It's been a while since I have bothered to make the hour and a half journey out to Eynesbury Homestead and Golf.
To be honest, the last couple of times I had played out there I was only marginally satisfied. The enjoyment factor of this course in the past has been heavily reliant on mother nature, with the design, location, and lack of tree coverage making it extremely susceptible to wind, to the point where it can very easily become almost unplayable. 18 months ago was my last round out there and I was less than impressed at the time. The once immaculate greens had lost their sheen, the fairways were patchy and worn, the bunkers were simply not in a state worth playing out of and what was once a worthy journey eager with anticipation, was now a little bit of a let down.
I had met a new golfing friend at Growling Frog the weekend before. He is as keen as me to experience new courses, and to my surprise, he had never ventured down to Eynesbury. We made the snap call to make the packed lunch trip and I had reserved expectations based on the distant memory I had with my last experience.
Practice facilities at the course are about as good as a golfer requires. They have a small yet effective driving range and a couple of practice greens that played true to the course greens. Whilst I wouldn't consider the practice areas exactly world class, they are certainly sufficient to get the body working after a long drive.
Immediately after stepping onto the first tee, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable day. Staring out to the flawless fairway doglegging left one can't help but appreciate how well the course has held up over this cold Melbourne winter. Excellent even grass coverage, undulation and just the right amount of give in the ground to give confidence in taking turf during the swing. I could certainly tell the ground staff have made the efforts to provide the avid golfer with fantastic conditions on each and every fairway.
The Greens were even better than I remember them from so many years back, with the perfect amount of grab and spin on approaches, and a pure, even roll when putting. The best way to describe the greens at Eynesbury is pure and true, with speed consistent on each and every hole. There is almost no ball bobble, true breaks, and the sheer size of most of these greens give the course the options for very interesting pin positions. Special mention to remembering the severe 2-tier green on the 17th, and I made sure I took the number to the back of the green rather than the front or middle, set me up nicely for the clean birdie putt.
Tee boxes are appropriately flat on every hole, which really gives the golfer the confidence with alignment for their drives. I loath courses that seem to overlook this in their design and maintenance. This course gets them right to the point where they are noticeably good, not just acceptable like many other courses of this calibre.
Bunkers can be scary. Very very scary. They are well positioned all throughout the course, some of them have very high front lips and they truly play like the trap they should. In saying that, they were also in pristine condition, with just the right amount of sand in each bunker to give the golfer the opportunity to make the good shot to escape them.
All of the par 4's and 5's throughout the course are unique. It never feels like you are playing the same way each hole. Visualizing and planning the path of attack of each hole is a big part of this course, and I feel whilst the accomplished and competent golfer can potentially go on a tear, the social golfer could be very intimidated by some of the tee shots on offer.
I feel the only let down of the design is the lack of variety on the par 3's, all being around the 160m mark. Whilst I can appreciate that length, I can't help but feel the course could select their tee markers for the par3's to create some variety. It wouldn't hurt the course at all to have at least 1 of the par 3's play 130-140 and one to play 170-180 and this lack of diversity is the courses only real minute downfall, in my humble opinion of course.
I cannot say for sure how populated this course is regularly, however with our round starting at 1.45pm on a Saturday afternoon the course was a ghost town, with no delays off the tees, and also the ability to drop a cheeky practice ball every once in a while. It would be interesting to know how popular this course is with both comp and social rounds. The challenge I feel would be attracting social golfers back for multiple round throughout the year, because whilst I was satisfied with the round, my new golfing buddy did appear a little frustrated at times on certain holes due to severe consequences when not finding the fairway off the tee. Course management is vital to your success at Eynesbury!
Good, sufficient practice facilities
Superb course design
Flawless condition greens, fairways, bunkers and tee boxes
No hold up on any tees
Can be wind dependent (from previous experience)
Lack of diversity with par 3 length
overall - 9.5/10
If you haven't played Eynesbury recently, this is a must play course in Victoria. The efforts that seem to have been put into this place over the last year or so put this course most definitely in my top 10 in Victoria and a must play for the keen traveling golfer. If you played it a while back and didn't see the course at the time as I do now, do yourself a favor and give it another crack. I think you might be pleasantly surprised.
Edited by PapaBravo, 27 August 2017 - 10:32 PM.