Blog 215 – Atherton

Course 39 for 2022 – Atherton GC, Qld

Approach to the 313m 13th

Nomadic_golfer : September 2022

Par 70, 5567m, slope 113 $30

4 par3s 120-170m, 12 par4s 273-425m, 2 par5s 449-494m

I found this to be a really entertaining experience on the Tablelands, 1 1/2 hours inland from Cairns. The course is at altitude (750m above sea level) and I found the ball traveling about 1 club further than normal. Combine this with firm fairways and greens and the ball travels distances here.

Its pretty – surrounded by bush and containing a vast range of flora with a range of colours and some very large pines and gums, and it’s fun – the layout has a bit of everything, wide open tee shots mixed with a couple of really tight tee-shots through chutes, 2 par 4s over 415m contrasting 3 drivable par 4s that pose significant risk/reward questions, there is a smattering of bunkers and a good number of water hazards (some dam / pond-like, and some sprawling hazards full of reeds and trees). And there is some quirky stuff in there too, with the smallest greens and tightest fairways on the longest par4s.

Six of the holes (1-5 and 18) are on one side of a road, more or less on the side of a moderate sloping hill, while the other 12 are on a flatter parcel of land, mildly undulating. The golf is fun, but it is challenging and a great place to learn/ hone your game, although it plays quite short. There are lots of opportunities to shape tee shots, while the small, firm and elevated greens put a premium on your iron play and don’t give you many simple up and downs – you need an imagination around the greens.

Fairways are blue couch and were in very good shape, there are some natural broadleaf grasses encroaching and in the rough, while the greens were also some couch variety and were firm & pretty quick.

The most memorable holes for me were: the short par5 2nd, sweeping right to left with a hazard all the way down the right, closing in towards the green; the downhill 425m par4 4th with a green so narrow and tricky for a hole of this length; and the 152m 11th over/ between a couple of skinny tall gums with those wool-clad palms down the right. The 3 drivable par4s in 7,8 & 10 would be very exciting in an Ambrose but there’s not much percentage play in anything other than a layup (esp 8 & 10) in a Stroke round but they do dangle a large carrot.

Overall, this is a very good day’s golf at $30 – real variety and options, solid condition and great views. And go and google ‘yarn-bombing’, there’s a bit of that going on here, on some palms on the 11th and 13th.