Course 30 for 2023 – Barcaldine GC, Qld
The ‘green’ complex at the 356m par4 2nd
Nomadic_golfer : August 2023 – Barcaldine Golf Club, Queensland, review
Par 73, 6004m slope 106 $10
4 par3s 118-200m, 9 par4s 305-371m, 5 par5s 448-480m
Barcaldine possesses an 18 hole course on flat terrain within the town limits of this Qld outback town famous for the shearers’ strikes early in the 20th century. Another outback track with black sand-scrapes, it has 18 flat, watered tees of decent size and ‘firmness’ (unusual), fairways of sand/ loose pale-red dirt, 6 or 7 water hazards (small slithers and 1 large dam), sandy mounds as hazards (common in these parts), and tree-lined fairways of moderate width.
They do like to surround a green on 3 sides with trees, as evidenced by all my early morning photos of scrapes in shade. They go one extra step with the par 3s – with 3 of the 4 requiring you to hit over trees on the direct line to the green. They are tougher than yardages suggest.
Whilst there is not that much strategy involved in design (it is mostly a case of hitting between the trees and avoiding these hazards), some good strategic thinking has gone into the placement of those sandy mounds, blocking direct routes to the greens where soft options have been taken off the tee. The 340m 17th is a great example, with trouble left off the tee and a paddock out to the right, the mound right of the green blocks that approach.
The 446m par5 18th feels a bit different to the rest of the course but is a good opportunity for a strong finish. It would provide many birdies and many ‘others’ with the tee pointing at that dam about 220m away, so you need to work one right-to-left. Not too far left though, as the racetrack looms. Get a good drive away and it opens right up.
Overall, in keeping with my outback experience, Barcaldine has it’s own differentiating make-up accompanying the sand-scrapes that makes it unique. And it may well win the prize for the best tees in the outback.