Nomadic_golfer : November 2021
Par 72, 6011m, slope 121, $30 green fee
4 par3s 137-198m, 10 par4s 310-384m, 4 par5s 460-506m
There is a magical, natural look and feel about this golf course, carved out of Mt Burr forest in the early 60s, which gives you that feeling you are the only one on the planet. And everything about the course itself appears big, with no restrictions on land or running out of space. Walking down most fairways, you can’t see any other holes.
Gums, lots of other native bushes and bracken, a greyish consistent sandy base reflected in the bunker quality, and a heap of wildlife, complete the feel. Fairways are cut to only about 20 yards wide but first cut of rough is light for probably another 10 on each side, then another band of trees with light rough underneath. Beyond that, it’s “lost ball in the bracken”!
The fairways are a natural couch, were in pretty good condition and suit the feel of the place. Greens are on the smaller side for a course of this class, in good smooth condition, and moderate pace. The sprinklers were on so it was difficult to judge the firmness and true speed.
I loved the start; from the moment you peek around the corner on the 1st, you are entranced by the thick bracken-fern based scrub which seems most prevalent early, those contoured fairways and the towering trees that frame and threaten on almost every hole. Hard to pick favourite holes but the start is awesome. I can’t go past the first 5 holes, with those most appealing to me being: 1 (the 1st is big; 506m, left to right off the tee, then downhill, snaking back to the left before going slightly uphill to a green tucked further left); 4 (a tough 380m 4 uphill to start, right to left through a chute at around driving distance, then kicking back to the right to a slightly elevated, left bunkered green under trees; and 5 (161m par 3, slightly downhill with rather eerily, no trees surrounding a green which runs away from you and protected by bunkers short on both sides)
I also liked the gettable 460m par 5 10th which has a slightly left to right tee shot to the top of a hill, where you look down to a small green with bunkers on both forward pockets and scrub out wide if that hopeful 3 wood goes astray. Every tee shot gets the adrenaline pumping here; while the targets and landing areas aren’t necessarily that narrow, you can constantly see the penalties that await the big misses.
It is a challenging track; the trees, the small greens, the penal periphery, and three of the right to lefters are really tough: 4 (per above); 11(a beautiful, gently turning 369m that also turns uphill as it turns left, to a green with a drop-off right; and 15 (384 turning left against a reverse camber it’s entire length with a green that still slopes down to the right with a bunker left).
Whilst condition of the course was good, its not those immaculate, pristine surfaces of the big 4 in the city, but it shouldn’t be. It suits the natural fabric of this place, where nothing seems concocted or artificial. For $30 green fees, I don’t think I’m sticking my neck out by saying this track is the best value for money in SA. It certainly is in my top 10 courses in the state. I love a course which reflects it’s natural, surrounding environment and Millicent epitomises this.