Humpty Doo and Rural Area Golf Club
Located just over a half-hour drive southeast of Darwin, Humpty Doo and Rural Area Golf Club, to be honest, surprised the hell out of us! Humpty Doo is a nine-hole course that has two sets of tees that allows you to play eighteen holes of golf. It measures 6589-yards from the Gentlemen’s tees, and a long 5758 from the Ladies’ tees, both of which play to a par of 72. Green fees are a modest 15 AUD per player, which was an incredible deal!
We have to be honest- Humpty Doo was not on our radar when we arrived in Australia. We never even heard of the quite uniquely named town. I think it was during April or May of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown when we first heard of Humpty Doo. We were stuck in our rented flat watching one of those Netflix binge series called Instant Hotel. One of the Airbnbs on the show was located in Humpty Doo. My last name is Humphrey, and with that, I was called many names as a child. Humpty Doo was, however, not one of them! But during the episode, I remember thinking, in a country full of crazy town names, Humpty Doo ranks very high in the crazy town name category. And you know me, I immediately wondered if there is a golf course there. After five seconds of Googling, I was looking at Humpty Doo’s website!
We watched the rest of the series, not really thinking that we would ever make it that far north. But as travel restrictions slowly began to ease, and our travels changed seemingly daily, a trip to Darwin in the Northern Territory became more likely. And with it, the possibility of a stop at Humpty Doo!
Let’s Go Play Golf at Humpty Doo
The opening hole at Humpty Doo is a 499-yard slightly dogleg right par 5 that has a large tree that guards the right side of the nicely manicured fairway. With my right-to-left ball flight, the tree caused me a fair bit of angst for an opening shot. But I took aim, said a little prayer to the golfing gods, flew the tree, and finished safely down the left side of the fairway. I had a wide-open second shot, split the 3 greenside bunkers on my approach, missed 10-foot for birdie, but was happy with a tap-in par.
Menekse meanwhile continued her excellent play that extended itself from a few days earlier at Darwin Golf Club. With another split fairway, a couple of 3-woods left her just short of the front left greenside bunker. With another bunker long, she deftly pitched her shot onto the green, and two-putted for a net birdie. Let’s go play golf!
We arrived later in the day at the golf course that we had planned. The evening shadows of the gum (eucalyptus) trees were long, and the tropical sounds of birds surrounded us.
A Great Golf Hole
We decided to play the par-four fourth hole from the thirteenth tee. There was something about the look of the palm-lined tee box on 13 that really appealed to me. From thirteen, the hole stretches out to 523-yards and plays to a par 5. I started my tee shot out to the right, but it did not draw and stayed there. Menekse plotted her way up the middle of the fairway. She tried to muscle her bread-and-butter 6 iron from 137-yards but finished 1 club short.
The greens at Humpty Doo are smallish, similar to what I grew up playing, and the fourth was no exception. It took us a few holes to realize that we were reading more break into the greens than we needed!
We felt that the fourth hole at Humpty Doo nicely summarizes the golf course and it was probably our favorite hole on the course. The fairway seemed daunting from the closed-in tee box, but it opened at the fairway. It was beautifully kept and did not combat us with a lot of distractions. And true to form, we over-read the small green!
The evening wind started to pick up as we made our way to the fifth- just enough to help provide relief from the hot day.
The 387-yard par 4 eighth was another golf hole that we thoroughly enjoyed. The low setting sun of the late evening shined brightly in our eyes from the tee. There is a tiny palm tree in the fairway that acts as the perfect target. The only thing is, we didn’t see it until we were 100-yards into the fairway!
I was able to turn it over perfectly on the sharp right-to-left dogleg fairway and was left with just a 9 iron to a wonderfully contoured green. With a small mound short, it would be easy to under-club here. Aiming slightly right, I felt I made a decent swing, but my ball stayed on its line. We should never miss a green with a 9 iron, but I missed the green a yard to the right.
The eighth has a bigger green than the others, and as such, I wasn’t able to get up and down for my only bogey of the day.
We don’t really know what we were expecting, but certainly not this. Sand greens perhaps. A little unmaintained maybe. But definitely much more woop woop than what we found!
Humpty Doo is a shot maker’s golf course. If you have the ability to move the ball both to the left and to the right off the tee, you would do very well here! The beautiful trees make the golf course look tighter than it actually plays. The course has relatively flat and rounded greens and not many bunkers. There is some built-up mounding on some of the fairways and around the greens, but otherwise, it is probably how mother nature left it for the lucky golfer to find.
When you make it this far north, Humpty Doo is a must-play in the Top End. Humpty Doo and Rural Area Golf Club- what a name! It was the only good thing to come out of that Netflix series, and was a great beginning to our golf trip down the Explorer’s Way!