Royal Military College Golf Club – Canberra’s best kept secret

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If you are a fearless golfer up for a challenge and looking to play at a club with a difference, you need look no further than Royal Military College Golf Club.  Located on the outskirts of Canberra and known to the locals as Duntroon Golf Club, this picturesque little course sits in the grounds of Duntroon Military College.

Opened in 1962, the links date back to the 1920’s when military staff shaped 9 holes out of the bush for recreational play.  The layout has now proudly matured into a quality 9 hole golf course open to members and the public.

The homely clubhouse is situated on Calculus Lane, which is easily located after passing through the College’s “Gunnery Gates” on Fairbairn Avenue.

The small friendly clubhouse overlooks a neat, well-manicured putting green surrounded by stunning rose bushes lovingly cared for by devoted Duntroon members.

Sporting 9 holes with 11 green and 18 different tee positions, this 9 hole / 18 hole parkland style golf course gave the 8, 9 and 10 markers of our group a challenge and I’m sure would test golfers of all caliber.

The par 68 layout with its narrow fairways and small greens provided many unexpected surprises as did the Black Hawk helicopters and cadets performing manoeuvres on the course’s outskirts.  Yes I can confidently say there is something for everyone hidden here (quite possibly one of Canberra’s best kept secrets).

Duntroon’s allure is definitely its sneaky, small, lightning fast, bent greens, all of which are surrounded by an array of bunkers.

My favourite hole on the course is the par five, 4th.  This hole is said to be one of the toughest par fives in Canberra.  The dog-leg hole is lined by tall pines and shapes from left to right leaving no room for error off the tee.

Approaching the green, bunkers are positioned to the left and right allowing a narrow pathway of only three metres for wedge shots or a bump and run into the green.

This great par five is then followed by arguably one of the most challenging par threes I’ve ever played.  The 5th is terror personified.  From tee to green the hole is straight, 100 metres long, surrounded by bunkers and sided by out of bounds.  Hitting into this tiny green requires fearless accuracy and a strong commitment to shot selection.  Any slight deviations from this elevated tee will leave you at the beach or on the road.

One minor downside to Duntroon is playing the nine holes twice, albeit from different tees, with a couple of extra greens.  That said, the course is still nicely varied as there are eighteen different tee positions, some of which are on different angles, (which tends to keep you on your toes).  Another slight drawback is the limited practice facilities consisting of a two bay practice net and two practice chipping greens, one of which has a bunker.

On the whole this course gets my thumbs up, showing fantastic value for money.

Annual membership fees $600.00 (no joining or nomination fee)

Weekday casual play rates $20.00

Weekend casual play rates $30.00

Rates current as at 06/03/12

My Course Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: I am a past member and Club Champion of Duntroon and still enjoy playing there when I get the chance. (Solly)

Shoes of Joy – Personalised golf shoes

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For those of you that hadn’t already realised, personalised golf shoes are available.  I too had heard or read somewhere that Footjoy were doing something with personalised golf shoes and to be honest I didn’t really think much of them, that is until the other day…………

Story starts now:

It was a rare day in that I found myself with more than 2 minutes to spare.  But, it was also an ordinary weather day.  It was cold and sunny, but not quite sunny enough to get the endorphins running around by themselves.

I decided I should probably do some excruciating, sorry exercising, which is one and the same thing really, isn’t it?  After about 30 mins of pretending to enjoy myself it appeared obvious that my endorphins had gone on a holiday to Broome, the Caribbean or some other exotic location and not notified me.

Blow me down with a feather but I found myself in a surprising situation.  The excruciating wasn’t giving me quite the energising lift I was looking for so I threw in the not so damp towel and went for an aimless wander to seek invigorating inspiration elsewhere.

Now some of you probably don’t know me well as yet so I will let you in on a little secret – my aimless wanderings usually take me to places like golf courses, driving ranges, retail golf outlets and or coffee shops.

What a dream if you could combine all four destinations in one!!  I do give credit though, some places have come close.

I digress.

