Here are the 100 best (all measuring more than 340 metres) to be found across the nation, as voted for by our panel of Top-100 Courses judging panel.



446-metre, 8th hole

A wonderful, unique par-4 (pictured above) that covers seemingly unchanged terrain and ranks as the hardest hole on the world-ranked layout. From the elevated tee among the dunes, you have a choice with a split fairway – a high sliver of fairway left, and a low and wide avenue right. The toughest drive into the narrow high road affords the shortest route to the green, while the easier drive leaves a longer, more difficult, uphill approach to the green. Large bunkers are cut into the rough-covered hill, well short of the oval-shaped putting surface.  


400-metre, 17th hole

The penultimate hole can play as short as 259 metres but from the tips there are far more risks from tee to green, especially when playing into the prevailing westerly wind. There is a long carry over marram grass to reach the fairway, which is not as wide as others during the round and lies between dunes left and the beach right. Only the longest hitters will be really troubled by the large fairway bunkers right, while the approach is to a slightly raised green.


433-metre, 5th hole

The overwhelming feature of this hole is a towering marram grass-covered sand dune that obscures a full view of the dogleg right fairway and separates the hole from the meandering Forrester River to the right. During a visit a few years ago, Adam Scott took the short cut right of the dune and drove the green.

Barnbougle Lost Farm 5th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


382-metre, 13th hole

The fairway here turns sharply left around the base of a high sand dune covered with sparse areas of marram grass among the wasteland. It’s a really wide fairway but the best line into the green is from the left side where a long stretch of bunkers can be found at the base of the dune. From here, it is a wide open putting surface lying in an amphitheatre created by the dunes.


386-metre, 14th hole

With the iconic Cape Wickham lighthouse in the distance, the only thing you can’t see from the elevated tee is the green, which is tucked behind a large, marram grass-covered sand dune. The fairway follows the right-to-left slope of the hillside and turns gradually in the same direction as the terrain. This brings five fairway bunkers cut into a terrace, left of the wide fairway, into play. The outstanding natural terrain gives rise to a superb punchbowl green site.


377-metre, 16th hole

One of the last holes constructed at Cape Wickham, and perhaps the most dramatic. The 16th features a steep fairway that runs left to right toward the edge of the rocky coastline. The approach shot to the green – wedged between a high dune to left and the rocks to the right – is complicated by a deep ‘coffin-like’ bunker carved out of the middle of the fairway about 40 metres short of the putting surface.

Cape Wickham Links, 16th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


396-metre, 18th hole

One of the world’s great finishing holes, where your drive must carry the beach to find the rolling fairway set diagonally to the direction of your tee shot. Uniquely, the beach is in play for both the tee shot and the approach. Those able to hug the beach with their drive are rewarded with a shorter and simpler second shot into a green lying between a high dune left and the beach right.

Cape Wickham Links, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


354-metre, 11th hole

The last of Ocean Dunes’ holes to hug the coastline and the kelp track. Plays longer than its scorecard length, particularly from the high right side of the split fairway. A crop of bunkers cut into the middle of the fairway, leaves a narrow lower corridor where the approach shot into the green is far less complicated.


359-metre, 18th hole

This two-shotter is a strong end to a round. A slight dogleg left requires a well-placed tee shot, followed by a mid iron. In 1971, Jack Nicklaus twice drove over a high gum tree on the corner to finish 30 metres short of the green. A tricky green with many subtle breaks awaits after the deep bunker on the front is safely negotiated.


383-metre, 13th hole

This two-shotter plays longer than the scorecard would suggest. The target area for the tee shot is the right side of the sloping fairway to leave a mid- or even long-iron to the green. There are bunkers, left and right, but the real danger is the area to front left of the green where an errant shot can roll more than 50 metres, leaving a really difficult recovery pitch.



405-metre, 14th hole

Running parallel with the Pacific Ocean and separated from the beach by low lying sand dunes and sandy wasteland. The big danger is the sparse offerings of Bitou bush left and right, which demands a perfect tee shot. The fast, relatively flat putting surface is protected by two bunkers left.

