Blog 41 – Shelly Beach

Course no. 41, Shelly Beach, NSW

Pretty setting on the beach, forgiving off the tee apart from the ball-eating pines

Nomadic_golfer : June 2020

Par 71, 5848m, slope 125, green fee $45

4 par 3s from 115 – 153m, 11 par 4s from 299 – 397m, 3 par 5s from 400 – 526m

Next after the Southern Highlands, was the NSW Central Coast, a busy metropolis, lots of people, some great beaches and a few good golf courses. Oh, and the childhood home of my darling wife. At the express invitation of my new best mate, the skin dog, I played the Sunday morning comp at Shelly Beach.

This course has a fantastic, beachside location, gives some great sea views and has some of the meanest ball-eating pine trees you’ll find on a golf course. Played in June and it rained, not too heavy but constant; the greens pooled making it almost unplayable, and I couldn’t get many decent photos (hence the 3 photos of the 16th hole). Condition of the course was generally good – greens were excellent before the rain, smallish, good surfaces and nice pace, combined with some steep slopes would make for some challenges on a dry day. Preferred lies were in play through the green due to slightly patchy fairways and close rough.

There are lots of straight/ almost straight holes, not too much strategy re preferred tee lines etc but it does have some interesting holes and challenges. The course has some different stages, with beach and low lying bush on a patch of holes, then tall, pine-tree lined fairways on others, its a nice mix. It’s a long start, a par 5 first that narrows in near the green, then 2 long par 4s of 395 and 380, both with skinny greens, so it is a really testing opening. 5 and 6 give some spectacular views, running parallel to the beach, with heather between the fairway and oblivion. 16 is probably the best beach view (photos) and an excellent short par 4 of 300m which drops slightly from the tee, with fairway running out at about 220 metres, then steeply back up to a green set in the side of a hill with beach views down the right.

Beware the ball-eating pines on holes 11 through 15. These holes are lined by pines and melaleucas and do not look as tough off the tee as they actually are; the pines that are cut well off the ground, seem to catch more balls than they let go. The course does feel a little claustrophobic, the prime beach-side site could do with a little more land but it is an enjoyable course to play.

Overall, its a good test of golf with 4 par 4’s over 380m and kikuyu fairways meaning not much run so they play their full length. Whilst the fairways aren’t any wider than average, there is little penalty on many holes for missing the fairway; which makes it enjoyable for all..