Nomadic_golfer : November 2022
Par 70, 5772m, slope 126 $26
6 par3s 127-164m, 8 par4s 324-419m, 4 par5s 440-510m
This is a very solid track, set within the city limits of this flood-battered town in the Northern Rivers area of NSW. The terrain is quite undulating, with some really nice elevation changes, while the defining and unique characteristic is what I would describe as ‘mogul-like’ fairways. They are constantly rolling with hundreds of small, mogul-type lumps and bumps along the fairways. It’s challenging, interesting and different. You certainly get a lot of (slight) uphill, downhill and sidehill lies.
There is a good mixture of tight and more generous fairways, that are lined by a variety of trees; gums, wattle, pepper, even a few palms, but there are a number of large gums which play important strategic roles on a handful of holes. Those undulations also make this a really good walk, particularly the back 9, which is the stronger and more interesting side. The stretch from 11 to 13 was most memorable for me with the elevation changes and strategic trees to the fore; 11 (short 125m par 3 with massive tree short left and big drop off on right side of a narrow green dictating a slight draw or dead straight tee shot), 12 (375m from a high elevated tee, bending hard left to right on a sloping left to right fairway with the green dropping off to the right and another large tree short left requiring some negotiation); and 13 (my favourite, a 160m par3 playing slightly downhill to a green looking diagonally at you from short left to long right with banks built up to the left, a large bunker & drop-offs right, capped off with a backdrop of Jacaranda trees and shrub/ landscape area.
Whilst the layout is varied and interesting, there aren’t many risk/ reward questions posed or tees with multiple shot options. Whilst the par5s are scoring chances, the risk is just in missing tight fairways rather than striking trouble taking gambles with risky second shots or short-cuts off the tee. The course is a good mix of ups and downs and left to right, right to left etc, with 6 par 3’s and 4 par 5’s bringing that total yardage down. The 5800m off the backs for par 70 isn’t that short and the elevation changes mean you don’t take the yardages as your only measuring stick here.
Springtime condition was pretty good. Nicely covered kikuyu fairways with areas of natural buffalo, while the 328 Bermuda greens were in really good nick. Those green complexes are medium-sized, moderately bunkered with quite a few mounds and grassy hollows/ banks, while a number have quite severe slopes. Some of that buffalo creeping around the greens makes chipping tough.
Overall, this is top value for $26: aesthetically pleasing, varied and challenging enough and something different with the moguls..