A look at some of the great holes at Barnbougle that don’t get the same attention as some of the others.
It isn’t hard to appreciate how good the golf is at Barnbougle.
Few golfers are left unmoved by the rugged, unpretentious beauty of both golf courses with many coming away with strong opinions on which one is better.
Most often it’s the course where the golfer had the lowest score.
But in among the oft-talked about special par-4 4th, the “par-4” 8th at Barnbougle Dunes, and the epic par-4 5th at Lost Farm are holes of unassuming genius.
These are the holes you probably won’t talk about after your round but they’re wonderful golf holes in their own right.
Those tracks on that great album you don’t notice at first but became favourites years later.
Small unassuming moments of great golf course architecture nestled among the louder, brasher, and sometimes less interesting, “look at me” golf holes.
Par-4, 16th hole at Lost Farm
Following the spectacular 14th and 15th holes at Lost Farm, the 16th hole is always going to fly under the radar. But people are often surprised to hear it’s my second favourite hole on the back nine (behind the 14th).
Sitting on flat land between the 1st and 18th hole, the 16th doesn’t appear to ask many questions off the tee. But as you approach the green the questions Coore and Crenshaw ask become clearer.
The shortest line to the green is down the right-hand side of the fairway but stray too far and it becomes a blind approach over dunes and scrub.
It’s an approach shot that requires a fade, usually against the prevailing winds. The other option is the longer approach from the more expansive left-hand side of the fairway, close to or over the bunkers.
A bump-and-run approach is ideal but bail-out to the left and you’ll find yourself with a very tricky up-and-down.
A small mound running down the side of the green calls to mind the 3rd at Royal Adelaide and provides an example of how to make a challenging finish with the need for many bunkers.
11th Barnbougle Dunes, par-5 475m
An intimidating drive always has us worrying about hitting it too far into the bunker on the left. Or not hitting it far enough and finding into the bunkers on the right.
But the biggest challenge is yet to come.
The first four or five times I played this hole I thought the big space to the left of the green was a great bail-out area.
But looks can be deceptive and if you finish here you’re in for a tricky up-and-down – over a 3-foot rise to a green that slopes away from you. It’s an up-and-down I’ve yet to see anyone make.
It’s easy to mistake the par-5 11th as just a way to get from the 10th to the dramatic short par-4 12th at Barnbougle but it’s a sleeping giant that will have you for dinner if you haven’t thought about what’s ahead of you.
Par-4, 2nd hole at Lost Farm
Of all these underappreciated golf holes, the second at Barnbougle Lost Farm is my favourite. A straight hole on a flat piece of land, you may ask, “what’s the big deal?”
There is ample space for a game of footy on this fairway, broken by two perfectly placed bunkers that force you to pick a side – or try and split them down the middle.
The strategy is largely determined by the position of the flagstick on the wide, shallow green that allows for a multitude of pin positions.
Despite appearing harmless, the second shot always seems to be a different task each time with loads of fun to be had on the undulating green.
Par-4, 2nd hole at Barnbougle Dunes
On the flat piece of land next to the old airstrip lies the par-4 2nd hole at Barnbougle Dunes.
The best line into the green is as close to the left fairway bunkers as possible. The approach shot gets incrementally harder the further you stray right with an encroaching dune ensuring some shots will be blind.
The narrow green sits in the dune protected only by its raised edges. There isn’t any huge danger in missing this green left, right or short, but you may need to have spent some time around the practise green before your round for a decent shot at par.
Par-3, 6th hole at Lost Farm
A variety of tees and pin locations means this par-3 can assemble many different golf holes all in one. No easy task in the design of a par-3 but Coore and Crenshaw did it here.
The wide but narrow green has more depth than it looks from the tee. Mounds behind the green can provide a good backstop particularly with far-right pin position in play.
The key to this hole isn’t so much accuracy, but distance.
It’s a hole that may not immediately spring to mind when recalling a round at Lost Farm but it’s a cracking golf hole that for a one-shotter, offers up a variety of different questions.