Nomadic_golfer : May 2021
Par 72, 5893m (Black-6485m), green fee $85, Slope 129
(White) 4 par 3s from 111-177m, 10 par 4s from 276-395m, 4 par 5s from 456 to 474
The Grange boasts 2 18 hole courses firmly entrenched in the top 50 courses in Australia; 1 of only 3 clubs in the land that can boast this. They haven’t rested on their laurels here, with work being done on both courses in recent years. Greg Norman & Ryan VanDerVeen did a lot of work on the (Rymill/ Morcom designed) East course, making wholesale changes, opening it up and adding significant wet / wasteland areas and sand features, some that are very penal but the majority less so. The large bunkers are the enduring memory: very prominent; of many different shapes; and having a strong, strategic presence.
The front nine occupies the Eastern side of the property and with most of Norman’s wetland areas, gives an open but dangerous feel. Most of the fairways have generous landing areas, with the hazards plentiful; clear and obvious. Once you make the turn however, the 10th (390m turning left with trouble on both sides to a green protected by sand and wasteland right, and a drop-off left) and 11th (370m to a right-to-left sloping fairway which goes all the way up to a well designed green with penal bunkers left and helping mounds right) are tough, with tight fairways. Land availability didn’t allow for a redo here and these are two of the toughest tee shots on the property. Together with my 2 favourites holes here: the difficult 200m par 3 12th (to a very long and narrowish green, well protected by bunkers left) and the 14th (370m turning left with a bunker on the inside to carry leaving you the best line into a green with 3 levels), you have the toughest stretch of holes on the course.
For late May, the greens were what I would describe as user-friendly: very smooth; quick without being scary; and not too firm. Couch fairways were excellent and surrounds likewise. Overall, this is a high-class golfing experience. The changes have been very positive and have delivered a less cluttered feel with obvious hazards and challenges, backed by superbly conditioned surfaces.