Concord Golf Club, 21 – 27 March 2022
Ranked well inside the top 50 on the list of Australia’s best golf courses, Concord Golf Club will present a new challenge to the 140 plus players vying for the Kel Nagle Cup. Redesigned by the world-renowned course architect Tom Doak, Concord is a test for the game’s best, but still manageable for the average player. Immaculately presented, the course places a premium on position from the tee as much as length. Smart bunkering and green complexes which demand creativity and thought from players complement the impressive layout.
Take a quick tour of Concord Golf Club by air. Former tour winner – turned Golf Channel Commentator, and the current course record holder, Ewan Porter, gives his tips on how some of Australian’s best professionals will tackle the layout
A brilliant opening hole that is drivable for most of the field. Plenty of room to bail left of the green, however, with a green complex featuring many subtle contours, up and down is by no means a guarantee.
A gentle Par 3 that will conjure up its fair share of birdies. A rare putting surface gently sloping front to back requires a higher trajectory shot from the tee.
Another cracking short Par 4. Laying up down the left side of the fairway from the tee will leave players an awkward wedge shot to a slightly elevated green running off in all directions. Those taking on the green from the tee will require absolute precision to avoid OB, thick trees and fairway bunkers.
A stern test where three is always a good score. The best miss off the tee is generally right of the green leaving players with an uphill chip shot.
A beautifully positioned fairway bunker on the left side from the tee makes finding the fairway here quite tricky – it’s the approach shot where the real fun begins, though. There are no greenside bunkers, but a severely sloped, upside-down saucer green complex with a creek guarding the right edge will ensure players have their hands full.
The tee shot on this Par 5 is played over a crest in the fairway, with the longer hitters able to take advantage of a downslope. Those laying up with their seconds will be presented with a wedge third shot that can be attacked utilising the greens many contours. Those going for the green in two will have to avoid a nasty creek meandering around the front and left side of the green and anything long will leave a brutal short game examination.
A Par 4 playing quite significantly uphill. Fairway bunkers have to be avoided on the left side of this fairway. The approach to this green will repel any ball that’s short and it will feed back down the hill.
Downhill, dogleg-right Par 4 that tempts players to bite off more than they can chew. Miss the fairway right and your chances of hitting the green in regulation are very slim. Any approach finishing long and left of this sloping green leaves a treacherous up and down.
Short Par five. Tee shot plays gently uphill whilst the approach goes back downhill to the green. Players will be wary of the creek guarding the right side of this green, but given most will be coming in with mid-irons for their second shots, there will be an abundance of eagles and birdies here.
A long par 4 off the back tee with a fairway bunker guarding the left side of the fairway that will make it very difficult to advance the ball to the putting surface. The green complex is the largest on the course measuring 745 m2- sloping back to front. Two deep greenside bunkers guard the entrance to the green however there is an opportunity to play between them if required. If club selection is an issue short is better than long.
A short yet tricky par 3 that has a demanding putting surface. Get the ball onto the same side of the green as the flag to give yourself an opportunity. Long is the best miss with the short shots presenting extremely challenging shots.
Protected by deep bunkers left and right, this is a wide shallow green requiring precise distance control particularly to a front right pin. The shapely green requires you to be on the same side as the flag to avoid three putts.
Whilst this Par 3 may look fairly benign with a large green complex, miss your tee shot in the wrong spot here and you’ll be faced with a difficult short game examination. Several slopes on this green make putting a stern test.
Rated number 1 on the index the challenges are many. Toughest Par 4 on the course that is all about the tee shot. Only the furthest fairway bunker at approximately 300m from the tee will trouble the players, but miss the fairway either side and chances are you’ll be blocked out for your second. Generous green with a subtle left to right slope.
Very well positioned fairway bunkers on both sides of the fairway must be avoided from the tee. Approach shot plays half a club uphill to a right to left sloping green. Terrific finishing hole.