Nomadic_golfer : May 2021
Par 70, 5697m, green fee $35, Slope 128
4 par 3s from 148-186m, 12 par 4s from 291-399m, 2 par 5s of 416 & 481
This resort course, first established in the 1980s amid rolling hills on the coastline, 90km south of Adelaide, near Normanville, resembles a bit of a ghost town. There are heaps of facilities but not many people around and the condition of the course was average. Following a number of ownership changes, a Chinese investor acquired the resort in 2018 and has plans to revitalise the place and bring the course back to good playing order. Investments in irrigation and drainage have been made and improvement is underway.
The large, bent greens have recently been cored and there looked to be a good number of staff working on the course. Kikuyu patches have recently been sprayed and the santa-anna fairways and tees have a good foundation. The course itself is a decent design, winding it’s way around hills, amongst gums, and has some excellent vantage points and views amid the many undulations. There is some interesting routing of holes, a moderate number of well placed bunkers and a few, natural looking hazards. Remodelling of fairways (widening and flattening them) took place under Perth-based architect Michael Coate’s watch in the late 90’s, and all greens were completely rebuilt.
The par 3’s are the highlight for me, with the 4th an absolute ripper, both aesthetically and ‘golfetically’. 150m downhill, with a creek cutting across in front of a very wide but shallow green, protected by 1 long and 1 short bunker; it’s world class and very similar to the famous 12th at Augusta. Of the 4’s, the challenging 390m 2nd is my favourite. It’s a flat tee shot to a widish fairway protected by bunkers staggered on either side, turning uphill for the second to a well protected two tier green. Overhanging trees short left of the green favour an approach from the right side of the fairway.
Overall, this is a good layout on a course that gives you an aerobic test in walking 18 holes, with indications that it may be on it’s way back as a serious golfing destination.