From Chris Lane, designer of Elmsley Island, Wentworth Lakes is a fantastic follow up effort. This course takes a different approach to the Alpine theme, using wide, flowing fairways that do not feel cramped like most Alpine courses, despite pretty heavy forestation on most holes. This course derives its difficulty from strategically placed bunkers and some pretty heavy elevation changes, but none of which detract from the course.
All of the first five holes are intriguing, but hole 6 is the first real standout hole. This downhill par three provides a stunning vista and a challenging club selection off the tee in even a medium wind. Hole 7 is also an enjoyable hole, with a peninsular green that falls off on all sides, requiring a really focused approach shot.
Hole 8 is a par 5 that requires a lay up, even though the player might be tempted to go for the green in two on a long down hill shot. The bunkers scattered in front of the green and the large false front are there to sucker players into making a mistake. The terrain shaping is highlighted here, as well as on 10 and 11.
Hole 15 is another standout, but my favorite hole on the course was 17. This is wonderful risk/reward par 5 that can really provide chances to score if the player hits two extremely well-executed shots.
There are couple knocks on this course from me. The first is that many of the bunkers are dwarfed by the large fairways, which makes them look and feel small in the grand scheme of the course. A lot of bunkers on the edge of fairways make awkward shapes and cut lines. The fairway edged bunkers could have been a little more beautiful and realistic if they were surrounded by rough. The other issue for this course is the lighting, which is pretty sufficient but low enough in the sky to cause a number of hard shadows that can hide the hole and tax the frame rate in spots.
Aside from these relatively minor issues, the whole course is a lot fun to play and will give the player a chance to grip and rip off the tee, but require lots of thought on the approaches, striking a nice balance. You can tell there was a lot of effort put into this one and it's a good addition to Lane's portfolio. 4.5/5.0 and recommended for all players.
|No hosted tournaments for this course.|