Belmont GC, 14th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


380-metre, 1st hole

The water in front of the tee snakes its way along the right edge of the hole before cutting diagonally across, cutting the fairway in two. The safest line from the tee is at the fairway bunker left as the camber of the fairway draws balls toward the water like a moth to flame. The slightly elevated green, with two bunkers long and another short, is best approached with at least one extra club to successfully make the carry.


366-metre, 3rd hole

The obvious feature of this hole is the meandering creek that hugs the right edge of the fairway for the first half of the journey to the green. The start of the tree line left and the creek narrow the fairway considerably but the areas short and beyond are wide and receptive. Three deep greenside bunkers right are staggered to catch mis-hits into the green, which is otherwise surrounded by short grass.

Bonville Golf Resort, 1st hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


411-metre, 13th hole

From an elevated tee the fairway bends slightly right, with fairway traps right, then a dramatic drop into bushland further right. From the point of the drive it’s anything from a 3-iron to a 7-iron; the longer the approach, the tougher it is to hold the rock-hard green. The danger here is the rocks and rough immediately through the putting surface. Mike Clayton says: “The par-4s at Ellerston are spectacular in their design. The 13th is arguably the best of them.”


354-metre, 9th hole

The strategy here is determined by a vast wetland that separates the right edge of the fairway and the green beyond. There are two bunkers left of the fairway to catch the over conservative, so the best play is to take the risk by hitting your tee shot close to the hazard to leave a short approach into the green.


391-metre, 17th hole

Situated anywhere else in the round, the 17th would lose much of its impact. But with the clubhouse in sight and a narrow fairway lying between out-of-bounds stakes left and thick rough covered mounds right, the previous good work over 16 holes can be destroyed here. The wind often blows strongly from the left making accurate shots tough, even into a bunkerless green.

Long Reef GC, 17th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


381-metre, 14th hole

A gorgeous dogleg left par-4 that requires a long and precise tee shot to avoid the bunkers left and on the crest of a hill. From the top of the hill, the second shot is downhill to a large, undulating putting surface, guarded by two deep bunkers short and another two to the right.


358-metre, 10th hole

There is just the slightest hint of the famous 10th hole at Augusta National about Mollymook’s back nine opener – and it’s all about the steep descent from tee to green. It is this from the highest point on the course to the lowest, via a dogleg left fairway, that shortens this hole considerably. The ideal drive turns a little from right-to-left to leave a short- to mid-iron to a relatively flat green.


369-metre, 13th hole

Arguably the most difficult hole on the course where a blind tee shot, over the crest of a hill, must finish short of the dam lying to the left of the fairway. For longer hitters a fairway wood or long iron are better options to stay out of the hazard. The shot to the elevated two-tiered green is particularly difficult because of the uphill approach from a downhill lie.


368-metre, 5th hole

The first of a great triumvirate of holes at Newcastle that are the highlight of any round.

A dogleg left over a hill where a good drive will roll down into a swale to leave a testing mid- or long-iron approach to the green. Into a stiff southerly breeze, a fairway wood might be required to reach the green. Bunkers left and right protect the upturned saucer green.

Newcastle GC, 6th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


367-metre, 6th hole

Newcastle’s 6th hole heads into the opposite direction to the 5th and can be often played downwind, which brings a large hill to the left and the scrub to the right, into play. The fairway narrows slightly as it turns around the hill and climbs toward the green perched atop another hill.


376-metre, 7th hole

This is a demanding but fair uphill par-4. The prevailing wind tends to sweep from behind your left shoulder on the tee, pushing shots towards dense scrub and sand dunes lying to the right. Find the heart of the fairway and it’s still a long iron up to a monstrous green that slopes markedly from back to front with a tier through the middle for good measure. Wander more than 10 feet past any pin position on this green at your peril.

New South Wales GC, 7th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


375-metre, 13th hole

This dogleg left par-4 signals the start of one of the best stretches of holes in Australian golf. A genius dogleg left where driver can put you through the point of the dogleg into trouble, or into A-1 position when correctly shaped. On the approach, the fairway drops away before rising to the plateau green - in effect, it’s a level shot but appears uphill. A heap of options on the second shot – fly it in, run it – make it one of the most fun holes in Australian golf.


