Entries Tagged as 'Victoria'

Kew Golf Club

A drizzly Melbourne day, greens recently renovated, and I chose to play at Kew Golf Course.  It was just a week since the renovation, and the greens were slow, with a little bit of sand evident on most green. Despite this they putted truly. All the fairways were well grassed and the bunkers were all well maintained. On a fine day it would be a great place to play golf. In the conditions on the day it was still a good place to play golf.

One view of the approach to the 15th green

An easy par 5 if you don't go for the green with your second.

The view from the elevated club house reveals a little bit of water, but most of it does not come into play for well it shots.  Tree lined fairways, well placed bunkers, and well shaped par 4’s and 5’s place a premium on the tee shot.  A trio of interesting holes complete this course – a reachable par 5, the longest par 4, and then a 165 metre par three up the hill towards the club house.

 Without the usual warm up, and using borrowed clubs again, the start was positive – my 3 wood of the tee split the fairway and set up my approach.  An overshot approach, a short chip and missed putt set the tone for the next few holes!  When the driving went off I started to hit the greens. Twelve stableford points for the front nine was not encouraging. With 20 putts, three missed fairways, and only 3 greens in regulation a good score was out of the question.  It looked like this round was not going to be counted for my handicap as I was 8 over at the turn.

A delightful finishing hole.

18th green and clubhouse at Kew

A regulation par on 10 was followed by a shocking tee shot on 11. It was not looking good.  Seven holes later I finished the back nine with 22 points – one under the card – after missing a 1.5 metre birdie putt on 18. What changed?  Just my swing thought – and the result was all six fairways hit and eight greens in regulation. Two one putt greens completed the story.  I signed for 34 points – and was happy to do so.

I look forward to playing Kew when their greens are running at their normal speed.


FIR: 78%  GIR: 61%  Putts: 36  PPGinReg: 1.9

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Other commitments had me in Melbourne for the weekend, and time was made for a round of golf.  Fortunately reciprocal rights made access easy, and with borrowed clubs I made may way to Greenacres GC at Kew.

First time on the course, strange clubs…and a magnificent day for golf. 

Greenacres Golf Club.

Greenacres 1stLocated on the floodplain of the Yarra River the clubhouse is at the highest point of the course and offers views over the first and ninth. Most of the holes are on the flat,  with only six of them working up or around the hill. 

With a few dams on the course, the river as a course boundary,  and plenty of large gum trees on the course there are enough challenges for the good golfer.  While short by todays standards (three par 5’s with maximum length of 460 metres)  many of the greems are well bunkered, and require thoughtful and confident approaches. The greens held well and putted truly. 

Trees are the major hazard on the course, but with no rough of consequence under the trees errant shots are not punished unduly.  My one concern was the spike scuffs and spike marks that appeared around the hole.  This seems to be the result of the nature of the greens, and lack of care by a few golfers ahead of us.  Despite this the greens putted truly and their speed was consistent across all 18 holes.

With good company and the course in good nick it was a delightful way to spend a few hours in Melbourne.

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Freeway Golf

Played at a well used public course yesterday afternoon – Freeway Golf.  While the course is in very good condition after some major renovations in recent years it was a frustrating afternoon. I was reminded of the benefits of  membership many times during the afternoon.

The course is centrally located just off the Eastern Freeway and about 15 minutes from the centre of the city. It is a short par 69 with one par 5, the first. Fairways are fairly tight and most greens are well bunkered and putted quite truly.  While some renovations are still in progress the sooner they can eliminate a couple of the older upturned saucer greens the better, and the contrast between old and new is quite significant.  As a course it is well worth the $15 it cost to play. As an experience try to tee off first thing in the morning.

Why does the idea of membership appeal? A four and a half hour round, waiting on almost every tee is not my idea of a pleasant round of golf.  Add the problem of waiting for stray players to move off your fairway, a group on carts including a long hitter in a hurry, and many occasional golfers or newbies and some of the joy goes from the game. Patience is called for on public courses.

The player problems aside it was a pleasant mid-week walk with good company.  Afterwards the pro said it was the busiest day he has known on the course, which has also experienced a great increase in traffic since early December 2009.

I came across this video. I wonder if some of those in the groups around me had actually tried to take this on board. It certainly looked like it from some of the swings I saw.

On Home Ground

Whittlesea Golf Course 12th Green

Whittlesea Golf Course 12th Green

Twelve months of golf around Australia and the handicap crept out slowly.  Even when I was playing well there were occasions when playing holes never seen before meant a well struck shot ended in a difficult spot.

On Saturday I was back on familiar turf at Whittlesea Golf Club. 2009 has not been a good one for the club. Black Sunday fires came up to the edge of the course, and for two months the course was closed. Mid-May the club hosue was torched, and they are now in the process of negotiating with insurers and planning to rebuild.  On course things are not too bad. The greens were in fairly good condition and holding, and the fairways passable. Despite six or more years of drought grass coverage on fairways continues to improve slowly.

Now to the golf…

It was my best competition round for over twelve months, but ended with a double bogey 5 on the par 3 18th. The results was still 5 under my handciap against par, and three under the CCR (Competition Course Rating).

Three poor tee shots probably cost me three shots.  They all went left. The cause  – tension. On each of those shots I was thinking about the importance of a good tee shot to set up a good scoring opportunity rather than just putting the ball in a good position. The hands and arms tightened, and the ball was pulled or hooked left.

Even after a good round there are things to be learned.  There is more work to be done on the mental game and my pre-shot routine.

So am I frustrated with a double bogey finish? You bet I am – but winning the A Grade and dropping my handicap by .6 means that it hurts very little.