Mollymook Golf Club
We had to wait a long time to play Mollymook Golf Club. A long time! 83-days in fact! Why? Well, Leaving Sydney, our intention was to travel rather quickly down the South Coast and head to Tasmania so we could play golf before the cool weather set in. However, it was March of 2020 and COVID-19 had other plans for us as it did for the rest of the world! And so, during the lockdown, Menekse and I were forced to take a flat in Jervis Bay.
We first contacted Mollymook Golf Club on the 26th of March to enquire if the Club was still open for public play. It was, for the time being, but the news was changing daily. As March is early autumn Down Under, we decided to wait until a cold front passed, as the weather forecast looked better in the upcoming days. We called again on Monday the 31st and found that it was still open. With warm sunny skies, we started walking out the door the following day and decided to call just in case. Unfortunately, overnight the NSW government had decided that golf was not essential, and the Club was not open. On Wednesday evening we had heard on the news that golf was essential again!
Tragically, we woke Thursday morning to the sound of pouring rain and ominous clouds above. The dark rain was an omen of things to come because the following day, everything in Australia came to a complete stop. We didn’t know then that we would have to wait until the 16th of June, a full 83 days before we would be able to play Mollymook!
While in lockdown, we became friends with the dogs in the neighborhood, especially Ella, a beautiful black Cocker Spaniel. We took her on daily walks, and she joined us on many of our trips to Hyams Beach. In short, we became quite attached to her!
When lockdown restrictions had finally eased, and a clear crisp blue-sky winter day in mid-June presented itself, we called the Club to enquire if Ella could join us on the golf course. Not a problem they said happily! So, after waiting 83 days, we packed our golf clubs in our campervan Putu and made the short drive down to the Club, Ella joining us.
Mollymook has 2 golf courses, the 18-hole 6808-yard Hilltop Golf Course, as well as the 9-hole Beachside Course. Playing 2122-yards from the Men’s tees, and 1984 from the Ladies’ tees, and with a name like Beachside, this was exactly the golf that we are searching for in our golf travels!
Golf is Essential
The second hole on the Beachside Course is a downhill 127-yard par three. With views of the ocean in the distance and a left-to-right wind, Menekse pulled her tee shot into the bunkered left. She made a nice recovery but she wasn’t able to convert her putt for par.
Meanwhile, I took the opposite route and pushed my 9-iron to the right for a frustrating bogey bogey start to the day. It was windy but felt warm in the sunshine. And with Ella by our side, plus being able to play golf again, my concerns quickly drifted away.
We were not entirely sure what to hit off the tee of the 330-yard downhill par 4 third. With a small pond at the bottom of the hill, we pulled out driver, took aim at a tree left and beyond the pond, and then hoped it was the right play.
My tee shot finished just short of the tree, but past the pond, and was the right club for the task.
Running parallel to three, the 327-yard par 4 fourth hole goes back up the slight hill you just descended. There is a bunker on the right side of the fairway that we could see from the tee. Using it as my target, I wasn’t able to draw my tee shot and left it out to the right.
Menekse played the hole as it intended, splitting the middle of the fairway off the tee. From there, she launched her 6-iron to the middle of the green and walked off with a satisfying par.
The downhill 164-yard seventh was simply a gorgeous golf hole! It has a Monterey Peninsula-like feel to it with the ocean and the sun rays casting long shadows through the trees. Just magical! With two bunkers right of the green and a huge Gumtree left, I hit 8-iron off the tee. Hitting down and striking it flush, I yelled for my ball to sit. But the only one listening was Ella as my ball landed on the right side of the green and one-hoped into the bunker.
As we approached, we discovered a third bunker behind the green that is hidden from view on the tee. With the ocean behind me, I splashed out with a decent bunker shot. But, like much of the day, my putting was still in lockdown, and I scribbled another bogey on the scorecard.
Next up, Menekse hit driver just slightly missing the green left. She pitched up and proceed to drain a 10-footer for par!
The final hole at the Beachside Course is the downhill 115-yards ninth hole. With the surfers as our target, Menekse pushed her tee shot out to the right. Since the shot played downhill, I hit my 50-degree wedge to the front half of the green, saving my best contact of the day for the last. The ninth was a great finishing hole to a fun round of golf!
Golf is Rewarding
Our games were rusty, and my putting speed was especially atrocious. Worse, there seemed to be no consistency in our misses. A pulled tee shot here, a pushed approach there. But, after 83 days, it was rewarding to be able to lace up our golf shoes, throw the bag on our shoulders, and swing a golf club again. Regardless of its outcome! Walking with Ella was rewarding, and Menekse especially enjoyed her loyal companionship. Sometimes just playing without keeping score is the best remedy. Golf is essential, and regardless of the score, is always worth the wait.