Nomadic_golfer : October 2021
Par 70, 5156 (white), slope 120, $40 green fee
5 par3s 134-160m, 10 par4s 239-350m, 3 par5s 418-435m
This is a well documented little track on beautiful coastline 350km SE of Adelaide. The 18 holes is comprised of 3 distinct loops of 6 holes. 1 to 6 were built in the 80’s and 90’s on very undulating and sandy land, close to the sea and are very good, utilising the undulations well, with rolling fairways and steep elevation changes with the omnipresent gorse always waiting to swallow the ball. Fairways are of average width and the design quite imaginative. These holes are relatively short for their par, though the excellent 350m 2nd, moving left around scrub and moving steeply uphill plays much longer than this.
Holes 7 to 12 were only opened in 2019, sea-side also on land even more undulating, well designed by Neil Crafter . These holes use the natural sandhills really well, providing numerous adrenaline-filled tee shots (8,9,10 especially) and a couple of breathtaking views (most notably the 360 degree view on the 9th tee which takes in the length of the spectacular 130-140m par 3 8th across small sandhills, the danger of the par 5 9th and 180 degrees of Southern Ocean behind you).
The theme to this middle stretch is risk and reward as these holes are also short, with 9 (a 420-440m par 5 from a very elevated tee, which bends 90 degrees left at <200m around thick scrub, then straightens to a 2 tiered green with water right) the ultimate adrenaline pumper off the tee, and 10 (the 240m par4 10th) runner-up in that category. 10 is not overly narrow, but hit enough club to make the elevated, well bunkered green and miss on either side by >20m and you probably re-load. The green is also surrounded by lots of mounds and hollows.
These 12 greens are excellent; very firm, true and quite quick.
The last 6 have been there since the 1920’s, on a totally different piece of land; flat and very parklands-esque, up and back with small to medium sized trees and adjacent fairways to assist any wayward drives.
It is a very interesting round of golf, very much exposed to weather conditions as all coastal courses are. There are numerous memorable holes in those first 12, with the large undulating greens, thick low-lying scrub, sandy wasteland and undulating coastal terrain dominating the golfing challenge and the views. Locals advise that the movers and shakers are attempting to obtain more land South of the middle 6, to end up with 18 holes in like terrain. That would complete the puzzle, as the finishing 6 is some way behind the first 12 in quality, and if a future 6 holes was able to address the one gap that currently exists in the seaside 12, with the addition of some length (particularly in the par 4s), the end result would be a high quality golfing experience, worth travelling for. As it stands, it’s well worth the 4 hours if you are in the South-East.