Course no. 11 – Loxton, SA
A lovely Aussie setting of large gums and red mallee sand, wrapped around a really solid layout is what you get at Loxton, once ranked in Australia’s Top 100 courses.
Nomadic_golfer : February 2020
Par 72, 6128m, slope 124, green fee $40
4 par 3s from 136 – 197m, 10 par 4s from 308 – 399m, 5 par 5s from 421 – 445m
Loxton is a course I have played many times, from Riverland Golf Week in the early 80’s to pennants and Riverland Opens while living at Barmera in the 90’s. It’s a very good country track, with massive gums prevalent on most holes complemented by rows of Aleppo Pines, placing a premium on straight driving. The customary red mallee sand which is present on all of The Riverland’s 5 courses poses a hazard out in the rough, as well as being the make-up of the bunker ensemble.
Condition in early Feb was pretty good, the winter rye fairways had very thick grass cover to protect from the mallee heat and the bent grass greens were slowish mid-week but looked to have good, consistent grass.
The layout has good variation of length and shape of hole and has some mild undulation which is used well on the picturesque 2nd (136m downhill between trees to a narrow green). The finish to the front 9 is tough, you won’t get many more difficult driving holes than 8 (365m, with an uphill tee shot to a fairway guarded by those Aleppo Pines which is both narrow and shallow as the fairway bends right and downhill from the crest before turning back uphill to the large sloping green). 9 is also a tough driving hole, sweeping hard right to left, you need to hit a draw with the driver to give yourself a chance on this 390m par 4. The 500m par 5 6th is a favourite of mine, starting off with an innocent looking wide opening to the fairway, it has ob right and then narrows a lot for the second as the ob fence closes in and those large pines frame the left side. The job is not done until you walk off the 18th here and there are two more tough 4’s in 16 and 17 to conquer before that first beer. 16 is 375m, straight but with a narrow fairway and a green set just to the right of the fairway’s path with a back to front slope, while 17 at 400m, with a sharp dogleg right means you have nowhere to hide here, a good drive is essential to make par.
Overall, an above average track in good condition and one of 5 courses of similar quality in The Riverland area, with this and Barmera the pick of the bunch. Next up I return there, to Barmera, the home of The Pelicans and my old home track.