372-metre, 15th hole

Mike Clayton describes this as one of the toughest driving holes in Australia. A stiff wind blowing in your face as you stand on the tee is enough to break your spirit. There is no room for error left or right of the fairway and you have to strike your drive long enough to reach a point where you can see the green.”


371-metre, 10th hole

Strategic design is perhaps best defined where a player who hits close to a hazard is rewarded with a slightly easier approach shot. This applies here at the split fairway 10th. Those capable of driving over the bunker to the right gain the benefit of a little extra run and a better line to a green defended on the left by bunkers.


399-metre, 14th hole

Arguably the most dramatically improved hole out of the OCCM redesign a few years ago. Multiple playing lines along this really wide fairway provide options for all players. Short hitters can play well left off the tee, but anyone wanting to hit the green in two have to take on some element of danger. If the pin is on the right, the left side fairway bunkers guard the best line. Conversely a left pin is best approached from the right of the fairway, which requires flirting with the water. For those choosing the most direct route, the central fairway bunker must be negotiated.


383-metre, 4th hole

This is the first difficult two-shotter on the course and it plays down from the tee then turns to the left and goes up to the green at the high point of the hill.

Trees both left and right narrow the fairway at driving length and those driving left to the inside corner of the dogleg are confronted with a number of trees just off the fairway that block the view of the green. There is a mix of small and massive bunkers – two short, two left and one right – of the green that must give the members serious grief.


379-metre, 16th hole

From the tee, only a sliver of fairway is visible beyond the infamous Moran’s gully, which is full of banksia and other seaside shrubbery.

The best driving line to the diagonally set fairway is straight at the trees to be spotted through the gap to leave the shortest approach into the green (pictured right), which slopes markedly from right-to-left.


370-metre, 14th hole

The hole descends from the tee into a valley where the driving area narrows between a tall tree right and a fairway bunker left. Hit your drive near the tree and you will be left with a short iron to an elevated, dramatically tiered green. Any approach beyond the flag will leave a treacherous downhill putt.


389-metre, 10th hole

A demanding dogleg left hole where water flanks the entire left side en route. There is plenty of room to the right from the tee, although the approach from this side can be three clubs longer than from a risky blow dicing with the bunkers on the inside corner of the dogleg.


430-metre, 16th hole

When Jack Nicklaus redesigned The Australian in the mid-1970s, he made sure the closing stretch of holes would be drama-charged excursions for professionals and the club’s members. Redesigned again more recently, it remains a tough customer. The north-south routing of the hole subjects it to the strongest head and tailwinds, which brings the bunkering greenside very much into play, with the sand on the approach to the green the defence of the hole.


392-metre, 14th hole

The first challenge is to successfully carry the cliffs and rocky sea inlet that separate the tee from the start of the fairway. Into a strong southerly it takes a mighty blow to reach safety. The narrow fairway is wedged between the out-of-bounds cliff to the left and rough-covered mounds to the right, so accuracy here is paramount.

The Lakes GC, 1st hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


365-metre, 1st hole

From the elevated tee, players need to select a diagonal line to carry over the edge of the lake to the left, so as to avoid the high sand dunes and a lone bunker right, to find the safety of the fairway. Club and shot selection into the green is important, especially to avoid the bunker through the back of the green.


396-metre, 16th hole

Like so many of the holes on The Lakes’ back nine, water plays a major role on the way you tackle the hole. From the tee, the drive is semi-blind and hides water that can be found right and through the end of the fairway, before it turns left to right around the hazard and heads for the green. It’s a hole that asks for two perfect shots, especially the left-to-right second into the green.



396-metre, 5th hole

The toughest hole on the Brisbane course features a blind drive over the crest of a hill with water coming into play beyond the rise. A long, accurate tee shot needs to avoid trees on the right and the lake running the length of the hole to the left. A good drive is only rewarded by a mid- to long-iron approach to a green, which slopes left towards the lake and is also guarded by two bunkers right.

