Course no. 22 – Bairnsdale, Vic
Strategic layout, tough test of golf, really good condition, nice views across the lake – this is right at the pointy end of Victorian country courses
Nomadic_golfer : March 2020
Par 71, 6033m, slope 126 , green fee $38 ($28 on Sundays)
4 par 3s from 134 – 195m, 11 par 4s from 309 – 415m, 3 par 5s from 448 – 503m
Day 4 of golf in Gippsland, in early March and I was at the Bairnsdale Golf Club, early on a Sunday morning. The course is located at Eagle Point, 15km from Bairnsdale, overlooking Lake King (photo below). Bairnsdale itself is a town of 8,000 people (15,000 if you include local urban areas), 280km from Melbourne, and is the commercial centre for the East Gippsland region
This course presents very nice Wintergreen Couch fairways and bent grass greens, coupled with a super, well bunkered layout featuring large gums, that contains heaps of variety and subtle elevation changes. Throw in some challenging length and this course is a standout. For mine, add the views across Lake King and it ranks with Murray Downs as the best Vic country course I’ve played (excluding the Mornington Peninsula). Three par 4s over 400m give it some teeth and I like the finish with really strong holes in 16 (415m par 4) and 17 (195m par 3) followed by a tricky, but reachable par 5 last, to have a crack at finishing on a high.
There are many memorable holes but my favourites were: 13 (a spectacular looking par 5 of 503m, gently snaking its way over the brow and down the hill, with ob on the right and the lake as your horizon for the tee shot. If you attack from the safe left side, you are met with bunkers from about 60m out so it favours the brave who flirt with the fence. The view of the lake opens up the further you progress down the hole (see the 2 top photos below); and 14 (a 350m par 4 that bends right and slopes to the right. It has large trees on the left from about 100m out and a green side bunker on the right. The hole favours the brave tee shot down the right).
I would play this course at any opportunity and it represents top value at $38 green fees, or $28 on Sundays. As a footnote, former Long Island staff member Craig Rimington is the Course Superintendent here.