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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 253
“Players of all abilities should be able to fashion approach shots into greens that don’t require the ball to hit and spin back,” he said. “ The links style is for the shape of greens to allow for a pitch-and-run shot to be played, and that’s what has been created here. “ The putting greens are in the image of St Andrews: large and firm with uncomplicated putting but are the very devil to get on.” The layout opens with an imposing par-4 that stretches to 380 metres from the back markers and is usually played into a breeze. At the end of the fairway, a huge and slightly elevated green awaits and is typical for what is to come. The putting surface is protected on most sides by hillocks and at least one bunker. But the designers left a wide entry at the front of the green to allow players to bump a shot in under the wind. One aspect I believe is the sign of a very good course is the variety of its par- 3s. Courses that offer a series of par-3s of similar distance and design are far less memorable than a layout like Sea Reef, which has four superbly individual one- shot holes. Arguably, Sea Reef’s best par-3 can be found among the closing holes of the back nine. The 171-metre 15th, called ‘Eden’, has been modelled on St Andrews’ famous 11th. Both holes feature a double green (the 15th here shares the green with the par-4 10th) and the putting surface lies on a hill, exposed to the elements. As the sun sets behind the grand mountain backdrop to the green, the four bunkers short of the putting surface fall into shadow and look like dark, deep pits of despair. E Address: Old Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas, Queensland Contact: (07) 4087 2222 Website: www.palmergolf.com.au Designers: Peter Thomson, Mike Wolveridge and Ross Perrett (2000) Green Fees: $105 (18 holes, 6.30am to 8am); $135 (8am to 2.30pm) Golf Australia’s Top-100 Public Access Ranking History: No.33 (2009); No.36 (2011);No.44 (2013);No.39 (2015):No.60 (2017) FACT FILE “IT’S KIND OF A WEIRD EXPERIENCE CONTEMPLATING HITTING LINKS COURSE SHOTS, PUNCHING THE BALL BENEATH THE BREEZE, BUT ALSO WIPING THE SWEAT FROM YOUR BROW AND BEING CAUTIOUS OF CROCS LURKING IN SOME OF THE HAZARDS. IT’S WEIRD BUT ALSO GOOD FUN.” – Lucas Andrews TOP-100 RANKING JUDGE'S COMMENTS PALMER SEA REEF
GA Express 252
GA Express 254