The Brisbane GC, 5th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


380-metre, 1st hole

The view from the 1st tee sets the scene for what follows at the Greg Norman and Bob Harrison-designed Brookwater course. Your drive must carry a deep gully to reach the fairway, which is lined by tall timbers to the left and, initially, to the right. Cavernous bunkers mark the inside and outside of the sharp doglegging left fairway, which then descends gradually to a green protected by a lake to the left and sand to the right.


396-metre, 18th hole

An interesting two-shotter that sweeps slightly left and uphill, which adds significant metres to the scorecard quoted length. The test doesn’t end once you’ve made the long journey to green, as the dramatically undulating green – surrounded by six bunkers – offers few, if any, flat putts.

Brookwater G&CC, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James


387-metre, 15th hole

While the landing area is generous, the tee shot is played from an elevated tee and up into the ever-present wind. Once the tee shot is negotiated, the second calls for a long accurate shot under the wind to a large green protected by two bunkers to the right. Interestingly, a wind shadow exists over the green, which may cause balls to fly further than expected.


383-metre, 7th hole

This is one of the most intriguing of all the 36 holes to be found at Indooroopilly. The drive is to a left-to-right sloping fairway with water lining the right side of the hole. The fairway runs out just short of a second lake and starts again, to the right of this water hazard. The approach can either be played directly over the water to the angled green or you can lay-up short and right.


384-metre, 10th hole

Standing on the opening hole of Lakelands’ back nine, you are faced with one of the toughest tee shots in Queensland. The further you venture back on the tee, the harder the shot, not just because of the increased length but the greater angle to the fairway, across the adjoining water hazard. Once on the fairway, a long second shot into a deep, narrow green remains.

The Links Hope Island, 13th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


387-metre, 13th hole

Plenty of danger between tee and green ensures you will never forget this imposing par-4. There is reward for negotiating your tee shot through the middle of five pot bunkers littering the fairway in the driving zone. If you lay-up short of the fairway bunkers, you are left with a long iron shot over water to a green that is guarded by more deep pot bunkers, mounds and swales.


383-metre, 6th hole

Your guide here are the pot bunkers in the distance. Water hazards left and right can be found well wide of the fairway, which narrows and widens several times between tee and green. The best line into the almost-triangular green is from the left side of the fairway to avoid the four bunkers to the right.


390-metre, 9th hole

Once the best and most memorable finishing hole in Australian tournament golf now features in the middle of a round. The Robert Trent Jones Jnr design is reminiscent of many of the Tournament Players Club courses in the United States, where water stretches nearly all its entire length and the green is positioned hard against the lake.

Palmer Coolum Resort, 9th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


421-metre, 5th hole

The 5th fairway is very wide, but only a drive finding a narrow strip of short grass will leave the ideal second shot. Anything too far right will leave a difficult angle across the greenside bunkers, and anyone left and short of the large fairway bunker faces a blind shot, albeit with a much better angle.

Only the perfect drive onto the high ledge of fairway just right of the large fairway bunker earns the golfer the combination of a clear view and line.


428-metre, 10th hole

Created by Arnold Palmer, The Pines’ hardest hole boasts water right, trees left and a narrow fairway in between.A steep slope separates the right side of the green with the lake, while a bunker left of the putting surface is a popular spot for players erring on the side of caution away from the water.

This hole would certainly not be out of place on a US Open course.

Sanctuary Cove G&CC - Pines Course, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


425-metre, 18th hole

Former Sanctuary Cove resident Ian Baker-Finch rates the 18th on the Pines as one of the world’s great finishing holes. A lake lines the left of the fairway all the way between tee and green, while a grove of pine trees is easily reached through the right edge of the fairway. Most people attack this green with a long iron or fairway wood, which brings the bunkers right and long into play, not to mention the water short and left.


365-metre, 13th hole

The dogleg left hole tempts long hitters to cut the corner, over the edge of a lake, and avoid two well-placed pot bunkers. It’s a classic risk-and-reward hole where the straighter you drive it – or even left of centre, skirting the hazard – will leave you in good shape for the approach to the green.



