Blog 55 – Byron Bay

Course no. 55, Byron Bay GC, NSW

Tough, beautiful, undulating and underrated.

Nomadic_golfer : August 2020

Par 72, 5960m, slope 131, green fee $56 (Blue 6303m)

4 par 3s from 128 – 170m, 10 par 4s from 321 – 384m, 4 par 5s from 453 – 493m

Belting it ‘round Byron with Beags

It’s the horses birthday and just over an hour from Stony Chute is the ultra-trendy Byron, home to rock stars and holiday haven to many well-heeled.

The Byron golf course is just south of the township and across the road from the beach. Aesthetically, a very attractive course with lots of gums, water and sand contrasting with the rolling fairways. Wintergreen couch is prevalent on fairways and most tees, with 328 Bermuda greens. Greens were quite firm (though receptive) for winter and I am expecting that they would be very firm, and quick in season, with sharp slopes on some making putting a challenge. I really liked the layout, which is quite challenging with the back nine being a little more undulating than the front. There is a good mix of wide versus tight fairways, straight holes and dog-legs and has medium to large greens, with water coming into play on numerous holes. The rough is not overly penal but the course would be very tough for a high-handicapper with the raised greens, tight couch lies and water.

The 7th hole (only index no. 2) is one of the tougher holes in the state – 400m, with sharp right to left bend , water on right, then a steep incline to the green. Favourite holes were: 1 (371m, great scene-setter with very unusual tee-shot, required to carry right hand tree line, avoid OB on right and water on left, then short to mid iron over water to a green that looks diagonally at you from front right to back left); 6 (500m par 5, bending slightly right to left with large gums down both sides and water right, narrowing for 2nd shot with fairway bunker left, then bunkers left and right of green); 10 (370m from elevated tee, steep downhill tee shot to wide fairway with trouble left and mounds right, turning to steep uphill 2nd shot to elevated green); 12 (130m par 3 with tall trees left to very narrow green sloping severely from left to right); 13 (signature hole, 500m with narrow fairway on downhill tee shot, then a large green with lots of possible pin points determining where best to approach the pin from; green is surrounded by water. The approach shot is not for the faint-hearted, whether you have a wedge or 3 wood in your hand); and 15(short 320m par 4 that is almost ‘j’ shaped, right to left with reverse camber on fairway and severely sloping left to right green. Many different options off the tee but aggression is probably best tempered here!

Overall a great test of golf, with spectacular native scenery, I’d play again here. Very underrated at no. 51 in NSW in, I would have 20 spots higher!!