Stretches of time playing in America and the UK, plus some home loyalties, allowed the former Victorian PGA Champion to compose an eclectic top-ten.
KINGSTON HEATH GC Melbourne, Victoria
A course that plays shorter than its yardage, but that means your ball finds trouble faster. When the colour of the course turns that browny-purple colour, you’re in trouble as that’s when its teeth are the sharpest. It could be my favourite course of the lot.
TPC SCOTTSDALE Arizona, USA
Playing and contending in the FBR Open (now the Waste Management Phoenix Open) here in 2009 was easily the most fun I’ve had on a golf course. The course offers an amazing, fun finish, although playing the par-3 16th in front of 25,000 people made me think white pants was a bad wardrobe choice! So nervous!
VICTORIA GC Melbourne, Victoria
Even the drive up to the clubhouse is a thing of beauty, up to an old-school clubhouse that makes you feel as if you’re in another country. Victoria does fairway bunkering right as any off-centre hit is gobbled up by the traps. I love ‘Vic’.
PUMPKIN RIDGE GC Oregon, USA
This course reminds me of playing in Australia except with a lot more rough and giant pine trees. It’s always in great shape – firm and fast – and there’s usually perfect weather. Even the Portland air is just pure.
TPC SAWGRASS (STADIUM COURSE) Florida, USA
What an awesome golf course – it’s called the Stadium course for a reason. The finish here is fun and daunting at the same time. I’ve never been so nervous with a 9-iron in my hand than I was on the par-3 17th hole with the island green. The swirling cross-breezes can make you look stupid if you don’t hit a great shot.
TPC POTOMAC AT AVENEL FARM Maryland, USA
Previously called TPC Avenel, the new name and new design sits next door to past US Open host Congressional Country Club but I feel it’s the better layout. It’s a great, hard course with demanding tee shots that offer zero bail-outs.
ROYAL ADELAIDE GC Adelaide, SA
It’s a close race between here and Kingston Heath as my overall favourite. This place is just amazing! The 266-metre par-4 3rd is the best imaginative risk/reward hole I’ve played. Even a train (pictured left) goes through the middle of the course. How cool is that?
ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) Fife, Scotland
My advice is to take a local caddie here for your first time as you’ll need one – unless you like building sandcastles. This is pure links golf at its best as the elements always dictate how the course plays.
THE AUSTRALIAN GC Sydney, NSW
A pure ball-striking affair this one. The course is always in amazing shape and I love the great elevated tee shots. I just love playing ‘The Aussie’.
LAKE KARRINYUP CC Perth, WA
This course has everything: huge ups and downs, great greenside bunkering and lightning-fast greens that make you think twice about hitting at the pins. I like that there are so many different-style tee shots on offer.
THE NITTIES RÉSUMÉ
- Has two PGA Tour of Australasia titles to his credit, including last year’s South Pacific Open.
- Captured the Web.com Tour’s Midwest Classic in 2011.
- Played in one major: the 2009 US Open, where he missed the cut.
- Represented Australia at the Eisenhower Trophy in 2004 in his swansong as an amateur.
- Once participated in Golf Channel’s reality TV series, The Big Break, where he was eliminated during the seventh episode.