Blog 108 – Broken Hill

Course 8 for 2021, Broken Hill, NSW

An oasis in the mining capital

Nomadic_golfer : February 2021

Par 72, 6175m, green fee $40, Slope 132

4 par 3s from 124-185m, 10 par 4s from 339-393m, 4 par 5s from 446-502m

The town of Broken Hill needs no introduction to any Aussie. It’s the quintessential outback town in the far west of NSW, runs on SA time. The world’s largest miner was founded in the region.

The course possesses an excellent layout, its almost an oasis amongst all the dry red sand. Recent drought has made maintaining first class conditioning a challenge, but on this trip, in the middle of summer, it was fine. Santa-anna fairways were patchy, need preferred lie but there is plenty of grass and they are on their way back to full cover. Bentgrass greens had just been cored so I can’t rate them, though kikuyu was creeping across 3 or 4 of the back 9’s greens. The majority of the tees are santa-anna but there are a couple of kikuyu, while some of the green surrounds on the back 9 are kikuyu.

The aesthetic is magnificent; particularly in the early morning; the deep red sand against the bright green of the fairways and greens, darker green of the trees and clear blue skies. The ground is quite flat and while there are no large hills per se, there is excellent use of subtle undulations; a number of what look like dry creek beds used as hazards bordering and cutting across fairways. The flora consists primarily of medium sized gums, with the odd saltbush and mulga. It’s moderately bunkered, most holes have greenside bunkers and there is the odd one of the fairway variety.

The layout is well strategically thought out but execution lacks another 20 feet of height in the trees in a lot of places; trees are placed to prevent you taking certain lines but you can just go over the top of them (good examples are 6 & 7). The front nine is the stronger and was in the better nick. It has length, beauty and testing golf holes. My favourites were: 4 (393m, bends left at ~240m with a dry creek bed down the left that cuts diagonally across the fairway from 220-240, to a diagonally placed green with rocky outcrops in the background); 6 (350m straight-away with green tucked right behind two larger trees, would be trickier if those trees were taller); and 8 (185m par 3, my favourite & beautiful, downhill with trees guarding the right and bunkers the left, to a slightly elevated green still well below the tee and surrounded by gums), while my favourite on the back 9 was 12 (382m left to right with a hazard on the inside corner and blocking trees down the right on the approach meaning the tee shot down the left gives clearest approach line but longer second).

Overall, a really good golf experience that needs some thinking and tests your game, complete with spectacular scenery out here in the sticks.