Nomadic_golfer : January 2021
Par 72, 6100m, green fee $40, Slope 123
4 par 3s from 130-192m, 10 par 4s from 311-403m, 4 par 5s from 419-493m
Forbes is a country town of just under 10k people on the Lachlan River, in the Central West region of NSW. It is 370km WNW of Sydney, just down the road from Parkes. It has some history of gold and bushrangers, with Ben Hall shot dead by police here in 1865.
Lovely setting in natural Aussie bush, very flat terrain, gums and pines but not too thick and plenty of scope for shot-making if you miss the fairway. Not many hazards exist though; there are no bunkers and only a handful of water hazards, and the rating reflects this with ACR 2 below par off the whites. It does have some character however, especially the front 9 which has 3 par 3s and 3 x 5s, and the course overall has a good mix of different length and shaped holes and fairway widths, though the order does get you playing the most interesting stuff early.
Kikuyu fairways, tees and surrounds all in pretty good nick for summer, with soft surrounds making those recoveries from missed fairways easier. Bentgrass greens are medium in size, were in pretty good condition; soft after recent deluge but medium paced, smooth & consistent. There are numerous ‘lines of trees’, obviously planted to accommodate fairways, with pines used primarily for this. The creek that features on a few holes on the front, provides a lovely setting and it was picture perfect at daybreak on a mid-summer’s Sunday morning.
There is some strategic element involved in design here and the par 5 7th is one of my favourite holes on the trip so far – a straight 473m with OB immediately right for the length of the hole, fairway sloping towards the fence, large gums down the left for the bail out but not thick, should always get some sort of ‘knock it forward’ option. The masterstroke is a large, fat gum just off the front left corner of the green (top right photo below) which means any approach must come from the right side of the fairway. It prevents any bail out from the tee going for the green in 2 and also means any layup with your 2nd shot needs to be down the brave right side. The green is a long, narrow upside down saucer. This hole looks magnificent, philosophy is simple and brilliant. It has one of the hardest 1st holes I’ve encountered (on the back of the 188m 1st at Forbes yesterday) – a 192m par 3 with 2 gums leaving about 10m to thread a long iron through (high hybrid a better option) and OB right (1st photo below).
Overall, I really enjoyed the track, it’s pretty with good golf holes, well maintained, but not the hardest test. It’s not not far behind the quality of Tamworth/ Dubbo but probably exceeds them for character
Above: The narrow entry to the long par 3 1st, and approach to the well designed par 5 7th.