Blog 174 – Longford

Course 1 for 2022 – Longford GC, Tas

Thumbs up on the 18th

Lovely vibe, wide open and hedge-bound

Nomadic_golfer : January 2022

Par 71, 6004m, slope 111, $20 green fee

3 par3s 147-172m, 13 par4s 283-429m, 2 par5s 481&492m

10 kms south of the historic/ farming town of Longford, 20km south of Launceston is this different, really solid parklands golf course that has a wide-open and minimalist feel about it. It’s different because the perimeter of the course is surrounded by a 5m high hedge (cute and UK-ish), its different because it has 11 holes, and it’s different because the 18 hole round only has 3 par3’s and 2 x 5s. It’s solid as a test of golf, with some length (starts 410m par4, 491 par5, 380m par4 & also has a 429m par4) coupled with smallish, sloping greens and its solid from a condition point of view; solid native rye fairways (that had seen a fair bit of water) and bentgrass greens.

Don’t get caught up on that wide-open feel though, those generous fairways of the long, opening holes are balanced by a couple of reverse cambers on shorter 4s mid-round that require some precision. It is just short of its bigger Launceston brothers on conditioning with tees and green surrounds a little patchy, and a couple of other 1 per-centers. The wide fairways are accompanied by short rough, so missing them is not too penal as trees aren’t too prolific, while 4 of the 11 holes have some greenside bunkers.

Apart from the length of the opening holes, the surprises are a couple of the green complexes; 3 & 4 (per below) & 8 (a diagonally-facing platform, hour-glass shaped, steeply sloping with bunker right) are the standouts while the narrow greens on the shorter par 4s in 5 and 7 both have character and show some design nous.

The 2 standout holes for me are: 3 (380, straight off the tee, trees overhang left side so best approach is from the centre or right of fairway, and as you move over the brow you will smile at the scene of a long, narrow green with bunker on the high right side, and a pond full of lilypads long and another one left); and 4 (170m par 3, with those ponds from the 3rd providing aesthetic appeal only, to a firm, hour-glass shaped, 2-tiered green, bunker left and mound right, framed by the course hedge with a 90m degree corner within 20m of the back left side).

Overall, this is really good value – you have to be happy with ‘different’ and ‘solid’ for $20. And I reckon it’s the best 11 hole course I’ve ever played, you’ll enjoy a day here.

And the configuration is that you play the first 7 holes twice, with 8, 9, 17, 18 being played only once.