386-metre, 8th hole

The 8th hole is arguably the best to be found at Alice Springs. The fairway winds like a snake between two ranges of the roughest of roughs, passed a fairway bunker into a hill right and down to the green, which is guarded by three bunkers short and one long. It’s a great hole created on beautiful natural golfing terrain.

Alice Springs GC, 8th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


410-metre, 2nd hole

A strong par-4 that turns left through sand hills and was greatly improved years ago with the removal of ti tree to the left and the addition of pot bunkers near the green. The right greenside bunker was rebuilt with a sod-revetted face. Many point to the 2nd as the best hole at Glenelg.


366-metre, 10th hole

The 10th hole presents an imposing tee shot through tall pines to an elevated fairway. Great importance is placed on the length and accuracy of the tee shot, as the crest of the hill needs to be reached to offer a view of the three-levelled green below. The green is well bunkered left, right, and long, with a successful recovery requiring delicate touch.


383-metre, 8th hole

Spectacular hole that turns left but with the landing area sloping right. Only a perfect drive gives a clear view of the elevated green. Greatly influenced by the wind, anything from a fairway wood to a 7-iron might be needed to reach the putting surface.


397-metre, 10th hole

Regarded as Kooyonga’s toughest hole, the dogleg right demands two long and well-placed shots to avoid bunkers and trees en route to a narrow green. This is a hole demanding of two perfect shots to scare par.

Mt Compass GC, 6th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


353-metre, 6th hole

You are immediately aware the fairway wraps sharply right around the edge of a scrubby wetland. You have options here – you can play safe toward the 150-metre marker visible down the fairway, or you can take your driver and hit straight over the water hazard, shortening the hole significantly and leaving a straightforward short iron shot into the green, set against a sandy dune backdrop.


353-metre, 11th hole

With a fairway cut in two by a sandy wasteland, this classic par-4 calls for sound course management and precise iron play to an amphitheatre green surrounded by pine tree and marram grass covered dunes.


445-metre, 14th hole

Widely regarded as one of the best holes in South Australia. The fairway turns perfectly around the cluster of bunkers on the inside corner of the dogleg right and onto a perfect green complex on the other side of a gully.


423-metre, 3rd hole

The 3rd hole was dramatically changed during Mike Clayton’s redesign in 2008 by removing trees and opening up the spectacular sandy wasteland formerly used as a site for mining sand. A long bunker is cut along the right side of the driving area but there is a wide fairway stretching far to the left for the less adventurous to play into with safety.


415-metre, 17th hole

One of the West Course’s most demanding holes, the pine tree-lined fairway adds to the beauty of the hole, while the natural movement of the ground makes for exhilarating golf. A drive to the right half of the fairway opens a clear view of the green but a small dune further blocks the view of the green for those who have driven left.

Victor Harbor GC, 1st hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


402-metre, 1st hole

Victor Harbour is one of the prettiest courses in South Australia and it opens in a blaze of glory. From the elevated tee, the fairway lies more than 30 metres below and heads on a straight course to the green, bordered by thick trees left and right. The harbour off in the distance provides a beautiful backdrop.



398-metre, 2nd hole

There is a good reason why this hole is called ‘Memorial Drive’. Like so many holes on the Old Course at St Andrews, the preferred line of play from the tee is towards a landmark way off in the distance. In this case, it’s the War Memorial on top of Mt Clarence that guides the way on this dogleg left hole. Once you have navigated the elevated tee shot over 100m of seaside scrub to the fairway, a very long second shot into a long and narrow green.

Albany GC, 2nd hole. PHOTO: Supplied.


370-metre, 2nd hole

The most photographed hole at Joondalup is played from an elevated tee, through a valley and up to a massive green perched atop another hill. In between is a long diagonal bunker as well as a moon crater bunker, carved out of the incline to the green. Both need to be avoided to have any chance of making par.


370-metre, 5th hole

No two holes at Joondalup are the same and despite being exactly the same length as the 2nd hole, the 5th plays very differently and asks plenty of questions. These questions are posed by the limestone quarry that is easily reached from the tee and forces the fairway to turn left and follow its edge all the way to the green.


