Thursday, 8 December 2016

Half Moon Bay Golf Club - The Ninth

A contender for best par three in the Far North, the ninth at Half Moon Bay Golf Club
Cairns's best par three was once an easy call. The seventh at Paradise Palms was a gem with an elevated tee looking down to a pond-side green. But the owners decided that their iconic hole should be replaced by a housing development, and the the hole disappeared earlier this year.

So, what's our best par three now? One of my favourites is the ninth at Half Moon Bay, a 149 metre hole to a raised green jutting out into a lily filled pond. Water protects the front left, the left and the rear of the green. There's a nice bail out area to the right for the gutless to try for a chip and putt par.

There are other contenders, and they'll appear in coming posts.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Burns at Babinda Golf Club

The approach shot to the par four seventh hole at Babinda Golf Club
Babinda's golf course has burns crossing the first, third, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth holes giving a bit of a tropical links feel despite the lack of dunes.

Crossing the one of the third hole's burns.
The burns aren't very deep and in many places you could try to play out of them, I imagine that after rains there could be quite a flow.

The closing par five ninth.

Sheraton Mirage Country Club - The Eighteenth

The par three closing hole at the Sheraton Mirage Country Club
The Sheraton Mirage Country Club is unusual in ending with a par three. The tee shot is over a pond that really shouldn't be in play to a green protected by bunkers on the front right and a marshy pond short right - which I think I ended up in both times I've played.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The hidden side of Fitzroy Island


The eastern side of Fitzroy Island isn't really accessible to tourists other than on one of the tours that Raging Thunder run. There are no beaches to laze on, unless the tide is very, very low when a square meter or two can appear briefly. It's rocky coast all the way around, and most of the forest is fairly low due to the winds that blow in off the sea.

Little Fitzroy Island

Saturday, 26 November 2016

One Nation has a tax payer funded Reef holiday

Last summer the Great Barrier Reef was hit by a massive bleaching event. It could have been far worse than it was, but fortunately a cyclone blew in to the southern parts of the Reef and cooled the water enough to reduce the amount of bleaching experienced in the Southern and Central sectors. The Northern Sector was very hard hit as the below map shows:


Apparently wanting a tax payer funded holiday and to downplay the extent of damage to the Reef, Pauline Hanson and two of her dim-witted clown senators decided to head to the Great Barrier Reef for a photo opportunity. After a snorkel with a media pack watching, the One Nation dipsticks announced the Reef was "alive and well", that climate change is a hoax, and the bleaching wasn't a big deal.

Where do you suppose they went? Lizard Island, north of Cooktown would have been a sensible choice. It's in the worst hit area and has an excellent scientific facility on the island studying the Reef. Recent surveys of the area are heart breaking. There are many other spots in the red Northern Sector they could have selected.

So where did they choose? They chose Great Keppel Island - almost as far away as possible while still being on the Reef. It's an area with very little severe bleaching, and that was expected to recover reasonably well.


I'm sure it's a lovely spot for a holiday, particularly if you don't have to pay for it. But to choose it for any discussion of the 2016 bleaching event is ludicrous. It's willfully, deliberately misleading. It's like pronouncing a hospital unnecessary after wandering in and highlighting one person in the waiting room with a minor laceration that should have gone to a GP.

Your tax dollars at work.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Water hazard - FNQ style


Yesterday I returned to my old stomping grounds at Half Moon Bay Golf Club, Yorkeys Knob. The highlight of the day wasn't any shot I hit but instead a wildlife sighting I had on the 13th hole. When I was a member a few years back I heard stories of crocs in the ponds on the course, but had never seen one. Yesterday this croc, I think around 1 to 1,2 metres in length, was sunning itself on a branch just off the 13th fairway. I only managed to take two photos before it headed off into the pond , spooked as I tried to get a better angle and a little closer.

I duffed my tee shot on the 14th and it rolled into the same hazard. While knowing it unlikely that such a small croc would try to bite me, I was a little cautious as I unsuccessfully searched for my ball.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Donald Trump is an elephant's arse

Zanny Minton Beddoes from the Economist discusses their article The debasing of American politics on US morning Show The Morning Joe:

   

 They mention an image from their cover based on the Republican elephant logo. Here it is:



Tuesday, 11 October 2016

P****

Samantha Bee and her writers were always going to deliver after the weekend's Trump news:





Saturday, 24 September 2016

Family portrait

Julidochromis marlieri - Female on left, male on right, and newborn at the very front

Dreamcatcher


A Google search for Australian reggae took me to this cheery tune by the Floating Bridges. The album it's off, Creatures of Leisure, is another current favourite of mine. You can buy the track or, better still, the whole album off iTunes. The above, Jennertools, and Ball of Fire are the standouts.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The fourth at Babinda

I've made some comments in the past about par fours that are simply too short. Anything under 300 metres is suspect. I really wouldn't have imagined thinking of a 245 metre carry par four as one of my favourite holes. Then I went to Babinda.

A few steps off the tee looking toward the green
Nestled alongside a raised cane train track lies a 295 metre par four with a sharp dogleg around a small pond with Alexandra palms. It's definitely tempting to try to take on the trees and pond to go for the green, though I played safe into the generous fairway to the left. From there it's an easy pitch to a slightly raised green with cordylines providing a colourful backdrop. I found myself thinking "Wow! This hole is gorgeous" a few times as I walked up the fairway. A little toughening of the area between the pond and green might be in order, but it would be hard to do without spoiling the view.

Next time I'll try to take on the corner.

Looking back from behind the green
I'll have another post on Babinda soom. It's a nice, fairly easy nine hole course with a few features that set it apart. The greens were a little rough, but fairly good for a small club. When I was there the entire Saturday members competition teed off as a foursome behind me.