Leura Golf Course is a par 70 classic mountains course. It is carved into the magnificent Blue Mountains clifftops and challenges golfers with its rolling fairways and well manicured greens. The front nine summary follows an excerpt from Peter Hume’s iconic essay – The Beauty of the Challenge.
In the beginning, after a tight opening hole, one treads on fairways that have been in place since 1902. Mature pines and eucalypt stands line the early fairway giving way to more open plantings of European deciduous trees that make autumn very colorful and winter, well, very sculptural as bare limbs border the playing grounds.
Back to back par fives on the 3rd and 4th holes present a welcome challenge to the serious golfer who can be tempted to try for eagle from the tee with due attention to the best angle of approach on the second shot, especially so when the fairways have firmed up in the summer months.
The outer limits of the course surround the 4th green and one hits from an elevated tee to a par 3 at the fifth on the return journey. The uphill 6th is the first glimpse of the magnificent Jamison Valley and rewards the golfer even when scores don’t.
Parkland holes complete the first 10 holes of the course.
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273 m – Par 4
A challenging start. Uphill hole with Out Of Bounds on the left with a sloping fairway from left to right. Best to hit an iron to the bottom of the hill. Approach shot club selection is critical. Aim for the back of the green, the ball will roll back down onto the green.
125 m – Par 3
Three tiered green. Find the right club and a birdie is in the offing.
441 m – Par 5
A short par 5, long hitters can reach in two if accurate. Drive to centre left of fairway. The green angles left to right going away from the golfer. There are bunkers protecting the front and middle of the two tiered green. The smart play is to lay up to the left hand side of the fairway then pitch and putt for a birdie.
495 m – Par 5
Straightaway par 5. The last 130m is uphill with Out Of Bounds fence behind the green. Play the “Scottish Pitch” and take the OOB out of play.
195 m – Par 3
Tough hole with a narrow green. Best to land short of the green leaving you an easy chip and putt for your par.
381 m – Par 5
A short, uphill hole which plays longer than its 381m. Longer hitters can reach the green in two. Aim your tee shot centre left of fairway, as the ball will then feed back. Approach shot to a small severely sloping back to front green with Out Of Bounds at the back of the green. The smart play is to take 1 club less, land the ball short and run it in.
131 m – Par 3
Index 18, downhill par 3 to a flat green. A good chance at birdie.
285 m – Par 4
Accuracy is the key to this hole. A blind tee shot to dog leg right. Aim left with a fade. The green has bunkers either side and a precise approach is required to get your par.
162 m – Par 3
Straight tee shot to heart of green. The green slopes back to front.
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“Narrow chutes, acute shot angles, blind tee shots, doglegs, forbidding rough and rolling slopes…”
from Peter Hume’s iconic essay – The Beauty of the Challenge.
These next 8 holes require a high degree of commitment to the best play one can manage. And they yield great satisfaction when mastery wins out. The consolidation of breath-taking scenery, adventurous shot-making and sheer sense of achievement at regulation figures, are not to be missed by the serious golfer on these highly individual, delightfully distinctive holes. They are a great opportunity to refine one’s temperament as well as display the best shots in one’s bag.
Some of the highlights would include the drives on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th dealing with water, OOB, narrow shot lines, precipitous slopes and untouched eucalypt forest with all its difficulties of leaf and stick and bark litter, overhanging branches, nasty roots and tree trunks everywhere. The fairway was never more aptly named than in these parts.
351 m – Par 4
Dog leg right. The dog leg is protected by a large gum tree. Drive to centre left for a clear approach to the green. Aim at the left side of the green, OOB lurks metres from the right fringe.
200 m – Par 3
Elevated tee with a bunker protecting the left half of a large green. Check the wind as this is vital to club selection.
498 m – Par 5
Tight driving hole. Tee shot over water to fairway which slopes right to left. The national park (and OOB) is on your left and heavy going. Accuracy is needed for the second shot leaving a simple pitch to green. Big hitters beware, bunkers protect this green in front and to the right.
355 m – Par 4
Dog leg left. Fairway wood or iron aimed at the gum trees straight ahead. OOB if you hit too far and on the right. Right to left sloping fairway to a large 2 tiered green.
371 m – Par 4
The world famous 14th at Leura. Index 1. This hole is bordered by one of the biggest penalty areas in golf – the Jamison Valley. Best to stay left off the tee (OOB on the right) leaving a mid to short iron to a smallish undulating green. PS. Bring out the camera at the green and take a few shots from on top of the world.
136 m – Par 3
Tee shot to elevated green protected by bunkers right and rear. A large gum stands halfway in the centre of fairway. An accurate tee shot required to a fast sloping green from back to front left.
500 m – Par 5
A tough par 5. A good tee shot is required to get over the hill. The hole dog-legs right to two very large water hazards. Once the drive is negotiated it’s best to lay up to 150m marker. Play a medium iron to the left hand side of the green which is perched on a hill.
171 m – Par 3
Toughest par 3 on the course. 174m over a gully and with water on the left of an elevated green. Pick a club then take 1 more. Shorter hitters can bail out to the left then rely on a good pitch and putt for par.
302 m – Par 4
Uphill par 4. Fairway wood off the tee and there is OOB on left. For your approach shot aim to the left side of the green, there are bunkers front right and right side.