Darryl Hearsch reviews the Catalina Country at Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast. The course is approximately 300 km south of Sydney and is beloved by locals and popular with the many tourists who visit this beautiful coastal area. Darryl recently played the 36 hole Catalina Seniors event at the venue.
CATALINA COUNTRY CLUB has 27 holes and in most club competitions you play different combinations of the three 9 holes. For the Catalina Seniors, we played holes 1 to 18 on both days.Having walked around a few holes with Ken Brewer and his wife Carmelisa on the Saturday, I was amazed at the outstanding condition of the course.
Immaculate Kikuku fairways which were like carpet and bent greens which were a nice speed and putted well. Overall the greens don’t have a lot of undulations as is a modern trend these days, but they were still tricky to putt on.
The course measures 5938m from the plates. We played a little in front of the plates which was OK as you get a bit of run on the fairway, if you hit them, unlike I did for both days. There is a nice mixture of short and long holes, some water, lots of trees, making many tee shots tight and left to right doglegs as well as right to left doglegs.
My favourite holes included the 7th hole, rated 17 on the index. This is a great looking par three, playing around 145m with water across the front and side of the green. The green has two tiers and when the flag was short on day 1 this hole demanded your attention. Taking par here was good.
Another hole that was good, although not my favourite, but one that was very intimating was the difficult 9th hole, rated 1 on the index. Playing 354m with a very tight fairway which doglegs left. The ideal tee shot is a 3 wood with a draw but the hole tends to push you to the right side of the fairway but this can result in a blocked shot to the green from trees. An elevated green, par here is a great score.
The 10th hole is a pretty looking hole from the tee. Measuring 365m and rated 2 on the index. This hole is slightly uphill with a fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway just around a driver or 3 wood length. The green runs at 90 degrees to the fairway and you must hit your tee shot right of the middle to have a clear shot to a tight green with plenty of slope.
Another great looking hole was the par 3, 14th measuring 140m. Water again runs across the front and right side of the green and this hole is bordered by trees right which tend to block any breeze that may be around. The green is narrow and it is easy to take too much club and over shoot the green rather than dropping in the water. Take three here and run to the next tee!
The 18th hole is a slight dogleg right and a nice finishing hole measuring 313m and rated 4, but with out of bounds up the right and a creek left, this also attracts your attention. A fairway wood or long iron needs to be left of the middle to get a clear shot to the green. A creek runs across the fairway about 30 m short of the green with a large tree on the right side which swallows many pushed shots resulting in an easy bogey or worse. The green is also elevated with some subtle slopes on the putting surface. A 4 is a good score here to finish off your round, but this hole will also bring many good rounds back to earth.
Catalina is a good test of golf, with an abundance of kangaroos and was in immaculate condition with greens and fairways rivaling the best our Sydney courses can offer. I will certainly be back next year although the drive home on the holiday weekend was very slow.
The newly renovated clubhouse is huge with a restaurant that is buzzing every night and the food was good. Definitely have a meal or two but book a table for Saturday night. If you like seafood, a nice restaurant I visited was JJ’s at the Marina, but you must book beforehand, or risk being turned way. Also take a short trip to the quirky town of Mogo, lots of interesting shops in a cute street.
This article originally appeared in the NSW Senior Golfing Newsletter. The monthly newsletter includes results, upcoming senior event and much more. For more information senior golf in NSW: