Nomadic_golfer : September 2022
Par 73, 6171m, slope 124 $35
4 par3s 135-171m, 9 par4s 297-381m, 5 par5s 446-557m
Laid out between the beach at Rowes Bay and the sprawling Townsville Town Common Conservation Park that houses ~280 bird species, is this well-designed, very Australian looking course that has plenty going for it.
While it is typically quite generous off the tee, there are plenty of shallow-ish bunkers and quite a few natural waterways that come into play, and is framed within a heap of different native flora. There are plenty of gums and just a few of the ubiquitous palms so you don’t necessarily feel like you are in the Tropics the whole time. TiffEagle covers the large greens that had just been cored, so it wasn’t possible to judge them, but they appear quite flat. Fairways are couch and had some areas of superb turf, with large bare patches thrown in, near the end of dry-season.
The course itself is very flat, and long, more courtesy of the 5 par 5s as the 4s aren’t overly long with only 2 over 365m. The par5s do provide some of the highlights; the 557m 4th that heads west with the wetlands bordering the left side for its entirety, straight and open for the first 400m, then turns left into a pocket of trees, is a thing of beauty; the 467m 6th that gives you some options off the tee with a water hazard down the left side which tempts you to cut some off to give you a chance of getting home; the 521m 7th which is straight for the first 450 and moves right between trees off a bunker at the outside of the corner, with a rock-bordered water hazard on the inside with the ground running towards it; and the intriguing 450m 18th which is definitely reachable but has a large waterhole to within about 30m of the green – even if you lay up here, you need to execute well.
A couple of the short par 4s in the 305m 12th, and 297m 15th, which both involve a lot of water, multiple landing areas and a large deal of temptation, also appealed, with their high risk/ reward features.
Overall, this is a good golfing experience: clever design, beautiful surrounds, birds everywhere, and the chance to let the driver rip often, coupled with some not-so-subtle risk reward options.