The Growling Frog Golf Course is located in Yan Yean, about 50 mins north of Melbourne, in an undulating grassland valley with large mature gums setting the scene.
The course is generous with large fairways which are guarded by bunkers. Tee shots are often about control and hitting the ‘right’ parts of the course to give yourself a good look at the green. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the fairway – particularly around the front nine – you can be blocked when approaching the greens. The greens are well guarded by soft, deep sand traps which can be difficult to get out of. The greens themselves are a stand-out feature of the course. They are large with obvious breaks and levels. They roll true and give you a great chance to make some putts.
I have played the course before and found the rough challenging to get out of. The course seems to have been made more generous with a short rough, cut back a fair way from the beautiful tight lies on the fairways. This course feels like you can miss and not be severely penalised with a lost ball. This said, if you do miss by a long way you can either take your chances with the snakes or just hit another! There are plenty of well placed water hazards and the wild life is truly spectacular; water birds, kangaroos and growling frogs (as the name suggests) are around for the nature lovers.
This course screams true Australia. Dry rough grasslands with huge twisted gum trees and wild life everywhere. A true treat for the golf enthusiasts and anyone wanting a beautiful walk amongst the native flora and fauna of Australian grasslands.
All-in-all a great layout that is challenging and fun. You are rewarded with power and accuracy. This course asks quite a bit about your game, yet allows you to make choices about how to attack the holes depending on your frame of mind. I won’t be leaving it so long next time. A few of my favourites as usual:
2nd: A 161 meter par three. A longer shot needs to be accurate. A huge bunker waits short left and a water hazard long right. The miss here is short right and you are left with a good look at the green to hopefully get up and down. Shoot for the center of the green and it should be a straight forward two putt for par.
8th: A 506 meter par 5. You need to get the drive away here. Bunkers wait for you on either side of the fairway. If you want a chance of hitting the green for two you need to be down the left hand side of the fairway as a huge gum tree blocks the line in on the right. Lay up or attack the green will be your next decision. If you are laying up continue down the left. Bunkers guard the green short left and mid right. Fairly straight forward putting awaits you on the green.
A great course. Fun, challenging and full of natural beauty. Well worth the trip.
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia