Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:06 AM
Went for a visit today and took a few snaps on the way around.
Previous posters are correct in that the course is really a 'tale of two cities'. It is said that the original nine holes, adjacent to the highway, were the first laid out all those years ago. These nine holes are relatively open, straight and flat, however are beautified by a combination of natural and introduced trees, some use of natural creek settings and developed ponds as water hazards.
On the front nine, highlights include:
* the par-five 1st hole with reedy water hazard hard left of the first green;
* the tight short par-four 2nd hole with picturesque water-carry drive and small green with angled ridge short of the putting surface to direct poorly struck approaches away;
* par-five 3rd hole with the demand of a controlled fade off the tee for best position to attack a small elevated green situated at an angle to the line of approach;
* drivable par-four 7th hole with natural pond encircling the small green, which is split by a ridge making for a difficult right hand side flag position
* picturesque long par-four 8th hole accompanied by burbling creek and established natural timber aside and behind fairway and teeing ground
Some time after the development of the front nine, some capital-raising by the existing membership was undertaken and additional land was obtained on the west and south of the existing 9 hole course. This more mountainous and dramatic land is the site of Marysville's longer, more challenging back nine.
Here, shotmaking challenges are more specific and include:
* placement of a drive off the tee at the par-five 12th hole, ideally with a chasing right-to-left shape, to allow best access to a small green tucked high above the fairway level in a nook in the adjacent hill with fall-away short and left punishing any ball not adequately flighted in search of the putting surface;
* accurate delivery of the tee ball from an elevated teeing ground at the following par-four 13th hole to find a narrow ribbon of fairway between wooded embankment and burbling brook, from which a hard-to-judge approach to another elevated green is required
* restrained positioning of one's tee ball from the far-four 15th teeing ground with fairway wood or long iron, to allow access to a narrow corridor through which a long iron may be flighted over a substantially flowing creek towards another minute Marysville green set in a truly idyllic little dell among native scrub and ferns.
Frankly, a lot of these back nine holes are just flat-out good fun.
Course condition was a bit heavy, as can be expected after such a period of heavy rains. Heavy conditions were most pronounced on the greens, where even a Top Flite rock I found was backing up hard, by legacy of the fact it was practially embedding to its equator in the green surface whenever I delivered it there with any club shorter than an 8i. While the greens were mainly surfaced with bent grass, the effect of the heavy soil and longer grass length was very similar to putting on average couch greens. Hopefully, in firmer conditions, the greens will improve.
Turfgrass management tee-to-green was very much a matter of "mow what naturally grows there" like most country courses. A cacophany of cool weather grasses made up most fairways, a patchwork of variously tight or spongy lies on offer depending on what variety of grass you found and how much it had been permitted to grow since last mown.
All in all, though, turf cover was good and playing surfaces were more than OK. Suffice it to say, everything was green and lush and I don't expect Marysville to have any trouble with turf cover any time soon!
I did notice that most fairways were fully irrugated (and sprinkler heads marked with distances to BOTH front AND centre of greens, which was a pleasant surprise!)
If you get out there, don't fail to appreciate the picturesque drive each way, and make sure to stop at the bakery cafe for an apple cake or vanilla slice with espresso coffee - the place doesn't look like much, but the food and coffee is great!
If you find the time, don't hesitate, just go. For $26 on the weekend, it's cheap as chips, a great day out and worthwhile if only to support the wonderful work the club is doing providing for their local community's need for a social outlet while rebuilding and recovery in this recently devastated part of Victoria continues.
See you there!