Blog 15 – Murray Downs

Course no. 15 – Murray Downs GC, Swan Hill Vic

A beautifully maintained course (especially the greens) that sets the high ground for condition for Aussie country courses. The layout is pretty good too

Nomadic_golfer : February 2020

Par 72, 6053m, slope 129, green fee $50 (many reciprocal clubs)

4 par 3s from 140 – 187m, 10 par 4s from 302 – 387m, 4 par 5s from 443 – 510m

From Mildura, we wandered down with the Murray to Swan Hill and found a magnificent spot in Lake Boga, with our own private sandy beach on the lake (photo below). The Murray Downs course is about 5km from the township of Swan Hill. It is missing the massive gums of the Mildura courses and hence provides less need to thread the needle through chutes. It more than makes up with a challenging layout and sensational conditioning. The Santa Anna fairways are a treat but the highlight is the large, quick and unbelievably true, bent grass greens. They held a Senior Pro-am in the week before my February visit so the course was a treat.

There are numerous water hazards, plenty of red sand bunkering (both fairway and greenside) and lots of native Aussie trees. Highlights of the layout are the “sporty” par 5s in 7, 12 & 16 (the latter two with plenty of water off the tee) and the 3 ripper long par 3s in 2, 5 & 15. 15 was a favourite for me, long iron over water to back pin (main pic). The pick of the par 4s are 8 (350m sweeping left, looks an easy corner to cut but isn’t; you need certainty on line and length here) and 17 (367m with fairway bunkers either side of slight right to left tee shot with water to catch only a very poor second).  There is great variety in the green complexes, ranging from the shallow but ultra-wide 10th, to the narrow super-stepped 9th.

This is an excellent golfing experience on a course regularly rated in the country’s top 100. There’s good accommodation on course and I’ve always found it to be in good condition. Don’t miss this one on your Murray River golf trip!