Always on the lookout for new COD venues, Mike Sheahan and Hujakate put Club Mandalay to the test today. And it was a very interesting experience.
Club Mandalay is a short drive up the Hume Highway from the outskirts of Melbourne. It is a links style course and one of the last designed by Peter Thomson before he croaked it. The hole synopses on their website constantly make mention of the “signature Thomson design bunkers” – and they are omnipresent, magnetically attracting your ball from the tee and protecting all greens.
This picture sums up the day’s proceedings….
I have never seen so much sand action on the COD circuit.
The course condition, however, was outstanding. Beautiful wide fairways with excellent grass that allowed the ball to roll generously, even on the adjacent first cut. The greens rolled very true and very fast – judging the speed of the putt was the challenge more so than its line.
Sheahan found the course physically taxing (there are no seats at all on the course – not one) and struggled on the day. He suffered a number of pick ups on the back nine, but finished with par-bogey-bogey to tally 113.
Hujakate was 1 under after two holes(!), then fluctuated on the rest of the front nine before finding consistency on the back nine. Then came the implosion….
That brain fade on the 17th consigned him to a 96. Six pars, a birdie and three pick ups probably best describes his day.
Club Mandalay is not the most picturesque course going around – surrounded as it is by desolation and house & land packages – but it is a facility that has had plenty of money pumped into it, the staff are friendly and the course presents a challenge that would be a worthy addition to a Mouth of Cod Invitational event.