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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 175
Two of the prominent holes on the inward nine featuring water are the 13th and 14th, a par-5 and par-3 combo framed by the same water hazard. It’s primarily a factor for the second shot on the 13th, with shots needing to either carry or steer left of the drink while at the next hole the lake will swallow any tee shot leaking right of the green. The waterless holes offer interesting shapes and contours, too. The 11th plays over a rise to a sloping fairway while the 15th climbs in a hurry to a broad green set atop a hill with bunkers benched into the slope directly in front. The Murray course asks you to thread the needle through the trees but the Lake tests your ability to strike well-directed and well-flighted approach shots to its greens. The Murray is more photogenic and perhaps gets the nod as the superior layout, yet the pull of playing both tracks in the one visit is too hard to ignore. In order to do so, chances are you will need a place to rest the head either overnight between rounds or after a 36-hole smorgasbord. The resort at Yarrawonga-Mulwala includes apartments, villas, cabins and suites adjacent to the course and clubhouse that suit singles, couples, families and groups alike. And inside the clubhouse is a veritable treasure trove of non-golf attractions. Ever been to a golf club that has a 60-seat movie theatre? Yarrawonga-Mulwala recently added one to go along with the bar, bistro, Family Fun Zone and other facilities and attractions. The health and fitness centre adds a further dimension to the resort, with a gym and a range of classes available for those who find the golf side of things too sedate. Facials and massages are further options as the resort displays its full array of possibilities. Personally, I wasn’t that keen on leaving. Which probably explains why golfers keep coming back as often as they can. OTG 5 LOCATION: Golf Club Rd, Mulwala, NSW. The resort is a three-hour drive north from the Melbourne CBD. CONTACT: (03) 5744 3983; www.yarragolf.com.au GREEN FEES: $45, or $68 for a full-day pass. VITAL STATS: Murray course: 6,095 metres, par-72; Slope rating 125 to 129. Lake course: 5,957 metres, par-72; Slope rating 125 to 126. Executive nine: 2,248 metres, par-33; Slope rating 114 to 117. DESIGNERS: Peter Thomson & Mike Wolveridge. DEFINING FEATURES: Narrow corridors between the treelines on the Murray course are complemented by more spacious targets but more water on the Lake course. FEATURE HOLE: The par-5 5th on the Murray layout is the only hole along the great watercourse where the river is actually in play. LIKELY BALL COUNT: While there are some tight holes among the towering gums and water is in play at times, most balls will remain with their owner for at least nine holes. 19TH HOLE (IN THIS CASE, THE 46TH HOLE): One of the most complete clubhouse and resort facilities in the region welcomes golfers to relax and stay overnight or for days on end. YARRAWONGA-MULWALA GOLF CLUB RESORT FACT FILE
OTG Express 174
OTG Express 176