It is hard to imagine that this beautiful golf course with its lush Santa Ana couch fairways and challenging manicured greens was once rugged natural bush land populated by eucalypts, thick scrub and rocky outcrops. Current day players are indebted to past generations of members and volunteers whose vision, dedication, and back breaking work have made the course what it is today. The course design takes advantage of several elevated tees that provide panoramic views across the Ovens Valley to the distant Alps of the Great Dividing Range. Because of the courses location, golfers can expect to interact with a range of wildlife typical of the Australian bush.
Playing on a golf course that abuts the imposing Warby Range is a stark reminder that about 140 years ago the area was made famous by Ned and Dan Kelly along with Steve Hart and Joe Burn, branded as wanted bushrangers by the Victorian authorities of the time. The Warby Range or ‘Warby’s’ as more commonly referred to by locals provided safe refuge for the Kelly Gang as they hid from pursuing Government troopers.
For those wanting to ‘warm up’ prior to their game, a practice fairway is available with both a grass tee off area as well as a synthetic grassed tee off area suitable for play when other conditions are too wet. Importantly the granitic foundations enable the course to be playable all year round.
The Jubilee Golf Holes were named by Course Designer and Golf Professional, Dick Pendlebury.
HOLE 1 'GULLY' – PAR 4
Named after the gully that runs across and down the right side of the fairway.
An appealing way to begin your round with a generously wide and forgiving fairway. A gully hazard to your right at driving length attracts many wayward shots. An easy walk downhill over a small gully followed by a slightly uphill approach to the green.
HOLE 2 'PLATEAU' – PAR 4
The second green gives the appearance of a plateau from the golfers second shot.
A dog-leg to the left with two well positioned bunkers on the left hand side to catch the unwary long hitters. Enjoy a fine view up to the elevated green where the Warby Ranges provide a dramatic backdrop to the course. A bunker on the left, and a swale on the right front protect the green.
HOLE 3 'HELL BENT' – PAR 4
The course designer, Dick Pendlebury wanted this hole to be much longer with less of a dog leg. The boundary fence meant that he was forced to have a very sharp dog leg.
A slightly uphill short Par 4 with a sharp dogleg right that invites the long hitters to take on the trees. Those taking the more customary route will require a long hit to the corner. If short however, a lofted shot over the tree tops or a well executed fade will be needed to hit a smallish green that drops away at the back.
HOLE 4 'LONE PINE' – PAR 3
Named after the pine tree above the green in recognition of Lone Pine at Gallipoli.
A short and picturesque Par 3 that requires an accurate tee shot through a narrow fairway to a challenging green. The fairway and the green both slope to the left and are surrounded by natural bush.
HOLE 5 'YALLOCK' – PAR 5
Aboriginal word for water. Dick was very keen to have a number of aboriginal names.
One of the highest fairways on the course providing great views towards the distant Great Dividing Range where snow can be seen in winter. The undulating fairway presents two gentle dog-legs that lead to an elevated two tiered green that is protected by a bunker front right. Wayward golfers need to consider their second shot to avoid the 24 ML dam on the left of the fairway. It is commonplace to observe a variety of wildlife on this fairway, including kangaroos, wallabies and the odd goanna.
HOLE 6 'PANORAMA' – PAR 4
The most spectacular view on the course. Proposed site for the clubhouse after the original club house was burnt down. The second proposed site was just below drive length before the fairway swings to the left around the dam. Dick also wanted to retain the gully in front of the green and make it into a ‘Scottish burn’ which would also run across the ninth and first fairways.
From the elevated men’s tee become exhilarated by some of the best views in the North Eastern Victoria. Take in the plains of the Ovens Valley and inspiring sights of Mt Feathertop and Mt Bogong in the distance.
If sufficiently stimulated by the views, ambitious hitters may avoid the dog-leg by taking on the dam and trees (at their peril). For non risk takers a good drive to the corner will set up a mid iron to the green. Take care with your approach to this front sloping green as there is another small water hazard to the left and a dip in front of the green that collects short shots.
HOLE 7 'DINJARA' – PAR 4
Aboriginal word for west. This is the only hole played due west but it is protected from the evening sun by the hills.
Comparatively easy Par 4 with an uphill walk. A good driving hole with a right-hand dog-leg to an elevated green that is protected by a bunker front right. Approach shots landing short of the green will roll back to the fairway.
