Sandhurst Club is the national base for the PGA of Australia (it moved its headquarters here in 2007) and the two Peter Thomson-designed 18-hole courses that are laid out on the property are set within a very modern Victorian residential development.
The North course was the first of the two layouts to open in 2004 and it’s characterised by large, undulating greens that demand full concentration all the way round.
The 199-yard 3rd hole pays homage to a number of great Scottish holes – such as the 1st at Prestwick and the 13th at North Berwick – where a stone wall plays a prominent part in proceedings. Here, a five-foot high, L-shaped dyke bounds the bunker-free green to the left and rear of the putting surface.
On the back nine, highlights include the 549-yard, par five 11th (“Purgatory”) and the 353-yard 14th, a delightful right doglegged par four, but the best is kept until last at “Woe Betide,” the 443-yard 18th, where water threatens down the left from the tee.Because the fairway at the home hole also kinks slightly left, the smart play is to drive down the right then play a slightly longer approach to the green – all very well in theory but golfers also have to avoid the seven fairway bunkers and three greenside sand traps that await shots which stray too far off line.
My friend Mark and I played the North Course first thing in the morning with the 'champs course to be played in the afternoon. The North course is fairly flat and fairly up back and around.
Fairway bunkers line this course whether from off the back or ladies tees.
The wall hole - Par 3 3rd is a funky hole that has to be seen to be believed.
Holes 8 and 9 are good fun with the later having a sneaky creek lurking before the green.
Holes 14,16,18 are the standouts on the back nine, with 18 replicating the 9th but without the creek before the green.
In my review of the other course I failed to mention Holly at the bar who looked after us at lunch time with tucker and beers. And also young Ray (72 years old) who played holes 6-9 on the 'champs course with us.
Mark and I have a story about the 6th holes with ray that will be spoken about for quite some time :)
Mark a double bogey putt from 50 foot out and drained it after yours truly drained a bogey putt from the same distance, opposite side of the green!