Blog 232 – Wild & Outback

The 9th green at South Broken Hill Golf Club. Australian golf experiences come in all shapes and sizes

Nomadic_golfer : 3 year stocktake

Some remote experiences

Taking stock – the best of the last 3 years

From 3 years on the road & 220 courses, I’ve listed my views on best courses in the previous 2 pages

This list is something different. It’s all about golf ‘off the beaten track’. Firstly, my favourite Aussie Outback golf experiences, then secondly, some of the more unusual, wild experiences, typically in country areas too. While these pics might be far from what the majority of you associate with great golfing conditions, I reckon they deliver a unique and entertaining golfing experience. These tracks are about fun and camaraderie, and you come across some characters out here.

The black surfaces with the pins in them are oil-soaked, sand scrapes. They are something quite familiar to the bush golfer but not quite so to those who don’t get off the bitumen. Once you become accustomed to them, they are quite a bit easier to negotiate than your quick, grassed greens, but you do have to give those putts a fair thump. There are many different variations on ‘the scrape’, from that heavy, oil-soaked, black sand, to shale, to raw sand. They all require some assimilation and have their own unique characteristics.

If you are an Australian golfer who hasn’t played on scrapes, you’re missing out. Track one down, leave the wedges at home, and you’ll be richer for the experience.

Coober Pedy, SA
An 18 hole course in this famous Opal mining town, the photos are self explanatory. Check the 2nd photo for a critical piece of equipment in these parts. Refer blog 139 for my full review

William Creek, SA
A 4 hole course attached to the iconic pub in this character-only town, population 10, on the Oodnadatta track. These ‘greens’ are just raked red sand. Refer blog 140 for my full review

White Cliffs, NSW
A 9 hole course in this SW NSW Opal mining town, where some of the fairways aren’t too well defined. The local rule which gives you a 2 club-length movement from anywhere, is an excellent tool for avoiding clingy lies from the salt-bushes that are often found in the middle of the ‘fairways’. The second photo might give the best depiction of grinding away in the bush! Refer blog 107 for my full review

Nyngan, NSW
Something a bit more orthodox than the first 3. Flat terrain on the banks of the Bogan River that provides some lovely Aussie views amongst gums and those river flats Refer blog 105 for my full review

Cobar, NSW
Next stop West down the Barrier Highway from Nyngan, this is a similar track. Beautiful big gums are the defining characteristic, while this layout has some raw-sand scrapes and a fair bit of character. Refer blog 106 for my full review

These next beauties are still off the beaten track with some of the more wild or unusual experiences

Jugiong GC, NSW
This home made sand-scrape course just down the track from Gundagai, has a very unique pin/ hole setup (2nd photo), there aren’t many chip-ins here! It also sits in a very picturesque Aussie setting. Refer blog 102 for my full review

Emmaville GC, NSW
My favourite honesty box so far, which I reckon has been in use for a few years. Green fee increases have definitely tracked below inflation. Some quirky features and intriguing holes too. Refer blog 70 for my full review

Deepwater GC, NSW
Nice work Brian. Something about this NTP marker on the back of a coaster appealed to me. Throw in a square scrape (6th photo), and there’s a nice brewery just down the road too btw. Refer blog 68 for my full review

Cooktown GC, Qld
The northern most course on the East Coast is in a wild setting next to the beach. They’ve cyclone-proofed the clubhouse and there are a couple of super risk/ reward holes amongst its 9. Refer blog 211 for my full review

Tipperary GC, Young, NSW
Great signage and a short, quirky layout just outside NSW’s Cherry Capital, with the smallest greens (scrapes) you have ever seen. They absolutely spoil a visitor here.

South Broken Hill GC, NSW
They breed ‘em tough out here. This firm track is almost 6300m long but plays a little shorter … Refer blog 109 for my full review