Blog 146 – Barmera

100m out from the 480m par5 1st

Course 46 for 2021 – Barmera GC, SA

Variety is the spice of this Riverland treat

Nomadic_golfer : October 2021

Par 72, 6012, slope 120, $40 green fee

4 par3s 110-182m, 10 par4s 305-372m, 4 par5s 477-502m

I covered this course in 2020, and returned again in 2021 to this popular club of which I was a member in the 1990’s. One of 4 quality courses in the Riverland region in SA, on the Murray, 2 1/2 hrs NE of Adelaide and probably the toughest scoring course of the 4. Set in red sand, clad with pines, gums and a few saltbushes, and boasting well grassed but firm surfaces, greenkeeper Dave Hastwell and a host of volunteers proudly oversee some of the quickest, firmest, truest greens in Country SA.

The course’s strength is it’s variety. The 4 par 3’s are a really strong group, all run in different directions and look (& play) nothing alike (2, 6 & 17 have all had some remodelling in recent years, including bunkering on 2 & 6, and a really clever water carry on the short 110m 17th that favours the brave when the pin is cut short). The 4’s don’t involve anything longer than the 372m 14th but finding the fairways is paramount on the majority of them, with the standout being the signature 15th hole. It is 340m, left to right, with well placed trees demanding you hit the left side of the fairway to get a shot across a creek-bed full of nasty bushes to a very narrow, built up green with OB left.

There are no snacks amongst the par 5s which again point in different directions and need wind assistance to reach in 2. The pretty 480m left to right 1st looks innocuous off the tee but the wide start narrows as you turn the corner at about 260m and the well bunkered, slick green complex demands that you hit your approach from the fairway (featured in this post’s photos). 13 is probably the best strategic hole on the course, and my favourite; a cracking 491m par 5 with OB all the way down the right and trees all the way down the left. A large pine sticks out at about the 250m mark just to accentuate this. Any attacking needs to come from the brave right side (bail out left and you are chipping back to the fairway) to avoid these trees and access the vary narrow, raised green that is tucked cleverly around to the left.

This is the most progressive club in Country SA, with a lateral thinking, hard working group of members always making improvements on and off the course. The result is a financially strong club and a very interesting & challenging golfing experience.