Course no. 50, Ballina, NSW
“Raise the bat, young man” they said, “for you are half way there”
Nomadic_golfer : July 2020
Par 72, 6050m, slope 121, green fee $45
5 par 3s from 108 – 152m, 10 par 4s from 294 – 398, 4 par 5s from 437 – 486m
Next up, in mid July and the 2nd track in the NSW Northern Rivers region, Ballina.
Known as ‘The Garden Course’, this popular and busy golf course is a pretty good parklands track with occasional views of the sea. It is well bunkered, with water on a couple of holes. There are lots of trees but lots of opportunities for recovery with little dense stuff. 32/ Tiff Eagle greens are excellent, medium to large in size, very smooth and medium paced in the winter, with the majority being quite flat. Course condition is definitely above average for mid-winter. Fairways are broad-leaf, kikuyu based and in decent condition.
The layout is good; the par 3s are short, sporting and pretty, and the par 5’s have some risk/ reward. Interestingly the only 3 long par 4s are in succession, 14-16, all circa 400m with 14 & 15 having tough sloping fairways and greens to boot. These are challenging holes, the 3 hardest on the course, for mine and referred to by locals as Ballina’s ‘Amen corner’. My favourite holes were: 4 (486m par 5, bending to the left requiring a hook off the tee, followed by a water carry that finishes 40m from the green if you want to have a crack in 2); 6 (464m par 5, straight off the tee, then bends hard right near the green meaning tee shot needs to be left side, followed by a strong hard cut to reach in 2); and 16 (the 3rd of these tough par 4’s bends right to left from an elevated tee around uncharacteristically thick rough and a hazard before a slightly uphill second to a large green set at the top of a hill and framed on the left with large trees, including a fig tree).
Overall, this is a pretty nice place, aesthetically pleasing and enough from a golfing perspective to give you a bit of a buzz.