The famous 5th - second shot to the green
The golf course at New South Wales is built out on a peninsula sticking out into Botany Bay. In the morning the winds are light and most members play at that time. As the day moves along, the winds increase to a nice “steady breeze.” The yardage in Australia is all in metres which meant this Canadian spent most of the round doing quick conversions and helping guage the wind for our group that sounded like this. “The hole is 135 metres, which is 150 yards, OK what do you hit 150 yards, 7 iron good, now go down four clubs because were into the breeze, no seriously, go down four and it will work. They soon learned to trust me and our group began to hit lots of greens. Yes, we played in a "four club" wind, but for me, it was fun. I hit the ball very well including some remarkable knock down shots.
The 13th - what a green site
New South Wales is stunning! It plays through a serious of massive dunes that are largely hidden by native vegitation. These areas are full of snakes and we were warned not to look for balls where the vegiation is thick. While they have the anti-venim for the Browns - they can kill you pretty quick. You have to love these people, they are very happy "despite being in the constant face of death." Australia has the greatest collection of things that will kill you in the world.
The reveted bunkers of the opener - notice the elevated green site
The primary feature of the golf course is the greens set up on the natural plateaus. The surfaces are all excellent rolling contour with lots of fall-offs and false fronts making the effective surface smaller than advertised. The entire surrounds are all short and clipped tight right up to the edge of the riveted bunkers. Everything that hits the surrounds either feeds in or more importantly away if on a downslope. this is the first major lesson for me. The green sites were spectacular and one of the greatest assets of the course. It certainly shows how to place pressure, leave options, and create a setting that is incredibly beautiful since this shows of the land in a spectacular fashion.
The routing is wonderful. A few guys here felt there were too many shots over the top of the crown of a ridge, but I found they were fun shots to hit. All of them had either a big bowl or vegetation line that gave you a full indication of where to go. In fact, I thought the routing was possibly the strongest part of what I enjoyed. It was remarkable that the routing always headed you to a knew section and took you down to the ocean, away and into the rigelines and then back down to a wonderful set of fours with the ocean in full view and back through the ridgelines once again.
The setting was spectacular, one of the best pieces of property that I have seen, the routing matched the setting with enough outstanding holes mixed with enough quirk to be compelling, the green sites and detailing around were consistently fantastic, and the small details like blowouts and open expanses of sand created something unique to golf. All in all, this golf course was one of the very best I have ever seen!