DM's Sydney Walks: 10. A round at Cammeray Golf Club

9 April, 2020

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 1 tee

Cammeray Golf Club is in the suburb of Cammeray, which we explored a bit of in walk 9. Crows Nest and Cammeray (although we didn't go near the golf course in that walk). It's a small local public course, with just 9 holes. Most are par 4s, with just three par 3s (which I'll mention - so any I don't mention specifically are par 4).

Golf is an approved social distancing exercise activity during COVID-19 lockdown, because it's non-interactive. Play groups are limited to a maximum of two players, but today I played by myself.

This is the tee off location for hole 1. The green is down the hill straight ahead of us. The clubhouse is behind us to the right. I'm still very much a beginner at golf, and not very good. My tee shot skewed off to the right (a slice in golf terminology), and bounced off the trunk of the tallest tree you can see there...

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 1 fairway

... and ended up here, in the middle of the fairway! Not an elegant shot, but I'll definitely take that, any day. I'm not a very powerful hitter yet - still working on getting accuracy and a swing rhythm. From here I expect many golfers could reach the green with one more shot.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 1 green

Here's where my ball was after two more shots. So 3 to get this far. The fourth shot I pitched onto the green, then took 2 putts, giving me a score of 6 for the first hole, equalling my best score. You can see a magpie strutting off to the right.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 2 tee

The tee off for hole 2. We have to go back up the hill! It's just barely possible to see the flag in this photo, in front of that cluster of three trees on the left side at the far end of the fairway.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 2 immovable hazard

I think this was my position after 4 shots, right in the middle of a gravel path. I moved the ball back to the grass behind the path, to avoid ruining my club.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 2 green

This was where my ball landed from the previous position. There was a huge pitch-mark in the green where it had bounced, so I repaired that before putting. I was pretty happy with that pitch shot! My putting wasn't great though. I scored 8.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 3 tee

The tee off position for hole 3. I didn't take the photos for this hole while playing, because there was another golfer coming up hard behind me and I didn't want to dilly-dally. I returned to hole 3 for this photo and the next one after I'd completed my round.

This tee position is up a steep hill - you can see the steps leading up to it - and the green is way down below, between those sand bunkers. Unfortunately I sliced my tee shot again and landed among the melaleuca trees on the right!

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 3 bunker

And then my second shot ended up in this bunker. In the puddle. It took me 3 attempts to hit it out! Bleah! I scored a 7 on this par 3 hole.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 4 tee

Hole 4 is another long downhill, a bit longer than and parallel to hole 1 (which is to the right). You can see there are concrete paths crossing the course, which is a public thoroughfare. There are often people walking across the course, sometimes walking dogs, and you need to keep an eye out for them.

I didn't slice my tee shot this time!

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 4 rough

But I did hit too far to the left, ending up here. Oh dear.

Since I couldn't swing my club without hitting the tree, I moved the ball a bit further away. But I managed to reach the green and sink the putt without any further problems, and scored 5, just one over par, which is good for me!

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 5 tee

The tee off for hole 5. Uphill again, and this is a big curve around to the right. You can't see the flag from here, it's behind those trees on the right. I tried to hit straight up the fairway, but my tee shot ended up near that light-trunked tree on the right.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 5 fairway

Here I am back on the fairway after a decent recovery shot. But the hole is still a long way away! It's right up just below that low, dark green hedge in the distance. I took a few shots to even get there, and scored 9.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 6 tee

Hole 6. It's not too long - the flag is just across the lake, on the left. You should be able to land on the green from here, making it a par 3. But I landed in the water.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 6 water hazard

I walked up past this duck family. These are Australian wood ducks, and the pair have three ducklings!

I dropped a new ball just past the red post and took another shot.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 6 green

Landing here behind the green, looking back towards the lake. I scored 6.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 7 tee

Hole 7 is a big long downhill hole. You tee off down this slope, and the ridge hides any view of the green, or of other golfers ahead of you!

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 7 fairway

My tee shot landed here, which was great! You can see two other golfers ahead of me near the green. Although my tee shot was great, I messed it up from here. Took a few shots to reach the green, and then I think I had to putt 4 times, overshooting back and forth. I scored 9.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 8 tee

Hole 8 is inevitably back up the hill. This is the longest hole on the course, 408 metres. It's a slog for me to hit that far, and uphill, taking several strokes just to make the distance. I ended up scoring 9 for this hole.

Hole 9 birdie: pre-tee shot

Which takes us to hole 9, the final par 3, back towards the clubhouse and the car park, visible at top right. The green is not that far away, but it's narrow, and has bunkers on either side, and there's a lot of sloping grass going on that can send your ball bouncing and rolling in all sorts of bad places. You really need precision here.

I'm not a strong hitter yet, and to make this distance I use a 6 iron. Last time I played this course I landed my tee shot on the green, and was ecstatic. But I needed 3 putts to sink it, scoring a bogey. This time I aimed my tee shot and sent it sailing through the air...

It went a little bit left of target and I feared it would end up in the bunker on the left.

Hole 9 birdie: post-tee shot

But it landed here! Just avoiding the bunker. Phew!

This was a difficult shot to take. My normal stance would have my right foot in the sand, and it was very steep, and the grassy edge was soft, so I had to adjust awkwardly. I chipped the ball gently with an 8 iron...

And it landed and rolled straight into the hole!!!! Woo! I scored a birdie! My first ever birdie on a proper golf course!! I was so excited! And I just happened to document it with photos for this walk, as well.

Overall though it had been a pretty mediocre round. My total for the 9 holes was 61, whereas my previous best at Cammeray is 58. But I ended on such a high that I'm still buzzing.

Cammeray Golf Club: hole 1 tee

A few ancillary shots after I completed my round. This is a view of the first tee and fairway, from just under the clubhouse balcony. I assume that boy is practising his swing, not hitting directly at the clubhouse!

Cammeray Golf Club: practice green

Here's the practice putting green, and the clubhouse.

Cammeray Golf Club panorama

And a panoramic shot from the clubhouse balcony.

Cammeray golf course map

A map of the golf course, and the walking route around the 9 holes. Start at 1 near the clubhouse and end after 9 in the car park behind. Notice the public walking path cutting diagonally right across the course.

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