Course 72 for 2021 – Mowbray GC, Launceston
165m par3 8th
Shotmaker’s layout, firm and bouncy Summer fairways
Nomadic_golfer : December 2021
Par 71, 6016m, slope 117, $40 green fee
3 par3s 126-174m, 13 par4s 315-414m, 2 par5s 491-501m
Punter’s home track is a really interesting layout on Launceston’s North-side, with an abundance of pines throughout the course, a few gums and the odd paperbark. Nothing too thick or ‘forest-ish’ though.
There are only 2 par 5s and 3 par 3s on this really cool piece of moderately undulating land. It lends itself to several subtle cross-sloped fairways, and a couple of neat, friendly-cambered doglegs to encourage the aggressor, with firm bouncing summer conditions accentuating that.
It is sporting excellent conditioned bentgrass greens with good pace, though there are quite a few on the back 9 that are just circle-shaped without much variation. The native rye fairways have really dried out post-Xmas and provide plenty of bounce and run, and there are a few that have continuous ‘mogul-like’ lumps and bumps. Surrounds and greens have had plenty of water, so the combination of hard bouncing fairways, soft surrounds and really true greens makes it the ideal time for scoring (sans the 40 kph ‘breeze’).
There are multiple opportunities for a shotmaker to gain a shot on the field here with a number of doglegs at the ~200m mark, meaning a shaped driver/ 3 wood will get around corners and result in a much shorter stick in your hand than a straight hybrid/ long iron to the corner. Add those bouncy conditions and 6 par 4’s under 330m and there are a lot of driver + short-pitch birdie opportunities if you get this right. Four par4’s over 380m would balance this out in softer conditions, but they are currently playing much shorter than yardages suggest.
Clever architecture has resulted in a number of really interesting holes utilising the undulations (5, 6, 7, 12, 14) with my favourite piece of design the 7th green complex. Its a straight par 4 of over 400m with the fairway sloping down to the left. As such, the approach would typically be a mid-iron to hybrid and the ground approaching the green funnels anything short and right down towards the green. However, if you get too aggressive or turn one over there is a sheer drop off left, and long, protected only by one narrow, shallow bunker. The water hazards in the flat section provide some contrast, beauty and a couple of rippers in the par5 3rd and par3 8th, while the right to left 352m 17th with water down the right and fairway bunkers on the inside, is one which needs commitment to a definitive plan! See pics below
Overall, I found this an intriguing track. The hard, bouncy fairways dictate your method of approach (think Tiger at Hoylake in 2006) and provide many options, I’m tipping it would play very differently in July! The true putting surfaces are relatively flat and medium-paced, and perfect for scoring.