372-metre, 3rd hole

You won’t find another par-4 like this one anywhere in Australia. The route to the green is wide but complicated by a split in the fairway as it climbs gradually from tee to green. The low road is a shorter journey but leaves a blind uphill second shot, while the high road is longer, but you have full view of the putting surface.

Kalgoorlie GC, 14th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


429-metre, 14th hole

This hole can be stretched even further – especially when the courses hosts major events like the WA PGA – to 451 metres but is just as challenging from the blue tees. The fairway turns gradually right as it snakes away into the distance. The best line into the green is from the right edge of the fairway to best avoid two large bunkers short and in the left half of final approach into the green.


427-metre, 2nd hole

This is a long sweeping two-shotter turning left and downhill and is as steep as the journey down the 10th hole at Augusta National. Cross-bunkers short and right of the green make the second more difficult for the shorter hitters or those who have played too far to the right from the tee. The complication of the second shot is that it is most often played off the steep slope and the shot is a test of the player’s ability to improvise from an uncommon stance.


382-metre, 15th hole

The 15th is a great example of hole being simply designed and not being overdone with challenges. Three pot bunkers are scattered, seemingly in a random manner, in the widest first 250 metres of the hole. These traps, if found, guarantee a bogey or worse. Play left of the bunkers and the second shot is semi blind, while the tighter drive down the right leaves a better line to the green.


400-metre, 12th hole

Any mention of The Cut and talk soon turns to the spectacular 12th hole that hugs the West Australian coastline. The fairway winds between wild sand dunes as it descends to the bottom of a hill and your drive needs to be threaded between sandy wasteland areas left and right to get there. A fairway wood or long iron is needed to reach the elevated green, which is perched high above the beach beyond.

The Cut GC, 12th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


391-metre, 11th hole

A tough hole for all, which hinges on the drive being strong and straight. A lake lies in front of the tee and is a significant carry to reach the right edge of the fairway, which leaves the more accessible left side. This, however, is countered with a tougher second shot.



390-metre, 3rd hole

Played into the prevailing south-westerly, the 3rd plays to all of its 390 metres. The tee shot must skirt three large limestone pits to the right before veering right and heading slightly uphill to a bunkerless green. This is classic links course gem.


352-metre, 16th hole

This is one of the most photographed and challenging holes on the Melbourne Sandbelt. The fairway sweeps around a lake to the left and challenges brave players to skirt the water’s edge to set up an easier approach. The further right the tee shot, the harder the approach.

Mike Clayton says: “This is one of the best two-shot water holes in the country with the left hazard perfectly dictating the strategy.”

Commonwealth GC, 16th hole. PHOTO: Supplied.


393-metre, 6th hole

The 6th returns the routing to the clubhouse and presents an uphill drive over the perfect length rise in the fairway with bunkers strategically placed to trap any drive drifting left or right. A huge bunker scheme short and right of the green dictates that the best line into the putting surface is from the left half of the fairway.


380-metre, 11th hole

The dogleg right asks several club selection questions from the tee. From a long iron off the tee to a three-wood or a driver, the further you hit it the narrower the fairway is. There is trouble on both sides with bunkers on the right and ti tree on the left. The green is narrow with bunkers to the right and swales left so a miss leaves a difficult up-and-down for a par.


391-metre, 16th hole

You’re faced with another blind tee shot here, so have a good look at what lies beyond the hill as you walk back to the tee from the 15th green. The subtle angle of the green, the bunker placement and the pin position of the day dictates the best placement for the drive. Find the right spot and you can hit straight up the green rather than over the edge of the bunkers.



421-metre, 17th hole

There is little room to the right off the tee, but this is the best side from which to approach the green. The putting surface is high in the front and runs away with a slight tilt from back to front.


430-metre, 1st hole

The hole turns a little from right-to-left around two deep fairway bunkers on the left side of the driving area. Another huge bunker guards the right edge of the green and when the flag is tucked close to this bunker a drive to the left side of the fairway is rewarded with a clear line of sight to the flag.


418-metre, 10th hole

A dogleg to the left that perfectly suits a right-to-left shaped drive to a fairway that is seemingly wider in recent years after some scrub and trees were cleared out from the right side of the hole. The two-tiered green is quite large and the close-cut greenside bunkers can catch even slight mis-hits.


