Blog 162 – Rosebery

Wow, from the clubhouse at 7.30am

Course 62 for 2021 – Rosebery, Tas

Spectacular hilly and forest-bound setting, clever layout

Nomadic_golfer : November 2021

Par 70, 5650m, slope 119, $10 green fee (9 hole course)

4 par3s 152-185m, 10 par4s 270-381m, 4 par5s 385-505m

This was an unexpected, exhilarating and raw golfing experience. You won’t find this in any best courses list but its a must play in my book if you have the objectivity to look past the greens surfaces and understand the rationale used by whoever designed these 9 holes, while taking in magnificent 360 degree views.

Rosebery is a very wet area in Tasmania’s western wilderness, and this causes big issues with grasses. They have trouble growing greens as grass stays wet permanently without much sun and warmth, until late Spring and they also have difficulty getting on the fairway mower for long periods of time. With those roadblocks, they do a good job to present what they do – the fairways are ok but the greens struggle. Greens are McKenzie Bentgrass and according to Duncan (1 of the handful of volunteers who look after the course) they continue to improve.

But this place is all about a) the aesthetic of the surrounding cool-climate rainforest, the large trees on the property and the massive elevation changes both on the course and as far as the eye can see; b) the layout which is well thought out and interesting without being gimmicky, rewarding the well executed brave lines, penalising those poor executions; and c) the exercise; walk 18 holes here and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Three days after playing here for the first time, I can still remember every hole in some detail; that tells me the design is interesting, varied and has holes with distinguishable features. I could write about each hole because there is something positive or interestingly quirky about every hole.

My favourites are: 1 (152m from elevated tee downhill across a gully with a lake well short of the green and a stream which runs up the right); 3 (335m, fairway sloping towards a road on the left side, with a stream crossing the fairway about 240m from the tee, and a couple of large trees short right of the green. You have to take on the dangerous left side to get a clear shot in); 4 (185m from an elevated tee cut into the side of a hill, with pines protecting the rightside of the green which sits on land that slopes down to the left, ie. if you bail out left, it runs further away from the narrow green, which has small built up mounds on both sides. It’s a well earned 3 here); and 9 (505m par5 down the steep hill, jungle left and row of pines right, then drops severely and diagonally right at about 260m, before a water hazard right awaits a push/ cut 2nd which is a fair chance from a severe downhill lie, before rising back for the last 50m to an elevated green).

Apologies to the difficult 381m 2nd, downhill 6th with hazard left, and uphill 7th with a tight chute to drive through and shape left, while 5 and 8 would be in the top 5 of steepest uphill holes I’ve played. I’m tipping they leave these 2 fairways a bit woolly, otherwise it’d run back to your feet!

For $10, this is a major contender for the best value golf in the country