Course 3 for 2023 – Ocean Shores CC, NSW
The stunning downhill 380m par4 10th
Nomadic_golfer : January 2023
Par 72, 6002m (White) slope 131, 6345m (Blue) $49
6 par3s 124-173m, 6 par4s 324-381m, 6 par5s 466-528m (White)
This is a picturesque, almost resort-style course, with lots of sand and water, facing away from the beach in Northern NSW. The clubhouse, opening tee shots and closing greens for each 9 are set on the top of the hill, while everything else is played on the flats.
The layout has a very unusual composition of 6 par 3s, 6 x 4s, 6 x 5s, with no two consecutive holes of the same par. There is water on most holes (you need to check each hole’s layout carefully on the tee, as some sneak up on you) with the back nine generally more heavily wooded and aesthetically spectacular. The couch fairways had really good cover, providing nice tight lies and the bent greens were in fine nick, firm and of good pace. The green complexes are big and bold, with a number of shallow greens thrown in, typically with bunkers across the front and rear of greens, testing your distance control. This is accentuated when the wind is up.
The layout is fun; the 6 par 5’s have a lot of variety, with 3 that dangle the carrot and 3 well over 500m, true 3-shotters, at least for us old fellas. The par3s are strong also, particularly the 3 on the back nine, with 12 (see below) a brute.
The character of holes 9-12 impressed me; 9 (a dead straight, uphill 527m par 5 with trees lining both sides of the fairway for the entire length of the hole before the last 100m rises more steeply to the green; a real contrast to the nuances and doglegs of the prior holes and a real honest test of your ability to strike it truly and hit a target), 10 (my favourite hole aesthetically and strategically; 380m left to right from the highest part of the course, which moves downhill from the tee and steps further down at driver length, before turning right to a large green, spectacularly nestled between large, clover-shaped bunkers, set in an ampitheatre of trees); 11 (long par 5 with tight tee shot, then many options for your second, where a large fairway bunker left marks the line of any lay up, which is no snack itself, while water on the line to the shallow green must be carried for the big hitters trying to get home in 2; and 12 (very strong 175m par 3 across water to a shallow green with a false front – club selection is key and a crisp strike is required to hold this green – this is a really tough 3).
Overall, this is a super golf experience, a shot-makers course where moving the ball both ways is a definite advantage. It’s no snack, with plenty of potential card-wrecking holes and a course where a few rounds under your belt is a serious advantage. Oh, and I love the 6 par5, 6 par3 layout.