445-metre, 10th hole

A testing brute where a fairway bunker lies in wait for the drive misfired to the right. The green is set slightly above the fairway and it demands a well-played long second to find the target. The deepest bunker on the course cuts into the left edge of the green and large but shallower bunker stretches along the right side of the green.

Peninsula Kingswood CC - South Course, 1st hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


378-metre, 1st hole

The OCCM redesign altered the stream here and created a strategic golfing gem. From the tips, play short of the water into the wide fairway, where the ideal position is dependent on the position of the flag. If the flag is right, near the stream, the best line is from the left.


408-metre, 14th hole

One of the highlights of any round at Port Fairy is playing the 14th hole. The fairway rises gradually in front of you to present a blind tee shot with the only real guide being the huge scrub covered sand dune to the right of the fairway, which is best avoided as its out-of-bounds. From the crest of the hill the view down to the bunkerless green, with the Southern Ocean backdrop, is simply beautiful.

Port Fairy Golf LInks, 14th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


402-metre, 2nd hole

For a course that is renowned for its width, the 2nd is a narrow driving hole, where the right half of the dogleg is obscured from view as you stand on the tee, The uphill second shot is a steep one to a long and narrow two-tiered green. There are no fairway bunkers to contend with, but there are seven bunkers within earshot of the putting surface.

Royal Melbourne GC - East Course, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


395-metre, 18th hole

Not a brutally long hole but in some wind conditions, even big hitters will need a long approach. The green is surrounded by sand with some rough in front. A visually stunning green and surrounds: huge sweeping bunkers with clumps of tall native grasses ready to swallow balls forever. To even out the challenge, Alister MacKenzie gave us a huge green to aim at.


391-metre, 6th hole

A great example of Alister MacKenzie’s doctrine of affording players of all levels an opportunity to enjoy golf. The better player may flirt with the fairway bunkers on the right that guard the shorter and easier angle of approach to the green, while average players can aim left of centre and make their way to the green in a leisurely – and stress-free – manner. The green is a puzzle that, like most puzzles, is best worked out with patience and caution, lest you lose your way altogether. One of the great holes in world golf.

Royal Melbourne GC - West Course, 6th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


401-metre, 17th hole

The perfect dogleg left with the bunker guarding the inside corner of the dogleg and the green set on a diagonal guarded by a deep bunker on the right. The strategy is simple; but it is perfectly implemented on a perfect piece of land. This is the hole Ernie Els bogied in his first round 60 in the 2004 Heineken Classic.


396-metre, 18th hole

What a strong closer. The tee shot is a blind one but the best driving line on this dogleg right is marked by the bunker carved out of the crest of the hill.

Longer hitters can fire over the sand; those hugging the line of rough down the right inevitably finish closer to green than those driving safely down the left. The fairway cambers hard from right-to-left, almost guaranteeing a lie above your feet (for right-handers) for the second shot.


414-metre, 18th hole

Unusually for a Greg Norman-Bob Harrison design, the closing hole is devoid of fairway bunkers and the only concern is a lake left. This allows you to have a rip at your drive and get as far down the fairway as possible, to set up your approach into the undulating island green.


405-metre, 3rd hole

If you’re a shorter hitter, a drive to the left of the fairway will provide a view to the green. Longer hitters have the luxury of taking on the corner of the dogleg right. Whatever line you take, the approach shot is a beauty with a narrow chute framed by native tea tree and fescue grasses opening up to a semi-punchbowl green with generous run-off areas.

St Andrews Beach, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


404-metre, 18th hole

A fantastic closer from the creative mind of Tom Doak. The right of the fairway, beyond the large bunker scheme, will offer more roll on the drive and put a short iron in hand, while the left side presents an approach that works best with the contours of the green.


414-metre, 8th hole

This right-to-left hole is all about the drive and answering the questions asked by the three staggered fairway bunkers on the inside of the dogleg. Drive as close as possible to them to leave the shortest shot into a receptive green.



