Date: April 10, 2019
Author: Tony Durkin

Champion Sam says sand must stay

Charleville Golf Club champion Sam Wade hopes visitors to his club for the Queensland Outback Masters in June will play the authentic course, not one that has been ‘prettied up’ for the occasion.

The par 72 course – 6049 metres – has nine sand greens and nine grass greens. And with nine holes only to be played on 22 June and nine holes only the following day, Sam wants the golf challenge to be a genuine one.

“It would be really disappointing if just the grass greens were played both days,” said the 23-year-old local boy who started playing golf under the guidance of the Greg Norman Foundation when he was six years of age.

“The real test of our course is mastering the change between a grass green on one hole, and a sand green on the next. The different greens are intermingled throughout the 18 holes and I reckon the visitors would, and should, really enjoy that challenge.

“Playing just one type or the other – sand or grass – for the two nines during the Outback Challenge would not be a genuine test of our course.”

While the course is currently very dry after a lengthy drought, Sam has no doubt visitors will enjoy what to most of them will be a very different golfing experience.

“It is not easy. We tee up all over the course and that takes some adjusting, especially when chipping,” he said.

“And naturally, because it is dry, there is plenty of run. So those not knowing the course may find themselves running out of fairway if they hit it too well or become adventurous. Judging distance can be an issue.”

For Sam, who has won the club championship for the past three years, the par three 12th hole is likely to be the most thought-provoking for visitors.

“It is 180 metres long, with two big over-hanging trees about thirty metres from the green,” he revealed.

“Anyone who pars 12 has either played well, or usually had a stroke of luck.”

Sam’s best score on his home course was a seven-under par 65, shot a few weeks before the 2017 club championships. 

Find out more about the Outback Queensland Masters: