The Challenge of Golf at the Ashgrove Golf Course

Every club golfer usually loves their home course for a number of reasons. They know the nuances of the fairways and greens. They know how best to attack each fairway and green to enable them to score well. Going to a new course often offers greater challenges than is usually the case at their home course. For me as a “hacker”, if I can score under one hundred on a new course, then I would be well pleased because as yet I have not achieved that 100 or less on a score card.

But let me get back to golf at my home course of Ashgrove in Brisbane’s inner west in the shadow of Mt Coot-tha.

Here is what I like about the course.

  • It is nestled amount the hills west of the city.
  • It has a large creek following through the course that can offer a challenge to the newcomer and hacker alike.
  • There are four large ponds/small lakes that come into play for the unwary.
  • Each fairway is different.
  • Each green is a different challenge. Your putt will often veer towards the watercourses or valleys on the course. Few greens are not without a slope in one or more directions.
  • The same could be said of each bunker on the course. Some are quite deep while others guard the green a fair distance away creating a long difficult bunker shot to the green especially for the average golfer.
  • All the fairways are tree lined and, in some cases sloped to one side meaning that the golfer needs to aim at placement rather than distance.
  • There are elevated tees, which when playing off the back blue marker change the dynamics of each hole, often making the hole seem longer and more difficult.
  • There are six fairways with doglegs, both right and left in direction often obscuring the green for the next shot leaving the golfer with a decision on where to place his or her first and second shots.
  • The easiest of the dogleg holes is the second. It curves left at about 200 metres from the back markers. The first shot is up hill over a fair way which slopes left. Any shot too far left either runs onto the third fairway or into a position where large trees force a lay-up shot or a dangerous shot over large trees to the green. Any tee shot to the top of the rise allows an easy shot to large rather flat green.
  • Five of these doglegs are on the back nine holes of the course.

    • The eleventh hole doglegs to the right from a narrow opening in front of the tee. If your shot is short, it will end up down a slope with no view of the fairway for your next shot. Although the shot is blind, the fairway ahead is wide but requires a shot of no more than 150 metres to be safe before your third shot down a hill to a large green guarded on the left and right by large bunkers. The right side bunker is very deep.
    • The twelfth fairway is narrow with tree lined creek on its left and a steep tree lined slope on its right. The dogleg goes around the creek beginning around 200 metres from the back tee. If you fail to reach the corner of the dogleg, your shot to the green is blind as large trees grow along the creek around the bend of the dogleg preventing a direct shot at the green. The green is large but guarded by bunkers on the left front, left side and along the entire right side of the green. If you over hit the green, your ball will lie well below the green down towards the creek.
    • The 14th requires a long uphill first shot, best positioned towards the right side of the fairway. Any shot left will have trees as well as a steep slope preventing the golfer from going directly at the green. Your next shot has to contend with the dogleg and must stay towards its right side as any shot too far left with roll down a very steep slope making your next shot very difficult. The green has two tiers and is guarded on the left front by a large deep bunker.
    • The 15th tee is high above the dogleg which is about 200 metres from the back markers. Most golfers can reach the corner to allow a shot at a large sloped green. However any shot to the right will bring the creek into play or a large bunker on the right corner of the green. This is the easiest of all the holes with doglegs on the back nine holes.
    • Finally, the 16th hole requires a shot over a hill onto an unseen fairway. Any shot left will slide down the hill, making the second shot much longer and over or through some trees. Golfers need to aim just left of a large tree above the corner of the dogleg to land in the best position for a long uphill second shot to an elevated green protected at the front by two bunkers, one of which is very deep.

  • The club house is situated on a rise overlooking the first and 14th tees as well as the 8th and 18th greens with a large balcony where play can be watched.

  • The 8th hole has recently been reshaped to make it a greater challenge. The creek crosses the fair way at an angle, like the diagonal of a square. The position of the tee determines the golfer’s first shot. Hugh trees on the right of the fairway from the tee to the creek can force the golfer to “lay up” or take a risk to fly over the trees and land on the fairway over the creek within a short iron shot of the green. To make the challenge even greater, the large sloped green is guarded by two very deep front bunkers. This hole is regarded as a one of the signature hole of the course.

  • The third hole, a par three, is yet another signature hole. Most of the fairway is dominated by a lake. There are large trees down the right side of the lake; a steep slope with large trees some 10 metres on the left of the lake where a golfer can bail out and a ten metre landing area between front of the green and the edge of the lake. Many average golfers aim at a paperbark tree in the shape of a “Y” as their bail out point on the left front of the green. This then allows a short chip to a large two level green.

Ashgrove golf course is in a rather beautiful setting with a great variety of trees, birds, a creeks flowing through the course, four small lakes all surrounded by low tree covered mountains. The course does have some hilly sections but they just increase the challenge of the course without tiring out the golfer. The course might be relatively short but is a challenge for most golfers. You have to position your shots accurately or suffer the consequences. So, if you are a “Brisbanite” or a golfer visiting Brisbane, I challenge you to play the course and score under one hundred on your first try.

Source by Richard D Boyce

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