Nomadic_golfer : August 2020
Par 71, 5883m, slope 125, green fee $38
4 par 3s from 124 – 161m, 11 par 4s from 312 – 395m, 3 par 5s from 451 – 505m
Early August, still in the NSW Northern Rivers region and a Thursday comp at what the locals call “Murbah” was in store for me. The town is only 13km south of the Qld border, with a population of just under 10,000, has a lot of Art Deco style buildings around and sits on the Tweed River.
But we care about golf. Undulating terrain, good drainage and tight fairway grasses saw the ball bouncing along the fairways for the first time in months for me! Fantastic views of Mt Warning and great contrasts from sub-tropical vegetation, through neighbouring paddocks and a school-yard, to mountains in the back-drop. The scenery here is spectacular and varied.
There are medium sized trees of many different varieties, with some fairways heavily protected by trees and some quite sparse and generous. Greens were in excellent condition, quick but not super-fast, yet many are severely sloped so play very quick and require some local knowledge (bent greens, with a degree of grain). Fairways were good, firm despite broader leaf grass and a number of them have heavy side hill slopes, with the 382m 7th the best example of this – you need to land your teeshot in the rough on the right and hope it doesn’t roll off into rough on the left.
Most memorable holes for me are: 5 (505m par 5, tight tee shot, with right half of fairway the best route, then opens up to fairway and green surrounds that slope left to right and feed into a greenside pond on the right with a fairway bunker 80-100m out on the left); 8 (150m from elevated tee to elevated green, set against a back drop of thick vegetation; club selection vital and don’t go right, steep drop-off); and 17 (352m right to left sweeper with water all the way down the left and a prominent tree at 260-270 down the right).
The layout is good, b and there are a lot of different style holes; you could be on 3 or 4 different courses. But I did find it curious that it rated so high in the NSW course rankings in 2019 at 35. I reckon it is a good, solid test of golf but there is a bit of trickery/ quirky stuff involved. I feel a little hypocritical saying this as The Old Course at The National (my home club) has a fair deal of trickery involved also, but its not quite in that league! Condition was excellent and the views of surrounding landscapes are spectacular, but for a pure golf experience, there are richer samples to be taken from some of those ranked 36-55 in my opinion.