“Choose your line, line up your feet, check your grip, stay still over the ball.” These are all things golfers are constantly running through the mind along with many other coaches’ instructions.
Weekly women golfers from country clubs, have found many reasons for playing golf other than the game itself. The annual country meeting arranged by Golf NSW provides the opportunity for country ladies to play top Sydney courses, form new friendships and engage in city culture. The bus load of ladies pictured here from Coolangatta- Tweed, Yamba, Grafton, Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour and Bellingen certainly enjoyed these opportunities.
The first course played this year was at Concord from 3rd September, which definitely had the “WOW” factor for a few reasons. Country golfers rarely see such beautifully manicured fairways, giving great credit to the greens staff and the committee.
Our group also noted with trepidation the number of bunkers, particularly surrounding the greens. If the bunkers were not enough to bring many players “unstuck” then the tricky greens were. Perfectly prepared as they were, we found them slippery, often taking more bias than was initially apparent. Difficult greens contributed to quite high scores for the day, but many agreed that if the golf was not admirable then the camellia gardens and meandering stream were.
On the second day we were greeted at Bankstown by the resident geese waddling down a fairway. Most in our group found this course a little easier though there were again more bunkers than is normal for us. The two holes that impressed and terrified were the par 4, 5th and the par 5, 12th.
The green-surrounding bunkers on the 5th including a deep one right in front were enough to make many play short and then pitch onto the very sloped, unusual shaped green. Many stableford players decided to “pick up” rather than attempt another shot from the bunker.
The water hazards to the right and left of the dogleg 12th fairway were quite obvious, but I was most grateful to be playing with two ladies who had GPS on board. They were kind enough to alert our playing group to the distances to the edge of the water hazard in front of the green and the distance to the green. The hazard was obscured by a preceding hill and to our alarm on mounting the rise we found the hazard to be quite a “ravine’. The noisy cockatoos and corellas added to the scenic beauty of this course.
The golfing meet was wound up with a foursomes event at Carnarvon course. This was similar to the country courses we play and it was interesting to be greeted again by the resident ducks waddling into the crowd. There were lots of large gum trees, some with overhanging branches, to contend with for the errant golfer. The many grevilleas added to the pleasant environment at Carnarvon.
Over the course of three days golf, many women renewed friendships from previous years and found various connections with new acquaintances. It also gave many of us the opportunity to play with low handicap players from whom we can learn. Our North Coast group again enjoyed bonding with the golfing “support network” and debriefing after each round, beers and wine in hand. Unfortunately we were not as successful in bringing home trophies as the last two years, but Betty Turner from Coffs club won the division 3, 18 hole stableford at Bankstown and was placed third in the 36 hole event. Enid Dougherty and Noeline Smith from Grafton club managed a runner- up trophy for the foursomes at Carnarvon after some deadly putting.
The golfing program allowed for a rest day which gave the country ladies a cultural day in the city which was not really “restful”. Sightseeing and shopping were followed by a musical at the Opera House and a harbour cruise, all enjoyed with our golfing friends.
On reflection of Country Week 2012, our group was most grateful to the ladies of Golf NSW, who are always so very pleasant and efficient, for their organisation. Each of the participating clubs this year also had several of their members present on course to direct us to appropriate places and retrieve drowning balls, and we thank them for their help. Thanks also to the pro shops for a lovely array of clothing at reduced prices.
We ended our adventure on well- bunkered, challenging city courses with the belief that we must be better golfers for the experience.
L to R: Nicole Bessant, Betty Turner and Sandra Gillies
Mark your diaries for the 2013 Women's Country Meeting [click link below for details].