Blog 173 – Riverside

Course 73 (& final) for 2021 – Riverside GC, Launceston

Approach to 340m 9th

Suburban track with a bit of character

Nomadic_golfer : December 2021

Par 72, 6011m, slope 120, $45 green fee

5 par3s 123-171m, 8 par4s 287-390m, 5 par5s 416-524m

This 18 hole course is situated alongside the Tamar River on the Westside of Launceston, with views of the house-clad hills of West Launceston to the South and more hill/ less houses to the North looking at Mowbray across the river. The land is quite flat, with a slight rise up to the South Western boundary that features on holes 9, 10, 12, 13 and 18 the only undulation. Lots of different tree varieties on the course and lots of different sizes.

Fairways are on the narrow side but there is typically another band of 2nd cut before you get to the tree-line, which is quite ‘sticky’ as is the mown rough outside the first tree line. The native rye and Kentucky Bluegrass fairways were in pretty good nick (some strawberry clover has found its way in too) and had been well watered on my visit as a week of hot weather was forecast, while the bentgrass greens had just received a light, fine core. The condition of the greens was interesting, with most greens having significant dry/ dead patches, presumably as a result of a pump breakdown, while the areas that weren’t dry, were excellent. The green surrounds were a little patchy also.

I have an enduring memory of the short par4 2nd; 287m, OB left with a funky, small elevated green tucked left behind sparse trees. Other memorable holes are: 3 (a ripsnorter of a par 4, 390m narrow fairway that pinches in at driving length, prevailing cross breeze pushes drive towards a right fairway bunker, then the hole moves gently left to a flat green with bunkers both sides); 7 (a pretty 331m right to left bender with water across the middle for the last ~50m and more water left to a wide green with bunkers both sides); 8 (might be the toughest par3 in the North, 180m to a shallow green with a bunker that goes 80% of the way across the front of the green), 10 (161m downhill & exposed, parallel to main road, bunker long right, a few trees mid-ships left, must control trajectory and shape); and 15 (a snaking, long 524m par 5 left to right off the tee with OB 20 yards right of fairway, creek crosses fairway at about 270m, hole then snakes back to the left, which means best approach is from the right where there is real jungle from 200m out all the way to a quirky skinny green between 2 bunkers).

Overall, this is what you would expect for $45 in these parts; a well bunkered, nicely conditioned course with some strategy attached, a handful of water hazards and a couple of differentiating quirks that define it’s character (2 & 15) and make you take notice.