Course 46 for 2022 – Bowen GC, Qld
Short par 3 9th green, set against the Coral Coast
Nomadic_golfer : October 2022
Par 70, 5733m, slope 114 $20 9 holes
6 par3s 135-213m, 8 par4s 279-424m, 4 par5s 428-502m
Course 222 on my travels and I think Richie would be happy here, close to the beige coloured sands on Queens Beach. The 9-hole course occupies a very small parcel of land right on Queens Bay, immediately north of the township of Bowen and houses a flat, open 9-holer that doesn’t look much on first sweep past. It does appear quite bland, without much recourse for a wayward shot but as you get in to the 9 holes here, there is a bit more than initially meets the eye.
The condition of the greens, which I think are TifDwarf, was the highlight for me. They were very good – firm and exceptionally smooth, while the couch fairways were pretty good (& firm) too. It does have some length (starting with a 425m par4 with the Beach OB right, and backs that up with a 213m par3 at the 3rd) and some good, honest golf holes, plus a little pearler of a one-shotter to finish with.
You can let it rip off most tees here, there’s nothing thick unless you go really wide, while sparsely populated trees typically result in you being able to fashion some sort of recovery from a missed fairway. There are a few bunkers, some swales and mounds around the greens, but I suspect the course’s biggest defence is from the elements when that wind blows straight off the Coral Sea.
The 380m dogleg right 4th hole, with probably the tightest fairway, requiring your 2nd to be played across the entry road to a super 2-tiered green nestled back in a pocket of trees and surrounded by mounds, was the highlight of the layout for me. The aesthetic peak is the 135m 9th, facing the sea, over the top of some trees and bushes to a narrow green with a bunker left. It would be a ripper when the wind is up. The 170m 7th to a tiered green with bunkers and drop-offs is a serious golf hole also.
This is very easy-walking golf on flat, firm surfaces. Overall, its a different sort of track, as the proximity to the sea initially gets you excited about the aesthetics that may lay ahead but only really move into second gear. Once you come to grips with this though, you’d better knuckle down as there are some quality golf shots required to get you around here in the score you would normally expect of yourself, while you benefit from the user-friendly playing surfaces.