More Australians are playing golf today than at any other time in the past 20 years. But the economic reality, as we emerge from the darkest months of the COVID-19 pandemic, is many of us now need to make our hard-earned dollars stretch a little further. Here, we reveal the 18-hole layouts – and some standout nine-holers – offering Australian golfers the greatest value for money golfing experiences.
Green fee: $45 (Monday to Thursday); $49 (Friday to Sunday).
Canberra’s Yowani course has, during the past six decades, developed into one of the best courses in the region.
Originally designed by James Herd Scott – who also consulted on the design of Royal Canberra in its early years – Yowani was opened for play in 1954 and is characterised by beautifully framed fairways, receptive greens and well-placed bunkering.
Green fees: $35 (weekdays); $44 (weekends).
One of the prettiest courses you will find as you cross the Blue Mountains. Blackheath is the Blue Mountains’ rhododendron village and that kind of colour extends to the course, which is lined with colourful flowering trees along with maples, blossoms and azaleas.
Como, Western Australia
Green fees: $32 (weekdays); $41 (weekends).
Collier Park is one of Perth’s best inner-city complexes with 27-holes available for play.
Carved out of an old pine plantation, Collier Park not only offers a high standard of presentation but the variety of holes on each nine will encourage you to visit the course more than once.
Green fees: $25 (weekdays); $30 (weekends).
The original home club two Australian Open champions – Lou Kelly (1933) and Bruce Devlin (1960) – as well as PGA Tour winner, Brett Ogle, is a first class country layout with some interesting holes.
The 495-metre par-5 3rd is one such hole as it winds up Rocky Hill, beneath the town’s iconic War Memorial, and features a bunkerless but treacherous shallow green terraced into the hillside that affords a panoramic view of the town.
MIRBOO NORTH GC
Mirboo North, Victoria
Green fee: $30.
Lying in the heart of Gippsland’s magnificent Strzelecki Ranges, Mirboo North boasts very good playing surfaces, while the design has some unforgettable natural holes.
The 160-metre downhill par-3 16th known as ‘Plum Pudding’ is one of the best of them, because the green sits in the middle of what looks like an upturned plum pudding bowl.
NEW TERRY HOTEL & GOLF RESORT
Wirrina Cove, South Australia
Green fees: $35 (weekdays); $45 (weekends).
With an abundance of kangaroos and spectacular views over St Vincent’s Gulf and the countryside of the Fleurieu Peninsula, New Terry Hotel & Golf Resort offers a nice setting for a round.
New owners took over the course in 2018 and immediately invested in improving the course. Irrigation and drainage were extensively upgraded.
SHOALHAVEN HEADS GC
Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Green fee: $35.
Shoalhaven Heads has evolved into a very good links layout.
All but five holes of this hidden golfing gem run in a north-south direction, across and along the dunes behind the adjoining beach. This rolling landscape meant there was very little earthmoving required to create some terrific links holes, while the fine sandy base underneath has allowed for some creative and strategically-placed bunkering.
Green fee: $30.
Course designer Mike Clayton has made recent modifications to the Vern Morcom original layout, which meanders across the foothills of the Baw Baw Ranges.
This is not a long course but, as a result, it boasts some interesting short holes, including the shortest of them all – the 112-metre par-3 5th hole. The tee shot is nothing more than a short iron for most, but the choice of club is important as to avoid the deep bunkers, front and back, of the shallow green.
Green fee: $30.
A course of similar standard in a capital city would easily charge more than double the meagre green fee that is asked here.
Nice undulating terrain and well-manicured Santa Ana couch fairways and bentgrass greens are of a much higher standard than its $30 green fee would have you believe.
Green fees: $35 (Sunday to Friday); $39 (Saturday).
Tropics has been under new ownership for the past few years and plenty of work is being carried out on constantly improving the presentation and the difference is clearly noticeable.
The abundance of wildlife on the course and the chance to follow in the footsteps of the professionals ensure a round here is a memorable golf experience.
WEST BEACH PARKS – PATAWALONGA COURSE
West Beach, South Australia
Green fees: $30 (weekdays); $40 (weekends).
The Patawalonga course covers easy-walking, sandy terrain, which is ideal for growing grass. So, it’s no wonder the kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens are well-presented.
The greens are massive too, and are well bunkered, which you would expect from a links course.