Pacific Dunes – November 2016 – This week I had the pleasure of golfing at Pacific Dunes at Port Stephens.
Mark Ingrey (a golf mate of mine) knows I am playing different courses as I travel the world and as I had already played his home track, Newcastle Golf Club, he suggested I call Kurt Linde at Pacific Dunes and was correct in saying Kurt would love to meet me.
I spoke with Kurt while I was on the range at the Australian Open and planned to meet him, have a golf chat and tee it up at Pacific Dunes the following week.
Turns out that the parents of my good friend Elissa, John and Sue, are also members at Pacific Dunes (they live along the 15th) so they joined Mark and I in a hot round on Monday.
It was very warm when I arrived and it just got hotter.
I met with Kurt and we were continuing our conversation from our phone call when a gentleman came and asked if i was Tiffany. I hugged Elissa’s parents hello and while they went to get coffee I had a quick chat with Kurt before joining them.
I was meeting with Kurt post round to further discuss Fairways and what we were doing to help underprivileged junior golfers all over the world.
Sue, John and I had enjoyed a cuppa before Sue gave me a tour of the clubhouse area. I was tempted to jump in the pool but I had golf to play.
Mark arrived not long after and we headed on out. As the 1st hole was having some irrigation work done we started on the 10th.
The back nine is a tricky test of golf as there is water everywhere. I hit the water on my first drive. I recovered my ball and to be honest I have been struggling with my driver my last few rounds. I just can’t seem to get on to it and not sure if it is my ball position or my timing so I wasn’t too upset. John fished my ball out and I nailed it with my 3w – which has become a good friend of late.
Mark birdied the first hole and continued to own the course. He had a couple of wayward shots but when he dropped his first eagle putt and was putting for his second eagle we were all suitably impressed.
John and Sue know the course well and directed me all around the trouble spots. I still managed to donate three balls to the course but after finding 13 I was clearly winning. To be honest we found more than that but my golf is now at the level that I don’t take every ball I find.
As we were all playing for pleasure, we practiced various things we were working on and as a golfer, when is there ever nothing that you are working on?
On one hole I hit three drives – my first one was straight down the middle but I wanted to see if I could work out the kinks as I was hitting it better but still not great.
We watched a massive goanna (that I couldn’t quite photograph) try to steal birds eggs while the birds attacked and escorted him from the vicinity.
Kangaroos lazed in the shade (it was 32 degrees by now) watching our golf – some of it amazing, some mediocre.
We had a pit stop at the 18th, grabbed a sandwich, relished the air conditioning before we headed back out to the 1st.
The front nine is narrower and has rough that is known locally as “love grass”. If you land in there you are screwed – I can attest to that.
I had a birdie attempt on the 5th just missing my putt and then on the 8th, dropped a long putt about 30 feet off the green and it never looked like missing.
There is a lot of new construction going on around the course as the Pacific Dunes community continues to grow.
We had a great laugh and golf chat on the course but by the front nine it was very hot and humid, the only relief was if we were zipping fast in the cart. We all hit some very sweet shots but not all of us were consistent.
Post round, Mark had to dash off while Sue, John and I took our sweaty selves into the cool interior of The Greenhouse for a cold beverage.
I met Kurt to further discuss golf in the area and junior golf (this course has Aqua tees that plays 3815 so juniors can play with parents and grandparents) but first we helped move the Christmas tree into the foyer of the clubhouse.
I love meeting and connecting with fellow golfers, talking about getting more feet on fairways and how we can encourage interested children to continue playing my favourite sport.
I look forward to playing Pacific Dunes again when my golf has improved and perhaps not donate any balls to the course.