Blog 75 – Coffs Harbour

Course 75, Coffs Harbour, NSW

An attractive place, and my timing was perfect

Photo: 17th green approach

Nomadic_golfer : October 2020

Par 71, 5838m, slope 131, green fee $50 (Lakes course, 1-18 of 27 hole course)

4 par 3s from 138-171m, 11 par 4s from 307-382m, 3 par 5s from 452-461m

The 2nd course from our Mylestom base was Coffs Harbour itself. Well known for its beaches and the ‘big banana’ monument, Coffs is a busy town on NSW’s mid north coast, population over 70k people. The golf course consists of 27 holes. I played 1-18 (known as ‘The Lakes’) and was lucky enough to play it early on a Sunday morning, just minutes before their week-long Festival of Golf commenced.

Aesthetically, it is very good: lots of water around; pines and gums; and well bunkered. The greens had been rolled, cut low and played very fast due to the sloping surfaces and thin cover, though were a little patchy. The couch fairways were pretty good too. I’m assuming this condition was as good as it gets for the track and condition was a 7.5/10 for mine. Must be close to NSW’s top 60 courses, but was not in latest.

There are a few water carries that would scare the high handicapper, for eg the 138m 3rd is all water carry and the water extends to the left of the green also. The layout of the first 9 is ok, not spectacular, with 8 (a short par 5 452m where the fairway narrows at driving length and there is water on both sides of the green (the left water ends 30m short of the green so is the natural bail out, but worst side to attack from due to shape of green) and 9 (360m par 4 gentle left to right with downhill tee shot, then steep uphill to tiered green) the pick of them.

10-18 is more interesting from a layout viewpoint, all quite strong holes. 10 is my favourite hole on the course; an excellent par 4 of 371 with water down the left to about the 230m mark depending on tee position, the hole then turns left and has thick trees down the right including some protruding close to the green which makes left the best side to approach the green from; ie, flirt with the water), then 17 gives you a good chance to reach in 2, left to right par 5 of 461 with fairway sloping left to right which gives you more yards, to a green with bunkers on both sides and requiring a creek 30 metres short of the green to be carried. Some guts will reward you late in the round!

Overall, probably looks a little better from outside than in, but I reckon it’s underrated in national and state rankings. It’s a good test of golf: undulating; plenty of trouble to negotiate and choices to make; and green complexes that test your touch and reading abilities.