Nomadic_golfer : November 2020
Par 70, 6008m, slope 124, green fee $60
4 par 3s from 135-187m, 12 par 4s from 276-430m, 2 par 5s from 450-485m
From our Orange camp, the 2nd course I played in Orange was Duntryleague. This is a beautiful property, with the clubhouse and accommodation being a heritage listed former residential mansion, built in the 1800’s.
It is a fantastic golfing experience, a challenging layout and as pretty a course as I have played, perhaps with the exception of Bonville. Apparently, there are over 150 species of trees here and in mid Spring, it’s as pretty as a picture; the bright green of the gleditsia, against the bluey grey Blue Spruce and the brilliant green of the fairways and greens, white sand of the bunkers, finished off by the clear blue sky, was magnificent. And the course is a ripper.
The South African couch fairways are a major talking point; probably rated 7/10 when I was there, up from 2/10 3-4 weeks earlier and likely to be 10/10 for the NSW Amateur in 15 days from my playing. Apparently, they can’t handle the frosts but they planted them in Orange!! Anyhow, they were pretty good this day, the bent greens are generally large and were in really good nick, not as quick at Bathurst’s though.
I really liked the green complexes, great use of bunkers and contouring to encourage different shaped shots into greens (14 and 15 stand-out here, with 14 a very short left to right 280m par 4 where the front bunkers almost meet at the front of a very small and narrow green, with water long. The 380m 15th is the hardest hole on the course, uphill second to a shallow, reverse ‘L-shaped’ green with a big bunker on that inside corner. The never-ending array of trees lining each well-contoured fairway makes for great photos and chip-outs if fairways are missed wide. They have cleared out under the trees, so you can typically advance your ball forwards. Lots of variety here, no 2 holes anything like each other, but could do with some more 5s. There are three par 4s over 400m (and none of these in the 2 hardest indexed holes), but only 2 par 5’s.
Is there a tougher start than a 430m par 4 at 7am, straight into the rising sun on a dew covered track?? Its hard to pick stand-out holes, as there are many with unique assets and I’ve mentioned 1, 14 and 15 (they call the 14th “4/7/11” cos you can just as easily have one or the other of these scores). Just to pick out a couple of the very good par 3s: 4 (199m, with left side of the green blocked out by trees close to the tee ground and a bunker short left); and 17 (169m over a pond with a long, narrow green guarded by 3 bunkers).
Overall, it is an excellent track in a beautiful setting with lots of variety, that provides a solid golf challenge.