Nomadic_golfer : December 2020
Par 66, 4410m, slope 113, green fee $18
9 hole course – 4 par 3s from 105-178m, 4 par 4s from 269-312m, 1 par 5 of 472m
The last round on the quick trip to Melbourne was still in the sandbelt, on Dingley’s well-known 9-holer, Spring Park. Its is a fit-for-purpose, public course that gets a lot of local traffic, where you often see parents taking their kids to introduce them to the game. You see all sorts roaming the fairways here, from bucks parties and yahoos to pennants, junior comps and often the 1991 British Open runner-up, Mike Harwood.
The core of this course (6 holes) was originally part of the Southern Golf Club until the late 1970’s, when Southern built another 6 holes on the south side of Lower Dandenong Rd. These 6 holes on the northern side were remodelled into a 9 hole course, which consists of 4 really interesting par 3s, 4 short par 4s and an excellent par 5, which is the highlight of the course for me (note that I may be a little biased as I lived 60m over the back of the par 5, 6th green for 7 years). This 6th hole (main photo above) of 472m bends right at about 230m, with ti-tree, large trees and OB right and a slight reverse camber on the corner of the fairway. This means if you are going to let the shaft out on your driver, you must shape it left to right. The second shot then is slightly downhill on ground that slopes right to left a little, to a long, narrow green with deep bunkers either side, known for having only a thin layer of sand in them.
The course is very well suited to learning the game; excellent bunkering with a natural sandy base, and the chance to use most clubs in the bag. There are a number of very difficult green complexes as the huge bunkers, mixed with small/ narrow greens make hitting greens paramount (& difficult) and getting up and down from these bunkers very challenging. Fairways are a kikuyu/ couch mix and greens are bentgrass. The condition struggles from time to time, fairways can be patchy but the greens are usually smooth, with full grass coverage, yet kept a little long and slow.
I did have the privilege on this December day of playing 9 holes with some of Dingley’s finest (Messrs Papatsikis, Heller & Webb), and I am much the wiser for that experience.