409-metre, 1st hole

It’s rare to be faced with the hardest hole of a round from the opening tee shot but that is what you’ll find at The Dunes. A driving line left of the cypress tree in the distance is recommended as this will give you a good look at the green. If you cut the corner of the right dogleg you had better be long to avoid the hidden bunkers. It’s a tough green too, with cavernous bunkers and a deep swale in front.

The Dunes GL, 15th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


431-metre, 15th hole

This is a beast of a hole from the tips as well as the shorter medal tees (392 metres). It covers brilliant rolling terrain wedged between high dunes, with the dune to the right home to a massive blowout bunker. If you are long enough you can ride the slopes and get to the bottom of the hill. The percentage approach shot is not aimed to the middle of the green but to the left bank, which will feed the ball back to the centre of the wide putting surface.


405-metre, 4th hole

The bones of the 16th hole of the old Ocean Course form the basis of Tom Doak’s 4th hole creation. The fairway was widened slightly to the left just before it turns gradually right around a vast sandy wasteland area. The hole was lengthened with a new green being built among the natural contours near the old 17th tee.


402-metre, 18th hole

In the Tom Doak redesign, this hole was shortened by nearly 40 metres while the fairway was widened to provide a better view for shorter hitters playing to the left half of the fairway. The green was also reshaped to give it more width and provide more pin positions.

The National GC - Gunnamatta Course, 18th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


394-metre, 3rd hole

The drive, one of the most exhilarating at The National, is played from an elevated dune through a narrow opening in the Moonah trees to a plateau landing area, which is flanked by more dunes. The fairway falls to the right before riding a wave of undulations to the green.


447-metre, 16th hole

A great driving hole, either from the tips or the slightly shorter blue tees. Four deep bunkers – two left and two right – line the driving zone and are very much in play with any crosswind. Contours at the back of the green are favourable for shots played with longer clubs so take enough club to carry the journey.


358-metre, 15th hole

The wind is usually into the face as you stand on the tee here. Drives short of the dogleg corner leave blind second shots to a green with two clearly defined terraces.

The task of club selection to find the correct level, is exacerbated by deep bunkers front and rear.

Victoria GC, 5th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


398-metre, 5th hole

Beautifully rejuvenated by the OCCM design team in recent times, the avenue between tee and green has been widened with the removal of scrub and exposure of the sandy wasteland, which now lines both sides of the hole and creates a barrier between the short grass and the trees. A wonderful green complex awaits, with three bunkers cut well into the putting surface.


370-metre, 11th hole

Like the 5th hole, the gradual uphill 11th has been shined up like a diamond from a lump of coal through the OCCM redesign. There’s plenty of sand to be found en route to the green, but the trickiest bunker recoveries are closer to the green.


402-metre, 12th hole

Geoff Ogilvy describes the tee shot at the 12th as the “most dramatic on the course”, where you play left of the recently exposed indigenous plants on the right because there is plenty of room there. The downhill second shot is ‘semi-blind’ for all players except those who have hit 300-metre plus drives.

Woodlands GC, 10th hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


400-metre, 10th hole

A good straight drive can reach the crest of a hill some 200 metres away. The approach must be accurate as there is thick woodland on both sides of the fairway, and heavy bunkering protecting this small green, which slopes away from left-to-right. Cross bunkers 40 metres in front of this green catch anything short.


400-metre, 2nd hole

One of Yarra Yarra’s tougher two-shotters, a long tee shot is needed to set up a straightforward second shot to an elevated green. The difficult second shot, played from a downslope, will require a decision on whether to attempt to carry the bunkers 40 metres short of the green or to lay-up. In all, there are five bunkers left and short of the green, while another four can be found to the right.

Yarra Yarra GC, 2nd hole. PHOTO: Brendan James.


371-metre, 7th hole

The Renaissance Golf Design renovation added some width to the fairway here but longer hitters can be caught out by a scheme of bunkers that pinch into the fairway from the right. As is the case with all good strategic holes, the best angle into the green is from alongside the bunkers as the putting surface slopes from left to back right. The left greenside bunker is problematic with the flag on the left, while the back right bunker catches balls that feed naturally with the slope of green.