Nomadic_golfer : July 2020
Par 72, 6019m, slope 125, green fee $41
4 par 3s from 144 – 192m, 10 par 4s from 312 – 419m, 4 par 5s from 433 – 478m
Upped anchor at the Central Coast and headed north to Old Bar, on the beach. First golfing stop was Tuncurry, a town of 6,000 people, little brother to Forster, and the town is surrounded by water; the Pacific Ocean, Wallis Lake, Wallamba River.
Now, this is an authentic experience for a golf-lover. Its in an out-of-town unpretentious country bush setting that contains a ‘golfer’s golf course’. This is pure golf; there’s no island greens or food & drink trucks, there are no gimmicks here, its real.
There is a mixture of tight and generous fairways, leaning more to the generous side, with a bit of first cut, then penal rough (banksia & tea tree) and plenty of trees (of many varieties) if you do go wide, with thick undergrowth on most holes. Fairway bunkers strategically positioned and definitely not wasted. Greens are bent and of very high quality, medium in size. Fairways are couch and I’m led to believe normally top class. They were a little thin today (sprayed before COVID break and its the middle of winter) but not bad.
The layout is fantastic, with lots of thinking to be done and lots of choices to make on the par 4 tees, of which club to hit, lines to take and shapes to attempt. Par 3’s are long; 160, 200, 190, 150 and the par 5’s give you a chance, whilst providing some risk and reward. It’s par 4s are its strength though, lots of variety and lots of risk/ reward too, with some cracking short 4s.
My favourite holes are: 3 (340m, right to left with copses of pines down the right. You can play anything from a straight 5 iron at the trees to a slinging hook with the driver, then finishes with a small green); 15 (475m par 5, probably the signature hole; undulating fairway, right to left dogleg with fairway bunkers both sides teasing you to take the left one on, surrounded by thick banksia with a greenside left bunker and drop-off on the right). I also really like the green complex on 8 (main photo above, a short par 5, the small green has a step down from right to left, with a bunker on the left and a sandy bunker/ figure-8 waste area from about 40 metres out on the right).
No frills here; underrated at 34 in NSW. And in case you didn’t get my hints, I loved it.