The Sands Torquay is a residential golf resort set slightly north of the popular Victorian seaside village of Torquay. Perched on the headland, nestled against the dunes and at the start of the world-famous Great Ocean Road, The Sands Torquay is a sleek and modern premium golf resort destination.
The course is a unique links style championship golf course, that has been moulded into the sand dunes in the beautiful setting of Victoria’s Surf Coast. Designed by Australia’s very own world ranked professional golfer, Stuart Appleby, who once closed with a score of 59 to win an event on the PGA Tour, this course offers a championship challenge for the low handicapper and a playable, realistic challenge for the weekend golfer.
With up to five tee positions on every hole and over 100 strategically positioned bunkers, it certainly lives up to its name and is a testament to the architectural commitment and passion of Stuart Appleby. Being a Victorian lad and having cut his teeth in his early professional years on the European Tour, these early experiences have certainly been replicated in his design work.
There are some who will enjoy the open, windswept feel of this course, and others who like the bold, sprawling Sandbelt style bunkering. The standout holes on each nine are as follows:
The 2nd hole, a short risk-reward par 4 of 318 metres, presents a heavily bunkered vision to the golfer who could well be a bit intimidated by the view. In fact, there are at least 3 good options for the tee shot on the shortest par 4 on the course, but the stage for the round has been set. Golfers will see plenty of sand during this adventure, and they will have to use their heads constantly in order to avoid being trapped. The green here is relatively small and tightly bunkered, so precision is key at the 2nd.
Immediately following at the long 3rd (stretching 540 metres) golfers are asked to add power to their tee shots and there is plenty of room to let one fly. That said, avoiding the massive bunker on the left of the landing area, which is the start of diagonal bunkering that runs the length of the hole, is paramount. The green is slightly raised, helping to make this hole a true 3-shot par 5 for all but the long ball bombers willing to take the risk.
The long 11th hole embodies all the natural elements of the Torquay site – sand dunes, tall grass, Moonah trees and even some rock outcrops. At 435 metres, on this par 4 you will be thankful prevailing breezes should be at your back, so a well hit tee shot will clear the small cluster of Moonah trees occupying the left centre of the fairway. The fairway splits around a natural slope with 4 embedded bunkers and rises to a well-protected green, gently tucked into the dunes landscape.
As the round draws to a close you need to successfully navigate the longest short hole on the course – the 17th. A brute of a par 3 at 210 metres from the back tee often played against a prevailing breeze. The hole sets up for a slight fade shot and is just open enough to allow a run-up approach, but surprise surprise – there are plenty of bunkers to catch errant shots!