NSW Golf Club is located just 20 minutes south of Sydney’s CBD on the northern headland of historic Botany Bay. It is a links style course set amongst the sandy hills and valleys that lead to the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline. Its undeniable quality lies, in part, in the genius of its routing, laid out by Alister MacKenzie in 1926 and completed by Eric Apperly. It is at times heroic with some of the most photographed coastline holes in all of Australia. On a calm day it can be quirky, playable and fun, but if the wind is blowing, New South Wales bears its teeth and can be brutally challenging. Whatever the conditions, the course is always a shot maker’s delight and finishes in glorious fashion with a Par 5 littered with pot bunkers whose lengthy, rolling green is overlooked by the splendid clubhouse. The combination of exemplary layout, conditioning and natural topography with a huge enjoyment factor makes New South Wales Golf Club a true bucket list course.
Kingston Heath in Melbourne’s sandbelt region is consistently rated as one of the best 2 golf courses in Australia, and one of the best golf experiences anywhere in the world. It is loved as much for its charm and ambience as it is for its design and conditioning. Many (if not most) Tour Pros choose it as their favourite Australian course, including Tiger Woods, who commented:
“Unbelievable golf course…the bunkering is just phenomenal. You don’t get to see bunkering like this in any other place in the world.”
Kingston Heath has the great Alister MacKenzie to thank for its exquisite bunkering, who suggested a bunker-plan was the only improvement he could make to an already perfectly routed and constructed course. Kingston Heath is a must-play golf course.
The East Course at Royal Melbourne is far from being in the shadows of its more illustrious big brother The West – The East contributes 6 holes to the famed Composite Course, including its two closing holes. Indeed, many knowledgeable observers regard it as the most underappreciated of the great golf courses in Australia. The bunkering is again a standout, as too are the greens, which although slightly smaller than the West’s are beautifully constructed and contoured. The East course incorporates some of the most dramatic undulation on the property and gets underway with the classic combination of a short four, long four and mid four – each of which offer risk and reward options. Make no mistake, Royal Melbourne’s East course is one of the top 3 examples of quintessential Australian sandbelt golf.
The undisputed No. 1 golf course in Australia and the 6th best course in the World (Golf Digest), the West Course at Royal Melbourne is as pure a golf experience as can be found on these shores. It is simply a great golf course design, wonderfully and faithfully constructed and maintained. Alister MacKenzie’s 1926 routing fits perfectly into the contours of the rolling sandbelt land. The greens are miniature versions of the surrounding topography. The crisp bunkering, with vertical edges a foot or more tall, encroaches into fairways and putting surfaces. Most holes dogleg and the fairways are wide – distance is not a major factor, but with fast and firm greens, angle-into-the-pin is everything. Royal Melbourne has played host to numerous national and international tournaments and in 2019 will again be the venue for The President’s Cup. The Club, which was founded in 1891 has a proud reputation of providing visitors with a friendly, welcoming and inclusive experience to sit alongside its peerless golf courses.
The Old Course at The National Golf Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr and opened for play in 1988. It is the highest ranked course in the region (No. 10 Golf Digest) and is an exhilarating, perfectly presented test. Dramatic changes in elevation offer truly thrilling golf holes such as the Par 3 4th and 7th holes and the twisting, tumbling Par 5 8th and 17th holes. The Old Course at The National is rightly regarded as the best ‘experience course’ on the Mornington Peninsula – a must play.