Corowa tough for elite, Yarrawonga a killer for handicappers

COROWA is the Border’s toughest test for elite golfers but it’s Yarrawonga that’s the killer for the high handicapper.

Golf Australia has released the ratings of the nation’s courses as part of its plan to make handicaps more flexible and transportable when it rolls out its new system in January.

It said Corowa’s east course, along the Murray River, is the toughest test of golf in the region — its par-73 course rated a shot higher at 74 for scratch handicappers.

But for high handicappers, it is Yarrawonga’s Lakes and Murray courses, along with Wangaratta’s Jubilee golf club, that are the benchmark with “slope ratings” of 132 and 129.

An average course comes in at 113.

Corowa’s head professional Rob Rowe yesterday said the length of the east course was part of the reason for its tough assessment.

“Even by modern-day standards, the 6500-metre layout is long,” he said.

“And then there is the challenge of the river along holes 10, 11 and 12.

“We’d expect that this will create more interest in people travelling to play golf at different course — because of the slope rating, a 10-handicapper at Wodonga may play off 13 here under the new system.”

Yarrawonga professional Evan Droop said the high “slope rating” reflected the trouble for high handicappers off the tees.

“It certainly doesn’t surprise me — you can find yourself in plenty of trouble off the tees here and the slope rating is also affected by green speed. Ours are very quick,” he said.

“The idea, of course, is that this system will level up the handicaps where ever you go.”

The ratings declared Thurgoona as being the toughest of courses in Albury-Wodonga itself, its par-72 layout rated a stroke harder.

Director of golf Kirk Nederpelt believed that had a lot to do with the length of the course.

“It certainly tests the scratch golfer looking to play to par,” he said.

“At the same time, we have seen an increase in the number of single-handicap players coming here in recent years and that is in part due to the fact that the course is a true test of golf.”

For ratings of all courses on the Border and North East, go to the Golf Australia website.