Date: January 29, 2016
Author: Golf Australia

Grange West hole-by-hole

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Grange West went through a major redesign in 2007 managed by Mike Clayton Golf Designs.  The subtle changes to the course included replacing all eighteen Greens and the reshaping of a few fairways.  The end result is a challenging new course that is going to be enjoyed by all.


The opening hole is a short par five easily reached in two shots by the longer hitters but the green is set to reward the player who has driven down the right side of the wide fairway and close to the sandy waste ground that dominates the edge of the hole. Those playing the hole as a three-shotter will find a significantly easier pitch from the right edge of the fairway and the shot over the front right bunker from the left half of the fairway is one perhaps best avoided so early in the round.


This is a short par four with the tee on the edge of the big sandy wasteland that forms a big part of this hole as well as the one to follow. A bunker in the centre of the fairway must be considered for those capable of driving 260 metres from the back tees. The pitch into the long green is best played from the right half of the hole and for those who have driven left the left hand greenside bunkers are something to play over.


The 3rd hole was changed quite dramatically by removing trees and opening up the spectacular sandy wasteland that was formerly used as a site for mining sand. A long bunker is cut along the right side of the driving area but there is a wide fairway stretching far to the left for the less adventurous to play into with safety. A deep bunker on the left side of the green gives those who have played close to the fairway bunker a clearer approach.


Prior to the changes to the course there were three medium length par three’s (the 4th, 12th and 14th holes) and it was decided to add the extra dimension of a long one shotter. This was the logical place to incorporate such a hole and from the back tee to a pin cut as the back of the green the golfer is asked to play a shot of over 200 metres. The long green allows for the hole to be played at varying distances and from the back of the old tee to the difficult pin behind the bunker in the front left the shot is only 135 metres. Generally however from the back tee this hole is a demanding long iron shot.


The second of the two opening nine par fives is much longer than the first hole and this one takes two mighty shots to reach in two. A fairway bunker replaced the pine trees that used to line the right of the hole and block the view of the green from the left third of the fairway and that makes for a much superior hole.


Here is the second longest par four on the course although the 17th is probably more difficult. The drive plays to the top of the hill or just over and the downhill second is to a green guarded by bunkers left and right but nonetheless one that favours a drive played to the left half of the fairway.


Formerly this was a longer par four but the suggestion was to shorten the hole and incorporate a hole where players had a number of choices from the tee. With the green 285 metres from the tee, some have a chance to reach it if the wind is behind but the threat is the dreaded forty metre bunkers shot from left of the green if the drive is misplayed. For those playing with a shorter club from the tee a fairway bunker a couple of hundred metres from the tee suggests the ideal line into the most difficult pin position in the back left corner of the green.


There is always much to be said for short holes where a good player can make a four with one bad swing and the highest markers can make a two with one good one. This is achievable on only the shortest of holes and they must be protected by hazards that induce a little fear and make a three unlikely if the green is missed.


The front nine finishes with a hole turning to the left and whilst there is little undulation to add to its challenge the best drive hugs the left side of the fairway and from there the green opens up to an approach that the scratch player would play with a middle to short iron depending on the wind.


The par five tenth is a relatively straight hole but a bunker thirty metres short of the green on the right and a green protected by a deep bunker cutting right up into the left edge of the putting surface dictates that there are many options from back on the fairway. The ideal shot is a long high draw (for a right hander) that carries the short bunker and runs onto the green. For those laying back clearly the option is to play short of the right bunker to open up the left half of the green. Those straying to the left of the sand face one of the more difficult pitch shots on the course.


The 11th is a medium length par four turning left and the fairway bunker embedded into the top of the rise 230 metres from the tee is the single hazard to be avoided but the closer one plays to the sand the better the line into the green. The bunker carry is 245 metres and whilst achievable for the longer hitters only the most desperate would take that challenge and the perfect tee shot finds the rise opposite the end of the bunker and the shot down to the green from there is only a short iron.


The first of a pair of medium length par threes on the back nine plays to a quite long but narrow green with bunkers on both sides. The more intimidating bunker runs all the way along the left side of the green and this short hole is simply asking for a good shot. It is not particularly difficult unless the wind is up but saving a par if the green is missed is not easy.


The tee shot at this par five must negotiate a central fairway bunker 245 metres from the championship tee and the option is to play over, left or right of the sand. The left is perhaps the better line into the green because of a fairway bunker further along on the right that influences the second shot. Certainly the easiest pitch into the small green is from the left.


The final par three is a medium length uphill hole with a tier cutting through the middle of the small target. A deep bunker on the right makes the pins cut on the right of the green the most intimidating to access.


The beginning of the run home, the 15th, a medium length hole, is the first of a quartet of par fours of varying length and challenge. A pair of fairway bunkers, one short down the left and another further down on the right determine the club and line from the tee and the green is best approached from the right half of the fairway especially when the pin is cut up into the back left corner of the green.


Longer than the previous hole and running in the opposite direction the shape of the hole favours a tee shot moving from right to left. The fairway bunker sitting into the left corner of the driving area protects the ideal line into the green.


This is the best hole on the course and whilst it is probably also the most demanding its difficulty is only one determinate of its quality. The fairway is lined with pines making this a beautiful looking hole and the natural movement of the ground makes for exhilarating golf. A drive down the right half of the fairway opens a clear view of the green but a small dune further blocks the view of the green for those who have driven left. A deep bunker lines the right side of the green and this par four asks for a pair of perfectly played strokes.


The finisher is a drive and pitch affair not unlike the closers nearby at Kooyonga and Royal Adelaide but it cannot be taken for granted. The pitch from the right side of the fairway looks and plays quite differently than the shot from the left and when the pin is in the most difficult place in the back right corner the drive down the left is truly advantaged because of the bunker cut right up into the right half of the green. The undulating green tests nervous putters at the end of the round and it prove – as does the ultimate drive and pitch finisher at St Andrews – that short fours are well capable of extracting mental and physical mistakes from the unwary