Blog 184 – Kingston Beach

Course 11 for 2022 – Kingston Beach GC, Hobart, Tas

From the 315m 2nd tee, looking down across Brown’s River and the mouth of the Derwent

Pretty as a picture, and pretty good golf

Nomadic_golfer : January 2022

Par 71, 6082m, slope 127, $60 green fee

5 par3s 125-207m, 9 par4s 315-415m, 4 par5s 475-510m

This is a much-loved and well-patronised course on the beach about 20 minutes south of Hobart. The club has been home to 2 of Tassie’s great golfing families in the Nettlefolds and Toogoods. Robert Nettlefold founded the club in the 1920s, and Mick Morcom’s name appears alongside Robert’s at the top of the course credits. Mick’s son Vern also made some changes here, in 1956.

I would define it as a parklands course, right by the sea, or at least right by the mouth of the Derwent!! The clubhouse and tee for the par 3 1st are perched 1/2 way up a hill and have great views over Halfmoon Bay. The 320m 2nd keeps going down that hill, with scrub left and Brown’s River crossing just behind the green, giving similar views, but from closer-up. You then play 15 holes down at sea level on quite flat terrain, among medium to large gums, the odd pine and a few water hazards, alongside the meandering Brown’s River, before ‘the inclinator’ pulls you back up to play the par3 18th at clubhouse level, with Mt Wellington as the background.

Reknown for its condition, the bentgrass greens were in pretty good nick, with good cover. Staff didn’t have them at pace in mid summer with the Tasmanian Open just around the corner (24-27 Feb). Fairways (mixed grasses, some rye, something a bit broader-leafed) were in pretty good nick, again cover was good but had received plenty of water and were a little soft – I’m sure they’ll be cherry-ripe come Feb 24.

There are a few holes where the gums are in close together, a few tighter fairways, and a couple of water hazards (be sure you know where the sneaky hazard is for your 2nd on the par5 9th) but generally, penalties aren’t too harsh for missing fairways. The course gives you a chance, it’s not too long and it’s not too penal. The green complexes are of moderate size, quite flat and less than half the holes would have bunkers.

The stretch in the middle of the back 9 was the highlight for me: 12 (a devilish little 310m with water all the way down the left, cutting in front of a well-bunkered green, and trees right. One must know the shape of their tee shot in the breeze on 12); 13 (no. 1 on the index, ~400m toward the beach, to a snaking fairway with water both sides, it then bends a little left to a larger bunker-less green set over the left-side water); & 16 (a very pretty 155m par 3 playing away from the beach to a well bunkered and contoured green that has a large pine short left which can interfere with a few pin positions).

Overall, this is a very neat course, with a great outlook that really gives you no excuses for not playing well. This is the type of course that encourages people to play golf – it is attractive and fun. The course’s defences when the wind is not blowing are not patently obvious – I’ll be watching the Tas Open with interest in a few weeks time.

And I had the pleasure of meeting and playing this round with Nath and Timmy from @golf_dads101; a couple of young Taswegians on a mission to raise awareness for mens’ mental health. A great cause and a great couple of fellas. Follow them on instagram

Nath (left) and Timmy (right) from Golf Dads with the ol’ fart in the middle