Course 19 for 2023 – Richmond GC, Qld
The par4 3rd on the left, with bits of 2-8 on the right
Nomadic_golfer : May 2023
Par 72, 5498m slope 105 $10
4 par3s 112-165m, 10 par4s 275-346m, 4 par5s 420-460m
The 7th course of our ‘Outback Swing’, Richmond is a 9 hole course in this town of 600 people on the Flinders Highway, halfway between Hughenden and Julia Creek in dinosaur country, Qld’s NW. Set to host a weekend of the Qld Outback Masters this year, the course is set down on river overflow/ flats, and is prone to regular flooding. The adjacent, elevated caravan park gets super views across the 1st and 9th fairways, which by coincidence are the only 2 watered fairways on the course!
The greens are black oil-soaked sand-scrapes and tees are a mixture of small watered square blocks and plain dirt. The other 7 fairways are the standard outback issue of dirt and stones with ‘tee up through the green’ applying! Like most outback tracks it has some interesting features and quirks, with the course set on 3 distinct parcels of land.
Holes 1 and 9 are set in the open are on one parcel, on one side of a ridge with clumpy, grassed fairways. Holes 2 & 4-8 appear to be cut out of a tree-rich, dry river bed, with bare fairways and scattered trees within the playing arena, and the par4 3rd is cut in one of these areas on its own – it has a totally bare fairway and a really cool vibe. Its actually a cool design too, with a sparse row of trees to the right of the fairway, met with a 2nd ‘faux-fairway’ further right which provides an alternative route.
The course is another in this part of Qld with a super-low course rating. It is shorter than the other similarly rated tracks and has 2 gettable par5s in the 9, but the offset is that the fairways are generally not quite as wide as Longreach/ Winton/ Hughenden, and there is a bit of trouble in the way of trees and scrub about. Oh and the odd, ball-stealing crow -I lost 3 to the buggers!
The 320m 6th might be my favourite on the course, with trees tight to the left of the tee pushing you to steer one down the right side, which blocks you out from a clear path to the green, which is tucked right, in the middle of a close-knit crescent of trees.
Overall, this is, as many along this track are: pretty wild, weird and wonderful. The bush outback aesthetic here is gold, and the 2 deeper ‘arenas’ housing holes 2-8 have a super, unique feel, like you are cut-off from the world. They are a hardy bunch that play golf out here and the beer is the coldest (relatively) in the country.
And a mention must be made of the inaugural drone shots below, predominantly of that super par4 3rd hole, which my co-driver must take full credit for. It is some very cool subject matter for the inaugural flight and shoot.