Blog 9 – Victor Harbor

Course no. 9 – Victor Harbor, SA

Is there a better outlook from a first tee anywhere in the world? The great Gary Player said it was the best opening hole in Australian golf and the best view from a first tee that he’d seen.

Always immaculately presented and possessing what I reckon is as good a front nine layout as you’ll find anywhere, this golf course is an old classic.

Nomadic_golfer : January 2020

Par 72, 5962m, slope 129, green fee $35

4 par 3s from 134 – 192m, 10 par 4s from 298 – 381m, 4 par 5s from 427 – 487m

A trip down memory lane as I had a midweek game with my dad at the course where I first got the bug and was a member for over 10 years in the 80’s & 90’s. The first person we run into is my great lifelong mate and long-time Course Superintendent Michael Bohnsack. As usual, Mike has the course looking and playing a treat, with very good cover in the rye/ couch fairways and the bent/ poa greens receptive and true. This is a driver’s course; there are a number of tight driving holes and thick wooded areas that make it imperative to hit the fairways. Soft and well manicured green surrounds and consistent bunkers make chipping relatively easy so tee shots are more important than your approaches here.

The front nine is world class and a real challenge. It’s full of memorable holes and views, and there is not a weak hole in it. The iconic, award winning 405m 1st , played from a tee set way above the rest of the course (take another look at that main pic) is the first thing you think of when you mention this place but that whole front 9 is special. The 150m 3rd, needing a full carry over a crater to a green surrounded by ti-tree is spectacular, while the 464m par 5 6th winds its way up a gradual incline and then back down to the right to a long thin green set in a pocket of poplars on the Inman River and a water hazard guarding the left side. 8 and 9 are tough par 4s where you must hit the fairway, both around 380m long. 8 turns hard right around a hazard to a green set in a hill with water on the right. 9 also shapes left to right and offers many options off the tee as you contemplate laying up to a gap between gums at around 190m on the corner of the dogleg or you take on carrying these trees and the poplars that line the right side from that corner.

The back nine is solid, but lacks the flair of the front, and while each are good holes on their own, the finish of 4 short par 4’s is not as strong as the rest of the course. As I have returned over the years, the trees have grown and what were previously more open areas have also been filled with trees (left on 5 for eg) resulting in one of the tighter courses you will play.

A game at Victor is always a challenge and full of great views and scenery; it was a real pleasure to revisit and play 18 holes with the old left handed fella (still swinging sweetly, pictured on the 2nd tee, below right).