Today was my last round at Pennant Hills before my move to Melbourne so decided to take some photos and write up the course details on the blog here. Thanks to Amanda and Roz for their patience with my amateur photography skills! I’ve enjoyed my time at the course and my limited golf skills have slowly improved over the past year though unfortunately have put a few drives into Burns Bay Road. Pennant Hills Golf Club is around 20kms north west of Sydney and is a tree lined parkland course bordering the M2. One of the impressive things about the club is the two day membership they offer. Recognising that a lot of folks in my age bracket are time poor and can generally only play once a week at best, decided to offer a reduced rate membership. This has attracted a number of members from surrounding clubs and has proved popular since inception. Course boasts some challenging holes and slope rating is 130. One thing I’ve often thought about this past year is why Pennant Hills is not ranked among the top 100 courses in Australia, not that such a rating is the be all and end all. The course in my opinion is superior to surrounding clubs such as Stonecutters Ridge and Riverside Oaks so will write up review and try to work this out.
Pennant Hills is one of the oldest courses in Sydney established in 1924 by Dr Arthur Christian Holt. Only six 18 holes courses have been established before PHGC:
- Royal Sydney – 1904
- The Australian – 1905
- Killara – 1907
- Concord – 1907
- Manly – 1909
- Moore Park – 1922
I’ve often heard people say that its a left handers golf course. A number of the holes have tight treelines to the right not favouring the golf who likes to draw (me). The course was built on two hills which the course logo reflects. Its a tough walk, only NSW and Goring\Streatley have been as tough but rewarding with a number of colourful shrubs\plants to take in. What about the course then?
For starters, the front nine is a more challenging and interesting than the back nine.
The opening Par 5 hole is an intimidating start requiring a drive over a gully into a raised fairway. The perfect drive here is a draw which the hole richly rewards for the second shot.
Second hole is rated one of the more difficult holes on the course and plays longer due to the significant hill. Not an overly difficult hole imho but gets the heart rate racing. Played this for the first time in 35 degrees at 1pm, schoolboy error that.
This Par 5 is a fun driving hole and fairway slopes heavily right to left so best to flirt with the trees from the tee. A good tee shot here will reap dividends with no significant hazards impacting the second shot.
PH boasts a great set of Par 3s. This is the first, bunkers protect the green and a kiss to the right will see your ball canon down the slope making a tough chip. A ball almost canoned me today on this hole, some revenge for my often wayward shots.
Three Par 5s in the first 5 holes, this is the longest. Again tight trees on the right and ideal to be left here for second shot which is played down to a green. Second shot is tough and punishes wayward balls. This I reckon is the best Par 5 on the course though might be saying that because I birdied it today.
Tough Par 3 where you can’t afford to miss right. I’ve shanked a couple of balls into the bush here. Often plays longer and the bunkering here ensures that only the very accurate 4 iron\hybrid tee shot will see rewards.
Tough Par 4 which requires a drive over a steepish hill with ideal place on the right of the fairway. Trees come into play if you’re left of the fairway and hole again often plays longer. I’ve only parred this hole a couple of times. Green is a small target to hit.
This is a beautiful hole which my camera\iphone really doesn’t do justice too. Ample room here to ping a drive over a slightly elevated fairway which leads to a tough second which I always over club due to the severe downslope. Second shot is usually around the 150m mark and PW is the perfect club here. Thats how steep it is.
Easiest hole on the course? I’d debate that but no question its the prettiest. Reminds me of the 7th at Stoke Poges which of course is the inspiration for the more famous 16th hole at Augusta. Only a wedge but you’re penalised for the slightest mistake. I could hit balls on this hole all day long. Photo doesn’t do it justice as well.
A tough start to the back nine with another hole that plays longer. A tight tee shot which favours a fade. I’ve never played this one well. A sharp downslope penalises approach shots to the right.
Another tight space to tee from here which again you can’t afford to miss right. Hole is fairly straightforward if tee shot is good.
Bad photo sorry. Rare teeshot at PH where you hit from an elevated tee. The long hitters can grab another 20-30 metres if they reach the ridge leaving a 150m or so to the green. Green is reachable in two and advisable to stay on the left of the fairway.
Another bad photo! This one is a sharpish dogleg right one of the first holes where the green provides the biggest defence. Green is a small elevated target and heavily contoured.
All the trouble here is at the front of the green so preferable option is to miss long rather than short. Note the only water on the course is on the right, though would take and extremely misdirected shot for it to be a factor.
Short straightish Par 4 played into a valley of sorts. Green slopes from back to front so advisable to be below the hole otherwise its a very tough putt. I putted through the green first time I played it. Greens have been fairly slow throughout the year but have improved greatly since keepers cored the greens recently.
Similar dogleg hole to the 13th but a bit shorter. An iron or 5 wood can be played from tee here leaving a wedge to a raised green. Another heavily sloped back to front green provides the hole’s main protection.
This is another hole that doglegs to the right and trouble awaits for a sliced\pushed tee shot. Green is protected by sharp slope at the back which punishes any long approach.
PH signature hole, a daunting par 3 played to a raised green over a gully through a narrow gap with the clubhouse in the background. Green is lightning quick and slopes from back to front. A par here is a top result. Another strong Par 3 and a great way to finish the round.