Course 26 for 2021 – The Grange SA (West)
Grand old parklands layout with recent Clayton touch
The 1st tee in last light
Nomadic_golfer : May 2021
Par 72, 5935m (Black-6341m), green fee $85, Slope 126
(White) 4 par 3s from 120-150m, 10 par 4s from 294-392m, 4 par 5s from 445 to 467
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, with work being done on both of them in recent years. The West’s revamp has been of an ‘opening up’ nature too. Mike Clayton has done a great job, and the end result is generous, undulating fairways with the best lines to approach the greens requiring you to go down the riskier side of the fairway, which invariably involves sandy wasteland if you err on the wide side.
It is a very consistent track, with no real weak holes. The often publicised finish of 4 par 4s still has that ‘well-treed’ feel and leaves you with a stern challenge to make 4 pars and finish off a good round. My favourite on the front side is the 7th, a straight, short par 4, bunkers all the way down the left, with wasteland and trees down the right of a firm, narrow fairway. Lots of options here and they all involve a straight teeshot! I really like the appearance of the 9th green complex too, bunkers left and grassy ampitheatre-creating mounds right.
The back 9 feels the tougher to me. The dogleg left 11th is challenging, with the premium on a straight tee-shot negotiating a bunker on the inside corner and no room to shape a fade, but the fairway kicks you back left in the required direction, to a well protected green. The difficulty of the two par 3s on the back 9 belies their yardages, as narrow, exposed greens penalise misses with deep bunkers and firm surfaces. Of the 4s to finish, 16 is the beast: long; uphill; and into the prevailing wind, while 17 really catches the eye with grassy mounds and encroaching trees surrounding the fairway as it narrows for the approach after a wide landing area for the drive.
Condition was as per the East, very nice, with greens that were quick without being scary and not too firm. Couch fairways were excellent and surrounds likewise. You must be wary of the sandy wasteland which I love though; you can get some horrid lies in there!
Overall, this has a really different feel from the East, possessing more trees but isn’t necessarily tighter. It is well-bunkered without having the monsters of The East and probably has the more interesting and varied routing of holes. Playing both courses on a warm, cloudless Autumn day and seeing both the sunrise and the sunset over this property was a memorable experience.