One of the most recognisable holes on either of Melbourne’s Sandhurst Club’s two championship courses, the 9th on the North Course is a long par 5 that will entertain and challenge players of all abilities. Surrounded by water, the 9th hole, named Bluidy Burn, provides a stern test at the turn on this links inspired course. At 512m, the big hitters out there will fancy their chances of reaching the green in two and securing a birdie (or even an eagle with a favourable pin position), however as any players experienced with Sandhurst’s North Course will tell you, caution is the way forward on this hole.
The fairway is generous, so whilst the water dominates both left and right sides, only the most wayward of shots is likely to find the wet stuff from the tee. Bunkers also guard the left side and mark the turn of a small dog-leg, meaning those wanting the shortest route to the green will have to overcome these hazards. The right side is relatively risk-free and offers the safer option.
Dissecting the fairway in front of the putting surface is a small burn with a steep back wall, which cuts across, waiting to catch any and all long second shots that don’t quite have the legs to make it to the putting surface. The risk of the water means that many players opt to play a conservative, shorter second shot, leaving them with an easy and safe third shot to reach the green in regulation.
The large putting surface should be easily navigated and a 2-putt par obtainable. Whilst going into the back-9 on a birdie will certainly give a player a confidence boost, the risk of going 2-3 over on this hole means that many would play for a safe par and look elsewhere to pick up shots on the round.