Blog 122 – The Stirling

Course 22 for 2021 – The Stirling SA

Pretty in autumn, and pretty good par 3s

Nomadic_golfer : May 2021

Par 67, 4652m (white), green fee $32, Slope 116

6 par 3s from 141-174m, 11 par 4s from 207-376m, 1 par 5 of 438m

What an interesting course; a spectacular setting, with golf holes ranging from ordinary to superb. It features a meandering creek, lots of gums, some pines and a small number of deciduous trees that provide the magnificent contrasting reds and oranges at this time of year. If only there was some sun to take some good photos on this day.

It is a very good aerobic challenge right from the start with the steepest uphill fairway you’ve ever seen. I actually like that 207m par4 tight uphill first (it’s the longest 200m you’ve ever played) but the 4s aren’t the course’s strength, though 7, 8 and 18 are good. There are a number of narrow, heavily side-sloping fairways that you just can’t hold. There is a moderate level of average bunkering, while a lovely, meandering creek comes into play on a few holes.

The par 3’s though (and there are 6 of them) are all excellent, challenging but fair amid some spectacular settings. You could write about all 6, but I’ll pick the 6th (155m downhill, gums right, OB left, 2 bunkers short and right to a larger green in a beautiful setting amongst the gums); 11 (150m to a green perched on a ledge, with all the ground between tee and green sloping severely to the right, with steep drop-offs long and right of the green, and big pines down the left); and 13 (140m to a narrower green, large pines down the left and a sheer 20-30m drop off right, bunker short left. The aesthetic is completed by a backdrop of gums). 8 is the standout par 4, 353m turning left around a creek, which runs the length of the hole, with large gums along it. The tee shot looks daunting, with a narrow target that plays wider than it appears as mounds down the right kick the ball back towards the flat fairway. The second is to an elevated green, with sloping mounds short right.

Course condition isn’t the strongpoint here: the bentgrass greens are medium in size and surface is ok; the fairways are a mix of kikuyu and what looks like a rye and are patchy.

Overall, it is an unusual but entertaining golf experience. Be patient after the first few as the quality appears when the par 3s take over later in the round.