If you thought the beauty of Barnbougle was remote but well worth the trek – welcome to a new level of golf adventure – King Island. Ocean Dunes and Cape Wickham are links-style, clifftop then oceanside then dunescape golf courses that define ‘spectacular’. They have created their own category of course design that has no precedent in Australia.
Ocean Dunes is located 5 mins from both King Island’s main town of Currie and its Airport, but from the moment you get out of the car in the carpark you will feel about 5 years from life’s distractions – so pure is this course’s scenery and set-up.
This is challenging golf in every way. Choose your set of tees wisely and consider the elements of the day when doing so – this course has no respect for ego.
From the 500m opening hole where a colossal bunker must be navigated to reach a green that is set against the backdrop of the roaring Bass Strait to the heroic amphitheater that is the 18th green, Ocean Dunes is relentless in its visual spectacle and what Graeme Grant and his team has delivered is an absolute triumph of modern links design principles. One of the ways they have achieved this is by creating or finding 18 cohesive green sites that are consistently large and undulating and therefore offer an embarrassment of pin positions which can change entirely the way a hole might be best played.
It might be wrong to single out particular holes for praise, but for the team at The Golf Travel Agency, it is the quartet of Par 3s and the finishing holes that stand out. Each Par 3 is breathtaking, be it the carry demanded (#4), the exquisite saddle green site (#8), the length and oceanside setting (#10) or the playfulness (#14). The closing 4 holes are all Par 4, but they increase in length and provide a stern test to finish the round in the great tradition of the best British and Irish links.