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Magazines : Breakaway Summer 2010
SOMEWHERE on YouTube, there's a video of a guy who's a worse golf player than I am. There has to be. Surely. But despite the black hole in my golf game that is a lack of ability, it doesn't make playing one of the country's best courses any less enjoyable. In fact, it makes it even better. It's like taking a finger painting you did in kindergarten and going to hang it in an art gallery. You know it doesn't belong there, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be fun to see. So off we went, on a golfing awakening around Thirteenth Beach Gold Links' Beach Course (there's a second 18-hole course, the Creek Course, which was designed by Nick Faldo). This is a course that even the regular weekend golfer would find tricky. My playing buddy for the day, Martin, can crack a good ball off the tee. My approach is simpler. As much as I'd like to launch it high and long, (where the wind can take it deep into the rough) I prefer the low-and-straight method. Sure, it might not look as spectacular, but it makes finding your ball all the more easy. This is an area in which we can now consider ourselves specialists. We could probably write a thesis on how best to find your ball when it drifts off course. (My personal suggestion is to bring along one of those SES rescue teams, who search through thick scrub during a police investigation -- if they can't find your ball, no one will.) But back to the course. There's a bit there for everyone. For those who enjoy Par 3s hitting over thick rough, you've got it. For those who enjoy long, searching Par 5s that dog-leg around swamp land, you've got it. Thankfully, for those of us who enjoy straight- forward, wide-open holes, with little place for you to so effortlessly lose your ball, you've got that as well. Oh, and we can't go without a mention of our new friends, the bunkers. Like that annoying guy in your office who just doesn't shut up, you're best to make friends with them because they're going to a part of your life, whether you like it or not. So yes, even for those whose talent might be slightly lacking, this can be an enjoyable day out. Which would make it a perfect (but still challenging) day for those who can actually swing a club with some proficiency. INSIDER'S TIP Barwon Heads is a holiday-maker's dream with a whole lot more on offer than great golf courses. The seaside town has a bustling main street with excellent shops and cafes. The town's setting at the mouth of the Barwon River is spectacular so visitors can enjoy walks along the foreshore or the more rugged open beach. The caravan park is on the point and everything is within walking distance. Above par Geelong Advertiser sports reporter MICHAEL AUCIELLO confesses to being a novice golfer, but a huge fan of this course Michael Auciello bashes his way around the Thirteenth Beach Golf Links course. Photos: MARTIN WATTERS Barwon Heads is the ideal summer holiday spot, especially if you like fish and chips by the beach. day TRIP GEELONG ADVERTISER I 15
Breakaway Autumn 2011