HOLE 8 'LOWANNA' – PAR 3
An Aboriginal girls name meaning beautiful. Dick thought this was a lovely short hole with a magnificent vista. He also wished to place a number of small pot bunkers around the hole so it had a link with the most famous short hole in the world, the 8th at Troon Golf Club (Scotland) – the Postage Stamp – 112m.
Shortest Par 3 on the course with a terrific view. A short iron tee shot to the green must first negotiate a narrow tree line access. The green is surrounded with mounds in front and a bunker to the right. Over clubbing will result in a steep chip shot to get back on.
HOLE 9 'BUFFALO' – PAR 5
The view from the tee perfectly frames Mt Buffalo.
A relatively short Par 5 starting with an elevated tee set back in bush land. Negotiate a narrow driving opening and enjoy the reward of landing on an expansive fairway. Take in views of Mount Buffalo as you continue down a fairway that widens considerably before a dog-leg to the right. Those capable of making the corner will set up the hole for an easy par 5. From the corner it is 170 metres over the gully up to the green. Be prepared for your great shot to the green to be appreciated by those enjoying cool drink or two on the clubhouse veranda.
HOLE 10 'WARBY' – PAR 4
The climb up the slope to the Warby Ovens National Park. One of the reasons the clubhouse proposal above the 6th was rejected because this hole would have been a poor finishing hole with golfers teeing off into the sun.
The challenging uphill nature of this Par 4 requires most golfers to choose 1 club longer to reach the green in two. An elevated 3 tiered green, protected by a left front swale and a bunker to the right is perfectly framed by the rugged backdrop of Warby’s.
HOLE 11 'BLACKBOY' – PAR 5
As a result of the large number of grass trees (once referred to as blackboys) growing beside the fairway.
A short walk from the 10th green takes you to the highest men’s tee on the course. The 11th fairway follows the Warby range along an undulating fairway that features many native grass trees. Both drive and fairway shots need to target right of center to make allowance for the natural slope away from the range. An uphill approach to a two tiered green tucked below the ranges.
HOLE 12 'BOOMERANG' – PAR 4
A perfect boomerang shape.
As the name suggests this longish Par 4 is a left hand dog-leg. From the tee position, once cleared from natural scrub it requires a good drive to reach the corner and open up the fairway to attack the green. Whilst there is no bunker to negotiate, a well positioned grass swale front right has a habit of collecting wayward balls.
HOLE 13 'WATER HOLE' – PAR 3
Beautiful short hole. Dick’s ability to have four very different par three holes is a feature of his design.
An elevated tee provides a commanding view of your target area. An accurate tee shot is required to avoid a strategically placed water hazard to the right front of the green.
HOLE 14 'PEAKS' – PAR 4
Hole which frames Mt Warby and other peaks in the Warby Ovens National Park.
A gentle uphill walk along a sloping fairway reveals a terrific view of the Warby Range granitic rock formation. The best position for your drive is slightly left of centre to give an ideal approach shot. Grass trees feature on the left as the fairway narrows to an elevated and tricky green that slopes from back to front.
HOLE 15 'ZIG ZAG' – PAR 5
A thinking golf hole – as danger looms with every shot.
The men’s tee is set back in the bush and rewards a good drive with a generous landing area. The second shot on this double dog-leg fairway however requires more consideration as a choice exists between playing a shorter safety shot or a riskier fairway wood that could either set up a birdie or follow the natural incline into the trees.
HOLE 16 'HOLLOW' – PAR 4
A short par 4 into a hollow. Short par 4 holes are a feature of most leading Australian sand belt courses.
A relatively short par 4, heads uphill towards the Warby Ranges. A narrow opening to a small left to right sloping green nestled in the surrounding bush land. Care should be taken not to over club as the rear of the green is protected by dense busH.
HOLE 17 'THE ROAD' – PAR 3
Named after the most famous par 4 in golf. The road hole at St Andrews which is also the 17th hole.
The degree of difficulty of this longish par 3 is compounded by a narrow fairway and the OOB fence along the adjacent road.
HOLE 18 'AMAROO' – PAR 4
Aboriginal word meaning beautiful place. Dick felt the word represented the end of a beautiful day.
A lovely wide fairway all the way to the green awaits those with flagging energy. A mild left to right dog-leg for men whose drive will need to carry 150mts over a dry gully to make the cut grass. The approach to the green is down hill.