Anyway …………… on this particular day I ended up in one of the more popular golf retail outlets.  Upon entering the shop the staff were unpacking a multitude of boxes.  Stock and packaging had seemingly spread across 3/4 of the shop but there they were, amongst the mayhem calling to me.

A pair of personalised MyJoys on the front counter, I just had to negotiate a safe path through the maze of bubble wrap and cardboard to reach them.

THESE SHOES ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I nearly fainted with delight.  You really do need to see a pair to get the full “must have” effect.  I got so excited about these patriotic, leathery, shoes of joy that I asked the staff if I could take a photo of them.

My photo really doesn’t do the shoe justice – one side of the heel had the Australian Flag and the other side was personalised with the player’s name.  Not that I am likely to forget my name but this just tipped me over the edge.

Needless to say the whole world now knows what I want for Christmas.

This is golfing consumerism gone mad – if you are suffering from the bogey blues these shoes of joy may be the lift you need.  If your bogeys are giving you the bogeys treat yourself to a pair of customised MyJoys or at the very least have a play on the MyJoy website and make up your own virtual pair of personalised shoes:

http://www.footjoy.com.au/myjoys/

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post “Solly” really does love these shoes.

P.S. I got a postcard from my endorphins they went to Sweden of all places to check out the Nordea Masters in Stockholm (lucky them).

Sport and the power to inspire

Are you interested in sport? Are you a player, follower, or a lounge chair Norm? Are there games you hate to love or love to hate?  Do you follow individuals or teams?  Have you ever sat down and thought about what it is exactly that draws you to these players or teams?

Sport, whichever discipline, person or team you follow has the potential to inspire individuals, groups of people and sometimes nations.

In the words of Nelson Mandela “Sport has the power to change the world.  It has the power to inspire.  It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.  Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand”.

Let’s forget for a moment about all those bad games of golf we’ve had in the past and focus on the few good shots that we’ve recently played, or if you’re really lucky, the good games we’ve recently had.  Yes this can be a bit of a tease, but how did they make you feel?  Did they inspire you to come back again and trump the experience with an even better attempt?

It’s an interesting discussion isn’t it?  We all know that with golf, repeating truly great experiences is generally not easily done but it’s those positive experiences that draw us back to the course again and again and give us an amazing lift when everything seemingly falls into place.

If you are interested in participating further in this discussion, on June 3 a panel of three UQ alumni and community members will discuss the power of sport and how it contributes to communities, economies and individuals.

Panelists include; Mr Paul Henry internationally recognized sporting facilities architect; John Grant, current chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission; and Brendan Hall multiple world championship and paralympic medallist.

For more info or to register for this event visit this link:

www.alumni.uq.edu/power-of-sport

Congratulations Freddie

The Players Championship held earlier this month was preceded, as usual, with a gala dinner, which included the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

This year Fred Couples stole the show with an incredibly humble account of his extraordinary life.

Freddie was so overcome by this honour that his moving and tearful acceptance speech went viral.

Congratulations to all the inductees!

Go grab a box of tissues and view the speech here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NuXHOsQGg4

Lindsey Wright in 2nd place after day 2 at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Paola Moreno of Columbia is the clubhouse leader at -9 after day 2 of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic leading Lindsey Wright of Australia by 1 stroke as the players head into the final round.

Earlier in the week thunderstorms left more than a foot of rain on the Bahamas course situated on Paradise Island.  Only 12 holes of the course were left relatively unaffected leaving tournament officials scratching their heads.

Officials were left with no other choice but to modify the tournament to 36 holes consisting of 3 rounds of a composite 12 hole layout of the original course, using holes which had been left relatively unaffected by the deluge.

Crews worked around the clock to prepare the composite course.

After shooting -7 today Lindsey seemed relaxed as she talked about her game coming together and keeping patient.

Lindsey, currently ranked 78 on the Rolex Ranking, admitted her form had been a bit up and down of late, she has been hitting the ball well but struggling with her putting.  Lindsey’s short game was her best asset today.

Hear and see more of Lindsey’s interview below: