Nomadic_golfer : October 2020
Par 72, 6239m, slope 133, green fee $32
4 par 3s from 130-196m, 10 par 4s from 327-388m, 4 par 5s from 457-496m
A road trip to the country music capital of Australia, and yee hah, there is some good golf to be had here. First up is the Bob Harrison designed ‘Longyard’ on the southern outskirts of town. First opened with 9 holes in 1988 and 18 in 1995.
Long course (doesn’t play full length due to altitude), wide fairways, not many trees. Water in play on 9 holes, well bunkered, strategically placed hazards but experience dampened by proliferation of housing lining the holes and some unfinished look around the edges. Links/ resort style feel to it.
Santa-anna fairways and bent greens look to be in decent condition but had big downpour in the lead-up so a bit tricky to tell, same with bunkers. Large resort style green complexes have multiple pin options which can change the way holes play. Gently undulating terrain used well. No real weak holes and the course’s greatest defence is it’s length, though water and sand are aplenty but water typically only catches very poor shots here. The Harrison influence is ever present with lines taking on the side of the fairway with trouble, typically rewarded with the best lines into the green.
A really good set of par 3’s here with 2 of them over 190m, and the short 130m 16th being a full water carry but my pick of them is the 160m 6th with water for the first 135 (only really in play with front pin), bunkers on both sides and gums leaning in from the left encouraging a draw. Favourite par 4 was the 363m 2nd, with dead tree in the middle of fairway at about 200m, water on right from 240 to about 270 and green protected by short left bunker, favouring the brave right line off the tee.
The 5s play shorter than their yardage due to the altitude with the 496m 17th the pick of them; slightly uphill drive with bunkers right needing a 240m carry with slight turn right back downhill then uphill again to the green with heavy bunkering left and water right, finishing about 40 metres short of the green. The finish is strong, that water carry 16th, long par 5 17th and tough 385m par 4 18th with water and fairway bunkers to avoid.
Not the sort of course you find many of in the bush, so a change-up and very enjoyable.