St Francis Bay – Stuart McLean

Published by : Stuart McLean - 19 June 2022

St Francis Bay begins with one of the more interesting and attractive holes I’ve played. At 318 metres it could almost be classified as a short par 4, yet it never plays as easy as the card suggests (there are four par 4s between 295 and 318 and I could say the same of each of them). There are trees at the end of the fairway. Bush on the right. A good line to take for the green is via a hook on to the adjoining ninth. What I like about the first is the design of the raised green, a clever hour-glass shape stretching some 50 metres from front to back. Not a bunker in sight. The Bay doesn’t have many full stop. Instead it relies on mother nature to supply its hazards, impenetrable coastal bush being a scenic feature on most holes. Unfortunately not all of the other 17 greens are that imaginatively designed, yet collectively they are good in their variety of challenges. A double green serves 11 and 13, and the green on the 480m 15th is a special creation, shallow and wide with tricky slopes, guarded by two deep bunkers. Golf in St Francis Bay is mostly sublime at this time of year, although the odd gale can be expected. The weather is warm and the winds notably lighter.

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