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Black Bull Opens Nine Holes

Apr 6, 2010

By ausgolf editor Selwyn Berg

The new Thomson-Perrett golf course at Siverwoods Resort on the shores of Lake Mulwala at Yarrawonga had a ‘soft opening’ of nine holes Easter 2010.

The construction by Turnpoint has transformed dead river flats into a wonderful gently undulating landscape carpeted in rich “Grand Prix” couch, augmented by natural marsh grasses and dotted with plenty of lateral water hazards.

The new strain of couch has been designed specifically for tough Australian conditions and is claimed to retain its green colour during winter dormancy. It certainly presents a dense thatch on fairways, which is great to play off, and can be formidable in the rough – at Siverwoods Grand Prix presents a seamless carpet over tees, fairways and rough, with brilliant G2 Bent greens that are slick and fast with plenty of huge swales that can divert any errant shot, especially in the wind on this exposed layout.

Ross Perrett has once again provided a fair yet testing layout with wide fairways, huge greens (often multi-tiered) and judicious use of sand. The fairway bunkers are typically located some 230m from the back tees, so that they present more of a risk and reward challenge to the average golfer if he chooses to play from forward tees. And whilst escape is not too easy, there is usually the opportunity to advance the ball towards the hole with a mid-iron. Greenside bunkers are equally fair, and all are constructed with easy walk in – walk out for the golfer in mind. Overall course maintenance and presentation is excellent.

The nine holes present an enjoyable golfing experience for public players of all abilities. I loved the long second hole (will ultimately become the 15th) that plays to a huge and elevated green set against the Lake with its silent dead gums.

The fifth is a shortish par five of 470 with the green protected by a dangerously narrow opening with water encroaching into the fairway from the left side.

Missing a green anywhere on the course results in a tough chipping situation, especially so if the ball nestles into the wiry Grand Prix rough!

I would have liked to see the design incorporate a few dogleg holes, and perhaps some variation in the distance from tee to drive bunkers – but these concerns are unlikely to trouble the green fee player or local resident. The course certainly provides a fun alternative to the more established River courses nearby, and until it becomes better known, the opportunity to enjoy “millionaire golf” in a completely uncrowded, highly manicured setting.