Blog 251 – Karumba

Course 20 for 2023 – Karumba GC, Qld

Looking back down the toughest hole at Karumba, the 170m 9th

Nomadic_golfer : May 2023

Par 68, 4612m slope 96 $10

6 par3s 114-169m, 10 par4s 274-299m, 2 par5s 450m

The 8th course of our ‘Outback Swing’, this is ‘Golf in the Gulf’ (of Carpentaria that is). Perched in the fishing capital of Australia, where ‘the outback meets the sea’ is this funny little, short 9 hole course that will host a leg of the Outback Masters this year. It does have grass on its fairways (albeit sparse, clumpy and dry) of a quality whereby a preferred lie rule is adequate to ensure a decent lie and some on its tees, while the greens are unoiled sand-scrapes. They are unable to use oil in the sand due to the chances of it ending up in nearby estuaries.

There are some very nice gums around the place, which are the only real defences of the course, apart from OB areas to the right of 5 of the holes. The position of the gums would be best described as scattered, with 2, 3 & 4 all having trees down the middle of the fairways. The height of these is tough for the lower ball flight, shorter hitters but not so much trouble for the higher flight of someone who can carry the tee shot over 200m – that is a big advantage here.

The start is very unorthodox, the 1st being the only hole I’ve ever played on a soccer/ hockey pitch – a 141m par3 across 2 pitches, with the green tucked in the corner of the fences surrounding the pitches. The course is very short, with all 5 par4s under 300m. That par3 1st and the 170m last over a sizable gum are the 2 toughest pars to achieve, while the 299m 5th which plays slightly left to right and is framed by gums for its entirety and the 292m 7th with OB looming large down the right all the way, offering some risk/ reward, are the best 2 golf holes.

Overall, this is a little bit unique, and a big bit quirky. Its basic golf but the layout is humorous and the OB threats keep that bit of adrenaline flowing.