We made the trip to Safety Beach yesterday.
With no expectations, and just looking forward to having a hit somewhere different, I scored a nice deal through greatrounds.com for 2 players with a cart for $49. Considering other courses in the area can charge $50 for just the cart, I found this an excellent offer, and one too good to pass up.
Overall, the course is fairly tight, with quite a number of par 3's, all varying lengths and a good mix of short and long par 4's as well as a couple of par 5's. There is a premium of making GIR at Safety Beach, and picking the right iron or wedge for the approach is very important. Control, clean striking and carrying the full distance to the green are traits that are rewarded. Being slightly off in any component of the shot can put the golfer into very awkward positions, and easily bring some of the many scattered man made water hazards into play.
In saying that though, I think where the beauty of this course lies, is in what you see is what you get. There are very minimal blind shots on this course, strategy off most tees are as simple as hit it long and down the middle leaving the shortest club in possible. There is nice scenery on some of the holes, with the 12th Par 3 and its massive water feature probably being its showcase. It is hardly a competition style course, and much suited to the social golfer than the seasoned pro. The older guys that hit it shorter and straight and keep the ball in play should LOVE this kind of course, except for some of the brilliant longish par 3's their drivers might not reach.
The course itself is in good condition, but far away from perfect condition. Fairway grass was quite long. Greens were in the need of a little bit of work and the course overall is miles behind its competition in the area maintenance wise. Certainly a playable course though, and no major issues with the condition. Just lacks a little polish.
Its biggest weakness is almost definitely the condition of the tee boxes. Most of them are extremely uneven and force players to attempt to find the area that is the flattest to tee off from. This compounds the issue further, because by forcing everyone to the same section of the tee box, it wears out that area. Several tee boxes are lined with fences or dividers on 1 side giving the player no choice but to tee up where everyone else has to.
Houses in the estate are actually built into the course design and it feels a little weird playing golf seemingly in someones give up. Walks between tee boxes further compound this feeling crossing many residential streets.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed the round. It is a fun course to have experienced. If I lived somewhere much closer to this course, i would play it a couple of times a year because it is different to everything else around it. It's no where near the pristine quality wow factor of any of the main courses around that area, but for the sake of playing golf because you enjoy playing golf this course serves its purpose.
- Fun to play
- Varying hole layout
- Good condition overall
- Amazing Value
- Tee Boxes
- Lacking polish
- Doesn't stack up to other courses nearby
- A little bit squished.
- I give it overall a 7.5/10
In summary I think that we are really spoiled for golf in Melbourne, with some of the best courses in the world available to us regularly. There would be golfers worldwide who would kill for a place like Safety Beach to be available to them, and yet we get to almost dismiss its existence because there are better choices nearby. If you are someone who has never bothered to play it before, I would suggest it is as worthwhile playing as any other course for the first time. Safety Beach won't excite you, but it will satisfy your need to play golf for the day!