Course 24 for 2021 – Thaxted Park SA
Excellent green surfaces, lots of ups and downs
Nomadic_golfer : May 2021
Par 72, 5763m, green fee $40, Slope 121
4 par 3s from 100-170m, 10 par 4s from 235-413m, 4 par 5s from 449 to 503
This course in Adelaide’s southern growth corridor is set on undulating land & boasts excellent bentgrass greens as its strength. All greens break toward the sea and can be very slick downhill. The course is well bunkered and has a number of water hazards that feature quite prominently.
The undulations are ever present, with a good mix of up, down and side hill holes. Routing has changed a bit since I last played here 30 years ago, due to constriction of land, while trees have been culled to protect those that remain due to water availability. This has helped playability. The greens are the conditioning highlight as the fairways and surrounds are a bit patchy, with kikuyu prominent.
There are a number of short 4s on this course, with 5 of them under 320m, and with plenty of run on a couple of the downhill par5s, there are a lot of birdie opportunities out there. The most memorable holes for me are 2 of the shortest: the 268m par 4 13th, which might be the signature hole, with the tee shot over a dam that has a creek running from it up the left side and then cutting across in front of a shallow green with a steep hill behind; and the attention capturing 100m par 3 15th, downhill to a green set down in a little ampitheatre with a stream short, bunker at the back and large gums at either side at the front.
All the par 5s give you a chance, while the strongest 4s are the 3 that head back to the clubhouse in 9, 16 & 18. The 9th is the best of these, 400m downhill, so plays shorter, bending right with trees right and bunkers left to a slightly elevated green with mounds and a lone tree on the right protecting the green.
Overall, its an interesting layout, lots of subtle and not so subtle undulations, with excellent greens the highlight. There is a bit of local knowledge required here, particularly reading those slopes on the greens, and a few blind shots but it is an enjoyable track to play. And a big thank you to the Kangarilla legend in Hoover @GlenGodfrey for showing me around.