This past Saturday I took part in the finals of our company golf league at the Arabella Country Estate. I arrived quite early, so it took me quite a while to find the club-house, which forms part of the the larger Arabella Hotel and Spa building. There isn’t any signage to help n00bs such as myself as to where to go, so I spent a good half-hour wondering the halls of the posh hotel and spa, before wondering through an emergency exit, some bush paths, and finally to the practice green in front of the pro shop. For those who haven’t yet visited Arabella – here’s how you don’t get lost like I did:
Entrance to hotel look like this – don’t go in.
Instead to the right you will find a path which leads to the pro shop:
Some of the scenes from inside the hotel:
One of the nice things about arriving early, is that you get to appreciate creation at one of the best times of the day:
View from the practice green:
There were some stormy winds predicted for the day, but we were greeted by a gentle breeze – not that it helped the gold any. Missed 2 opening pars with 3-putts and finished with a dreadful 49. The course is amazingly beautiful, but doesn’t tolerate a bad day off the tee.
From the first tee: It’s quite short, especially with the south-easter from behind, so consider a hybrid off the tee.
The 2nd is a long par 5, which isn’t too difficult if you respect it. Here’s Nelson showing how you should finish your golf swing:
The 5th is a relatively short par 3, but can play long into the breeze. Take extra club to get over the front bunker – I didn’t:
Some of the greens are quite well guarded by bunkers, so don’t be afraid to lay up short and chip ‘n putt for par:
One of the signature holes on the course is the 8th – another 3-shot par 5:
The 13th presents an interesting choice off the tee. It’s 200 m to clear the water, but plenty of bunkers waiting for your ball. Safe shot is to lay up left:
The 16th plays downhill toward the lagoon, but can play longer when into the South-easter. Favour accuracy off the tee here, as it’s OB right and trees left – I know – I lost 3 balls here
The final 3 holes are VERY tough in the wind, so temper your expectations. The finishing hole is a par 5 that requires you to be highly accurate, with bush on the left, and a bunker and the lagoon guarding the entire right side:
Even with the sub-par golf (my worst score in over 2 years), the day was really enjoyable thanks to good company and a good company (Pragma). Looking forward to next year!
PS: If you’re looking for a course layout, this site was quite helpful.