Blog 39 – Moss Vale

Course no. 39, Moss Vale, NSW

Solid test, lots of short par4s but harder than it looks on paper

Nomadic_golfer : June 2020

Par 71, 5805m, slope 128, green fee $40

4 par 3s from 123 – 198m, 11 par 4s from 286 – 402m, 3 par 5s from 466 – 500m

We arrived in the NSW Southern Highlands for some much anticipated change of golf scenery. First up was the old course of Moss Vale, designed by Carnegie Clark, and opened on its current location in 1936.

The course consists of winter rye-grass fairways that were thin, and small bent grass greens that have some slope. Most holes are bunkered and water is in play on a number of holes; you cross the creek 12 times! There are lots of trees; and a number of rows of gums, pines, elms and claret ash that frame lots of winding holes. Condition was ok in mid winter, probably not the best time to assess condition or the ‘prettiness’ that the course is known for when all the trees are flowering. Preferred lies were in play ’through the green’, something I’ve never experienced in SA or Vic but have come across a number of times in country NSW.

The layout has lots of twists and turns and uses that creek and undulations well, but there are 6 par 4’s at 330m or shorter. They typically have narrow fairways and a turn or dogleg on a sloping fairway so aren’t all easy but its a little heavy in the short par 4 department for mine. Overall, this statement is true for the whole course; the small greens and sloping fairways make it harder than the yardage suggests, as does tight driving lines and a number of chutes to deal with from the tees. The last 4 holes are the longest and feel out of place versus the rest of the course (402m par 4, 198, 500, 379).

Most memorable holes for me were: 4 (468m par 5 downhill left to right, flanked by pines with the creek to carry short of green); 6 (155m par 3 slightly downhill over water and a bunker among tall pines); and 18 (379m par 4 right to left with tall pines down both sides, and a creek carry that stretches to the front of the green. A very tough finish).

This course is adored by the locals, and while I enjoyed it, I did prefer Mt Broughton (next review) in this area. A round outside of winter may have me seeing things a little differently but the fundamentals are still the same.