I got the opportunity to catch up with some friends today at Whittlesea Golf Club. I have not played there for a while now and it was great to have another look at this interesting and demanding layout.
The layout is fairly long with a handful of longer par fours, interesting par threes and shorter par fives. There’s lots of water in play and you can choose to take it on if your’re brave. It makes scoring much easier if you take this approach and just a little treacherous! This keeps things interesting and the scoring ticking over if you have the length to reach the par fives.
As summer has just ended I was expecting the course to be quite dry. I know that the course has watering for the greens and tees however the fairways only get rainfall. To my surprise the course has held up well over summer. Of course there were dry patches and some very thin lies, but all in all there were enough green patches around to place your ball on (card span) using preferred lies.
I think the biggest surprise was the condition of the tees and greens. They presented well with a good cover and rolled quite well (though a little slower and softer than I was used too). I noticed around the course that the very few bunkers they have are being filled in and mounded which I think is a really smart move – much easier to maintain, cheap, look good and don’t cause a heart ache for the unsuspecting golfer! The other thing I noticed is that there were some growing Kikuyu patches starting to spread around the fairways. I’m pretty sure they had been planted years ago and are still providing cover. Slowly but surely these patches will thatch together and give good cover. It would be great to see them actively planting more of these patches to speed up the process.
I have always enjoyed the layout and my time at Whittlesea Golf Course. These are some of my favourite holes…
The 5th: At 341 meters it’s a mid length par four which requires a good drive as the fairway curves left to right and up a hill. Position is key to scoring well here, too short and you’re blocked out, too long and you’re in the bushes. Once you find yourself in the fairway with a look at the green you will need to negotiate an uphill approach to a double tier green that slopes from back to front and right to left. Find yourself on the wrong tier and a three putt is a real possibility.
The 8th: A short par three at 127 meters. You will need to keep the ball left here as the right side of the hole slopes severely down and the next shot will be very difficult. You do have room to the left here and you can use the bank (side of the hill) to roll the ball onto the green. A fairly straight forward green but being below the flag will help a lot.
The 13th: My favourite on the course. A longer par four at 373 with water in play all the way down the right side. Bomb it long here and you’ll have a chance to score. The approach difficulty really depends on the drive. Leave it short and you’ll have to carry water and avoid more water to the right of the green. Hit it long and you’ll have a much eaiser short iron into the two tier green. Put the ball anywhere towards the centre of the green and a two putt here should be a piece of cake!
I hope to return to Whittlesea Golf Club soon for another game and to check out their fantastic looking clubrooms. Well worth a visit.
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia