Blog 168 – Freycinet

Course 68 for 2021 – Freycinet, Tas

From behind the par5 8th, Swan River in background

Well thought out and challenging design from the 90’s – kudos to Bill

Nomadic_golfer : December 2021

Par 72, 5920m, slope 129, $25 green fee (9-hole course)

6 par3s 105-180m, 6 par4s 315-387m, 6 par5s 436-505m

This community-run 9 hole course set 5 minutes out of Coles Bay on Tassie’s East Coast, is less than 30 years old. Bill Husband designed it, in a beautiful bush setting on a sandy base in moderately undulating country near Freycinet National Park, where you do get a glimpse of the water in Wineglass Bay from a couple of the high points on the course.

I love the configuration of 3 par3’s, 3 x 4’s and 3 x 5’s and it is challenging, with a 129 slope testament to this. The fairways and tees consist of fescue, native ryes and sportsfield mix, fairways are of average width but through slope and firmness, are tough to hit and bordered by medium sized trees. The small firm greens, with even firmer surrounds, test your short game. There aren’t many bunkers but water comes into play/ view on 5 holes, with some more on the drawing board.

From a condition perspective, fairways were pretty good but are very reliant on seasonal rain, where they only get 600mm a year. Plans are afoot, ex local volunteer Graeme Whitchurch, to build a couple more lakes/ dams for storage and aesthetic, and this will assist with year-round condition. Grass cover on the bentgrass greens was good, a little dry as they were just recovering from a spray for Pythium.

I really enjoyed the design, with the routing of the stretch from 4 to 7 exceptional. These 4 holes look fantastic and really challenge your execution: 4 (375m uphill par4, bending slightly left to a narrow elevated green with bunker left); 5 (beautiful 315m par4 through a saddle shaped fairway with a tweak left in the last 100m around a big gum, turning downhill to a slopey green with bunker bordering the low leftside); 6 (very tricky 155m par 3 played over a discernible valley to a green about the same height as the tee, which is quite shallow and very firm, and drops steeply into wasteland over the back) and 7 (index 1, 387m downhill par 4 sweeping left with jungle on the right and thick trees left also. Tough tee shot and tricky 2nd to a green with surrounds sloping away from you)

Overall, 18 holes around here at a solid 6000m is challenging, with the clever use of slopes and smallish, firm targets placing a premium on accuracy and ultimately your short game. A good all-round game is required to score well here on this course looked after by a small group of forward-thinking volunteers, who’s plans will ensure condition continues to improve

This round of golf provided some counter-evidence to my theory that you play better on golf courses you enjoy. I did really like this layout, but I had the worst scoring round in my ~200 rounds in the last 2 years (hot on the heels of 2 really good rounds). Go figure