good up and down for birdie to beat the record.”
Needless to say, Darren topped the leaderboard in Sunday’s stableford competition, amassing 43 points, although with his plus two handicap, his nett score was actually two shots higher with a 63. His handicap is now a career low of plus 2.6, although he still has a bit of work to do to catch big brother Craig, who currently sits at plus 4.8, one of the lowest in Scotland.