Nomadic_golfer : January 2021
Par 71, 5819m, green fee $30, Slope 118
5 par 3s from 135-182m, 9 par 4s from 258-387m, 4 par 5s from 468-517m
Parkes is a country town of just over 10k people in the Central West region of NSW. It is 355km WNW of Sydney and famous for The Dish (a radio telescope observatory that was also the base of a famous Australian movie) and running an annual Elvis festival.
The course is remarkably green and lush for this part of the country at this time of year; recent rains and access to water will do that. There are some moderate undulations over the property which are used well, not steep terrain but there are a few uphill approaches where it has a significant impact (eg 18). The bent grass greens are soft and very slow, surface is ok. The tees, fairways and surrounds are all kikuyu and were in good condition; surrounds very soft and thick means definitely no bump & runs here. Trees are a nice number, lots of pines and rows of them, good mix of gums too, especially on the back 9, and a few ironbarks. Pines cut and thinned out below 2 metres high means plenty of escape options, bunkers only on 1 hole (2 on 11) and the layout is generally quite forgiving on errant shots.
The first is a very tough start (first photo below), 188m downhill between 2 gums 50m short ensures you aren’t allowed any freebies early. It’s a nice course without being spectacular or having any real standout features. Holes 10 through 13 are probably the highlight and the prettiest part of the course; gums prevail and you are down on the lowest level of the course. Most memorable for me are the par 5’s, particularly the 2 on the back 9 which are pretty and challenging: 13 is 500m, meanders left with OB left just behind a row of pines all the way down the left side and a big gum on the right about 90m out. If you can’t get past this with your second, you must keep centre/ left of fairway and green set amongst the gums; and 16 is 520m with a slight downhill tee shot and typical lines of pines down both sides, bends right and uphill for the semi-blind second to the crest of a hill from where it bends further right over a little valley to an elevated green sitting in front of a dam.
Overall, this is a well maintained, fun course. It’s not the hardest test but good value out here in the bush and well worth a round. This and Forbes are a bit of a golfing oasis out here.