Blog 190 – Elderslie

Course 17 for 2022 – Elderslie GC, Tas

10th tee – 315m par4

A natural, golfer’s golf course on it’s own in a valley, surrounded by farms

Nomadic_golfer : February 2022

Par 70, 5255m, slope 119, $20 green fee

4 par3s 110-150m, 12 par4s 259-422m, 2 par5s 448 & 473m

This is Tassie’s answer to Cathedral Lodge in Vic (slightly tongue in cheek, as a 9 hole public course with a $20 green fee versus an exclusive, multi-million dollar facility, but you get the picture), located 40kms north of Hobart, in a farming community in the Southern Midlands. It’s a postcard setting, with the course located in a valley surrounded by hills in all directions. And the course doesn’t let you down either, its a creative and imaginative layout in very good condition (smooth but soft bentgrass greens, natural summer-coloured firm fairways, some fescue surrounds and, firm but well grassed, very flat tees)

The aesthetic in mid-summer was quintessential Aussie, with the fairways (recently oversowed with a fescue/ rye mix) a mix of green and light brown, against those consistent light green putting surfaces, the deep green of the gums, set against a backdrop of 3 foot high dry grass in the neighbouring paddocks.

And the layout is gold. Yeah its short, but it is creative and clever, and uses its assets to the fullest; the creek, farm fences, a dam and some short, steep hills. It’s base is a flat canvas with Anderson’s Creek winding its way around the course and playing a major part in a number of holes. The not-so-subtle use of these short, steep hills to house a green, or a tee, works really well. It gives the course a defining characteristic, and adds some drama to both the aesthetic and the golf challenge. Great examples of this are: the par5 2nd, which starts with an elevated tee against the farm fence and ends on a green perched up on a shelf that rises from the fairway in the last 50 metres with a tree filled hill as the background; the 422m par4 14th gives you some assistance from a steeply elevated 10-20m high teeing ground; and the elevated tee on the 110m 8th provides a birds-eye view and a 20-30m step down to a green with the creek running across the front).

It’s fully irrigated, has medium to large size gums that generally don’t encroach too much (though the short par 4 4th, at 304m is appropriately pretty tight) and has bunkers on a few holes. Post-round, a local asked me my favourite holes and I replied: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8, oh and I quite liked 4. These 7 holes all have some unique asset or landmark and I will remember them in a month’s time; surely that’s good design.

I’ll go with the downhill 260m 3rd as my favourite hole – a classic risk/ reward: driveable; OB left and water right; the landing zone narrowing all the way to the skinny green which has a sheer drop off right and just a few yards of sticky grass to protect you from the creek.

Mind you, without phone reception or a local guide, I did drop a couple of near perfectly struck Callaways in the drink on the 2nd/ 11th (playing both 9’s at once) as I was blissfully unaware that the blind tee shot has the creek crossing the fairway at 210-230m – ouch!

Thanks for the tip to play here Aaron Dunn, this place oozes character. It is a little gem