Course 32 for 2023 – St George GC, Qld
Approaching the 18th
Nomadic_golfer : August 2023 – St George Golf Club, Queensland, review
Par 70, 5896m slope 99 $10
6 par3s 125-216m, 8 par4s 345-401m, 4 par5s 443-475m
Probably my favourite scrape course of the trip so far. Set on a mildly undulating parcel of bushland across the Ballone River from the township of St George in South Central Qld, this outback track consists of 18 lightly coloured sandscrapes of varying sizes and shapes, watered grass fairways and some dry river beds as hazards.
Fairways are lined with medium to large gums, are typically generous in width but there are a couple of narrow examples to get the blood pumping. The layout sits as par70 with 6 par3s and 4 par5s, and a par 70 with this configuration at 5900m is no Danny Devito. There is a lot of variety in shape, width, length and type of shots required – this is a very good golf course. Having well maintained surrounds that are very firm, coupled with predominantly small sandscrapes makes the course a degree or two easier than the layout suggests – getting up and down is not too onerous once you get the pace of the surfaces here.
I always highlight holes that leave an impresssion, and my card is littered with ticks to signal this here. I’ll call out 2 stretches of holes that appealed to me the most. First up are holes 6 to 8. 6 and 7 are medium length par5s with subtle but effective features. 6 has a lone tree parked in the left side of the fairway that blocks your 2nd so keeping your tee shot down the right gives the open shot in, while 7 bends slightly right to left with dry river beds catching the right miss off a slightly reverse cambered fairway, and finishes with a small but very cool elipse-shaped, domed green. 8 is a feature-packed 198m par3; the river well left and dry river/creek beds everywhere you look.
11 and 12 were my favourites on the back side. 11 is a 390m dogleg right with large gums on the inside corner and glimpses of the river on the long-left side before turning right for your 2nd down a chute lined with gums and upturned edges on the fairway to help you keep your ball in play. 12 is a short par5 that reminds me of Riverside Mildura. It doglegs 90 degrees left around the tightest copse of gums on the course at about 200m, giving you multiple options off the tee. The approach is then to a small scrape on sloping (right to left) ground with gums close on 3 sides and thick stuff long.
An interesting fact here is that two par3’s (the 216m 5th & 198m 8th) occupy no’s 1 and 2 on the stroke index. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. This is on a course with 5 par4s over 380m, and I agree with the rating.
Overall, this Outback course that hosted the first round of this year’s Outback Qld Masters, along with both the Mens and Womens Qld Sandgreen Championship, is a ripper and absolutely worth travelling for. Cheers to President Penny Albeck, for her first class hospitality