The Tambo Valley Golf Club is a volunteer run, non-profit Club located between Omeo and Swifts Creek just off the Great Alpine Road.
The course is nestled under Mt Bindi between Splitters Range and Nunniong Plateau and features pine trees surrounded by native bushland covered hills which rise steeply from the clear mountain waters of Junction Creek.
The course layout has been designed to fit the surrounding landscape and takes on a living quality as the seasons and weather aberrations create continual change in the course’s presentation.
The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, fallow deer, emus, wombats, water dragons, and a multitude of bird life.
The course layout was established in 1969 and features a pine plantation planted in the early sixties on land previously used for dairy farming.
The course was designed by the late Bob Blackwood who was then the local policeman, and Les Skelton who with wife Joan, ran the local Swifts Creek General store at a time when the area was prospering from wool and timber production.
Much of the labour and machinery for creating the course was borrowed from the local sawmill which at that time employed over one hundred workers. When required policeman Bob Blackwood would also commandeer labour from the bar of the old Albion Hotel – now burnt down and replaced.
In 2003 the Great Alpine fires scorched the surrounding eucalypts but had only a minor effect on the pine trees due to their location on flats close to the creek. A number of pines along the 8th fairway were destroyed and have recently been replanted with eucalypts.
As the young pine trees have grown into towering maturity the character and approaches to each of the holes has subtly changed. Major floods in 1994 and 1998 and numerous smaller floods in 2008, 2012, & finally in 2016, left their legacy on the landscape. In 2018, construction of a low-level crossing further downstream was established on the original farm access road alignment.
Current facilities at Tambo Valley have evolved from a refurbished farm cottage and include a small clubhouse with licensed bar, kitchen, showers and toilets. Machinery sheds have been added along with an external ablutions unit purchased when the Benambra mine ceased operation.
Because of the remoteness of the course for out-of-town visitors, the old orchard area surrounding the Clubhouse has been developed into a camping ground with powered sites and clean amenities. Camping is free of charge for Members and visitors are granted Honorary Membership upon payment of All Day Green Fees.
This area comes alive during the Club’s twice-yearly five-day tournaments when up to a hundred ardent golfers stay on-site and enjoy the Club’s hospitality. (See Calendar for tournament dates).
A number of push buggies are available free of charge and hire clubs ($5) are available on request. Several camp fire sites are available and fire pots can be placed as required. Junction Creek runs adjacent to the camping area and provides a cooling respite on hot summer days.
NOTE: Dogs have recently been banned from the course due to non-compliance with leash requirements and the subsequent soiling of camp-sites and mowing areas. We apologise for this ruling – one which we tried hard not to implement.
The course consists of nine holes made up of 3 par 3’s, 3 par 4’s and 3 par 5’s, with most holes having alternate tees. The par 72 layout has an Australian Course Rating of 71 for Men and Ladies (slope rating – Men 128, Ladies 125). Distance markers are provided at 150, 100 & 50 m from the centre of each green.
Although not long (Men – 5,558 m, Ladies – 4,837 m), the course has a high difficulty rating with narrow fairways, small greens and plenty of ‘no go’ zones. Course management takes priority over power play and shots are often dictated by the ball’s lie.
Green fees are $20/day and $25/per person for Honorary Membership which allows free camping (non-golfers pay $10/day for Honorary Membership).
Competition days for Men are Sunday (12.00 pm), and Wednesday from 1.00 pm (9-hole competition). The Ladies Roster runs from February to October with hit-off being 9.30 am Tuesdays. (See Calendar).
The greens are Bent grass with coring late in August as Spring growth kicks-in. Fairways contain good winter grass through to January when the run increases as the ground hardens. Due to the course’s location heavy morning dew maintains grass cover through most summers with the best cover being from mid September through to late January.