Nomadic_golfer : October 2022
Par 71, 5861m, slope 115 $30
5 par3s 133-194m, 9 par4s 277-379m, 5 par5s 449-510m
To play Karrie’s childhood course in the week of her being inducted into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame felt pretty cool to me. Set within Ayr’s town limits, on mildly undulating terrain, it is an entertaining, and a little quirky, golf course. Quirky with the mango tree lined-fairways (I was a couple weeks early for my round to bear fruit) and the number of super-narrow greens, that have been used very cleverly on holes of appropriate length and shape.
There are plenty of other tree varieties shaping holes at Ayr (including some palms & gums and even a couple of pines), and a real range of sizes, with very large trees on either side of the first fairway at landing distance, setting the scene. There’s ample bunkering, a sprinkling of water, and I reckon its pretty balanced in terms of shot values: its penal on missed fairways in places, not so in others, the greens aren’t overly undulating but with the shapes, sizes and surrounds, some are difficult to hit and most are tricky to get it up and down. There is a mix of larger and smaller greens, highlighted by the narrow/ shallow ones (the diagonally placed, short left to long right, shallow green on the 133m 5th and a similar but oppositely sloping and elevated one on the 510m 14th, my favourite).
The entertainment was consistent, but for me the highlights were that 510m 14th bending left for it’s entirety around three rows of mango trees, and the honest test provided by the last 3 holes:16, 360m dogleg left off a copse of a dozen palms, turning uphill to a difficult green;17, uphill 160m par3 to a back-to-front sloping, shallow green; and 18, 379m moving slightly right to a narrow fairway, then uphill to an elevated green).
It doesn’t play overly long (2 x 379m par4s your longest 2-shotters) and surfaces are firm. Course condition was fine – fairways a mixture of Carpet Grass (NQ Buffalo) and Couch, while the original greens were Tif Dwarf and are being gradually changed to Tif Eagle. The latest couple to get the Tif Eagle were 7 & 10, and they have superb surfaces. I really enjoyed this experience; a well balanced challenge, with a few points of difference.