May 30, 2014
The last 24 hours of my Australia trip was spent in Sydney with friends, particularly my good friend Al (who is also my regional coordinator in Sydney). We met with a few others for dinner at the fabulous Altitude Restaurant. The view of the opera house and bridge was simply stunning.
After a restful night sleep, I packed my bags for my evening flight to Singapore. Al and I had agreed to meet at the clubhouse. He doesn't play but agreed to walk the course with me during the round so we could chat about both business and personal stuff. It was good to catch up sicne we only get to see each other once or twice a year. Later, I would be very appreciative of him agreeing to accompany me.
|The entrance gate sign to New South Wales G.C.|
Even though my assigned playing partners had left a bad experience on my round, I certainly wasn't going to let it spoil my time. I had paid good, hard earned money for the round, and I used the extra time to take more photos and chat with Al. Speaking of photos, Al took some photos of me playing and I will include some of them on this blog. It is a rare treat that I get photos of me playing holes so I was more than excited to receive them. Now back to the golf.
New South Wales appears numerous times throughout The World's 500 Greatest Golf Holes and receives quite a few accolades. Among them are:
- Hole 6 is listed as one of the top 100 holes in the world.
- Hole 5 is listed as one of the best 18 holes in Australasia and Japan.
- Hole 6 is listed as one of the best 18 holes in Australasia and Japan.
- Hole 6 is listed as one of the 18 most strategic holes in the world.
- Hole 6 is listed as one of the 18 best ocean holes in the world.
- Hole 6 is listed as one of the best 18 holes in Australasia and Japan.
- Hole 6 is listed as one of Alister MacKenzie's best 18 holes on the planet.
|A view of the front of the clubhouse at New South Wales.|
|A close up of the club seal above the front door.|
After warming up at the range, and then meeting Al, I waited for my playing partners to join me on the first tee. The first hole is a tough opening hole.
|A look down the fairway from the 1st tee box.|
|A closer look down the fairway with focus on the green.|
|That's me trying to figure out exactly where I should land my drive.|
|A look into the first green from 130 yards out.|
|A look into the green from the 2nd tee box.|
Hole three is a 374 yard par 4. It was the most difficult on the course to me. You have to drive through a very narrow opening to a blind landing area that is downhill and over the corner of a dog-leg left. If you hit a long, straight drive here, you are likely to end up in trees at the bottom of the hill.
|A look down the fairway from the 3rd tee box.|
Once you find the fairway, the approach shot is to a narrow, elevated green guarded by three deep bunkers. The wind picked up on this hole making it an even more difficult hole to navigate.
|A look down the 3rd fairway from the turn in the dogleg.|
|A look up to the green from 80 yards out.|
|A look at the 3rd green.|
|The view to the left when standing on the 3rd green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 4th tee box.|
|A look into the 4th green from 50 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 5th tee box.|
As mentioned above, when you arrive at the top of the hill, the view is stunning.
|A close look into the 5th green.|
|A wide shot of the 5th green.|
The bunkers cause havoc here. The wind started to pick up when we teed off on the 5th, and one of my playing partners ended up in the far left side bunker below. It took him three shots to get out successfully.
|A look into the 5th green from 30 yards out.|
The 168 yard par 3 sixth hole is another world class view. You come off the fifth green, turn right, and find the 6th tee box on a peninsula of sorts. The wind was blowing left to right and had picked up to approximately 30 mph by the time we reached the tee box, making for an even more difficult shot.
|A look into the green from the 6th tee box.|
|One of my favorite photos to date of me getting ready to hit towards the 6th green.|
|A closer look into the 6th green.|
|A look down the fairway from the 7th tee box.|
|A look into the 7th green from 75 yards out.|
|That's me trying to find my way out of the bunker at the 7th.|
Heading back towards the club house, the 541 yard par 5 eighth provides a fairly open tee shot setting up another blind second shot over the crest of a hill.
|A look down the fairway from the 8th tee box.|
|A look into the 8th green from 150 yards out.|
The ninth hole is a 365 yard par 4 that plays downhill from an elevated tee. There is a bank on the right of the fairway, and if the tee shot is pushed behind it to the right, it will leave a blind entry to the green. The ideal tee shot is to straight or slightly left to give a full view of the green.
|A look down the fairway from the 9th tee box.|
|A view of the clubhouse from the 9th fairway, looking across the 18th fairway.|
|A look into the 9th green from 100 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 10th tee box.|
Hole #11 is a 159 yard par 3. The downhill approach plays to a green that slopes back to front with a small ridge in the rough and is surrounded by 4 deep bunkers and a hollow. With a wind that blows in towards you, this can be a demanding, difficult shot.
|A look into the green from the 11th tee box.|
Hole #12 is a 507 yard par 5. Running back alongside hole number eight, you have to drive to the top or over the hill. From there you have the choice to go for the green in 2 or lay up and punch a 3rd shot in.
|A look down the fairway from the 12th tee box.|
The green angles to the left so you want to consider playing to the right side for the best opportunity at a good score. There is also a large bunker in front of the green you want to avoid if at all possible.
|A look into the 12th green from 60 yards out.|
Hole #13 is a 404 yard par 4. It is a dog-leg left so you want to aim for the left corner near the shrubbery.
|A look down the fairway from the 13th tee box.|
|A look into the 13th green from 150 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|One of my favorite photos of me playing, Al took this shot as I was preparing to hit my drive.|
|A look into the 14th green from 150 yards out.|
|The view while putting is simply stunning. No whales, but still an awesome view.|
The 15th hole is a par 4 that plays to 398 yards is ranked as the hardest hole on the course's stroke index. The uphill tee shot through a narrow chute needs to go about 240 yards to reach the top of the hill and so you an see the green on your next shot. Add the wind that gusts directly into your face and this shot is almost impossible for anyone except the longest driver.
|A look down the fairway from the 15th tee box.|
|A look into the 15th green from 60 yards out.|
|A look into the 15th green from behind the green and up the hill just a bit.|
The 16th hole is a 431 yard par 4 that is a demanding dog-leg left. Despite its narrowness, you want to aim for the corner to the right, otherwise your approach has to carry the trees at the bend and find a small, hidden green in a valley.
|A look down the fairway from the 16th tee box.|
|A look into the 16th green from 100 yards out.|
The 17th hole is a 142 yard par 3. To the right is a steep down hill slope. If you hit to that side, you could be as far away as 100 yards once the ball comes to rest. The green is long and narrow and falls away sharply on both sides, but left is definitely the lesser of two evils. The target is very small, and into a strong wind, you will need to be very precise. The "bailout" spot for this hole into the wind is to punch a low shot short of the green.
|A look into the green from the 17th tee box.|
The 18th hole is a 535 yard par 5.
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box.|
|A look towards the green from 300 yards out.|
|A look into the green from 120 yards out.|
|You get a great view of the clubhouse from the 18th green.|