Links golf is real golf - The Dunes is real golf!
“The Dunes” is constantly been ranked among the top 20 courses in Australia and I understand why. It’s a very good inland links style course.
It’s very enjoyable to play and it gives a true challenge to all golfers – a challenge, but en enjoyable one. On almost every hole, you have options on how to play the hole and that’s what I like about a golf course.
The sloping fairways are nestling through dunes and ridges in a natural way. Fairways are leading to rather generous greens that are typically sheltered in a natural amphitheatre or exposed on elevated areas exposed to the full force of the elements.
The greens are very firm, so beware and read the contours carefully. They are fair, but right pace is crucial. Spend some time on the putting green before the game, you’ll need it.
The bunkers are very natural, well placed and there are plenty of them. The natural element is enhanced with the native grass, so stay on fairway and keep out of the bunkers.
The condition of the links course is perfect and it’s top class – impressive.
The holes that stand out to me are:
Hole 4 – 310 meters par 4
A short, but magnificent par 4. Best line is over the right three bunkers (225m carry). Plenty of room left but then very tough second to shallow green protected by six bunkers. The choice is yours! Played it safe to the left with a 3-iron, 8-iron on the green edge, two put for a par – no drama.
Hole 5 – 473 meters par 5
A great golf hole. Blind tee shot and the carry over the white stone marker is 114m from the back tee into vast valley. Fairway bunkers (eight of them!) on right near green are a no-go zone. Out Of Bonds all the way down the left. Drive in the semi rough to the left, 4-iron to the left of the fairway bunkers, 80 meters pitch to 5 meters from hole, missed the birdie put for a par.
Hole 13 – 160 meters par 3
You’ll have a very tough tee shot and in particular if the flag is on the left side of green – it’s almost a blind shot over a dune to reach it. Watch out for nasty pot bunker on the right rear flank. Great hole. 4-iron to 10 meters right of pin, two putts for a solid par.
Hole 17 – 179 meters par 3
A spectacular par 3 with seven bunkers on the left side of green and one large on the right. The green is undulated, so read it carefully. 3-iron short on the right side, missed the chip short on the green edge, two putts for a bogey 5. Badly played!
My game today was solid all the way with a 37 on the front nine and a 39 on the back for a total of 76 shots (gross). I’m very pleased about the score, but pleased with how I was striking the ball. It’s coming together nicely.
Today was also the practice day before the start of the “The Dunes Medal”. An amateur competition and one of the more important ones in Australia. The Australian national team was on site and I had the opportunity to have a quick lunch with one of them, Ryan McCarthy. It’s very encouraging to see all these young players focusing on their game and be as prepared as they can get for an important competition like “The Dunes Medal” – excellent.
My playing partners, Elliot Brown & Konrad Ciupck, were “warming up” for the big event. It was very interesting and enjoyable to play with them – I learned a lot. Konrad is only 13 years old, but already playing off a 4 handicap.
The Dunes was certainly a very pleasant surprise to me and a very enjoyable experience. It’s not only the golf course; it’s also the very welcoming and friendly atmosphere at the golf club – remarkable.
The Dunes Golf Links