Blog 255 – Jabiru

Course 24 for 2023 – Jabiru GC, NT

A side shot of the green complex on the par5 6th

Nomadic_golfer : June 2023

Par 72, 5678m slope 113 $15 9 hole course

4 par3s 145-205m, 10 par4s 238-350m, 4 par5s 440-505m

The 12th course of my Outback Swing, Jabiru GC has 9 holes with 2 sets of tees on a course laid out on a decent size parcel of land on the outskirts of town in the world famous Kakadu National Park. Surfaces consist of watered tees, parts of fairways and grass greens but it looks like the greens may go-under during the odd wet season and last year may have been one of these occasions. They were very patchy on my visit.

Covid (and nil visitors for an extended time) almost brought this club to its knees but its fighting hard and making its way back. It is an interesting and well-designed layout, which would have vastly different surrounds throughout the 6 seasons of the top-end year they have up here.

Normally at this time, in the middle of the dry season the aesthetic would be pretty nice and it was still good but impacted by a burn-off performed in recent days, part of the cyclical process in looking after the beautiful bush up here. Fairways are quite generous, with a couple of narrow ones, a first defence layer of trees and typically high dry grass out wider that does not leaving much scope for recovery (you’d probably find more snakes than balls)!

My favourite holes were: 6/15 (440m/ 480m par5 with a wide fairway before your attention is grabbed by big trouble left, right (particularly) and long on the approach to a large 2-tiered green. Any thing more than a mid-iron will have your heart in your mouth); 7/16 (258m/ 238m high risk/ reward par4 with a green tucked right, protected by 10-15m high trees short and long grass long – it doesn’t make much sense to have a crack at it as most balls that could carry those trees would run through into the long grass, but it is a massive temptation, especially from the 238m 7th tee); and 8/17 (300/ 332m par4 with tight right to left fairway, that snakes its way to the green and is protected by thick grass both sides. Its all about the teeshot here, you must hit the fairway before a short iron into a beautiful setting with tropical background and a 2 tiered green).

The 205m par3 last will ensure any good card needs a very solid strike to protect, with a large, but dome-shaped green not making the task any easier.

Overall, Jabiru is an interesting layout, set in super country in a seasonally dynamic climate. The extreme conditions would make caring for a course very tricky here – Jabiru Open on 15/16 July would be huge!!