Lakes Entrance covers a wonderful sandy landscape with high dunes the only thing separating it from the beach and the waters of Bass Strait.

One of the most memorable holes is the 137-metre par-3 15th. A lake between tee and green can be troublesome, as can the bunkers short and long of the wide putting surface. The real test here is getting the club selection correct for the tee shot from an elevated tee into a headwind or crosswind.

Green fee: $35.


Surrounded by scenic forest landscapes and native wildlife, Lang Lang has been described as one of the hidden gems of Victoria’s Gippsland based on its terrific variety of holes and the quality of its playing surfaces. Extended to 18 holes in the early 1960s and designed by former Australian Open champion George Naismith, the par-70 is built on pure sand, making it a well-drained, year-round playable course.

Green fees: $25 (weekdays); $32 (weekends).


Carved from magnificent bushland, Leongatha is ranked the best course in the Victorian Gippsland region.

The par-70 layout covers rolling terrain with fairways flanked by majestic trees, some of which are obviously more than a century old.The topography has given rise to several blind tee shots, while the smallish greens place a premium on accuracy from the fairway.

Green fee: $40.

Leongatha Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James


An attractive and challenging test on the Bellarine Peninsula, Lonsdale rewards straight hitting and shrewd thinking on a rolling, sandy site that touches Lake Victoria in places but mostly uses tight, tree-lined fairways to examine golfers’ games.

Holes 4 to 7 and 13 to 15 offer terrific tests and also give you an extra sense of solitude and serenity while wandering along the course’s outer pockets.

Green fee: $30.


Covering easy-walking terrain, Phillip Island is a much underrated course.

All the fairways were converted to Santa Ana couch grass several years ago and, today, they are finely manicured playing surfaces.

It’s not a long course and, as a result, it features some terrific short holes like the 320-metre par-4 8th and the 292-metre par-4 13th hole, which add to the fun of playing a round here.

Green fees: $40 (except for weekends February – April and December 26th – January 31st).


Portarlington is a much under-rated gem in regional Victorian golf.

The layout is solid and well-designed for a course split by a road, and the often dead-straight fairways offer more variety and intrigue through mature tree lines and definite entry angles into the greens that give the straight holes more character than is apparent at first glance.

The fine condition of the couch grass fairways plus the imposing bunkers make this layout a little slice of the Sandbelt on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Green fees: $40 (weekdays); $45 (weekends).


This genius links design on Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast used to be a hidden golfing treasure … not anymore.

Now that Port Fairy is ranked the No.34 Public Access Course in Australia, it has become a ‘bucket list’ layout for many travelling golfers.

Golf Australia Architecture Editor Mike Clayton, who has advised the club on course design for several years, says a round at Port Fairy “is one of the best value for money rounds in the world.”

The stunning ocean views, coupled with the excellent design, raises Port Fairy’s stocks. The run of holes from the 12th to 16th is nothing short of impeccable and great fun.

In fact, one round at Port Fairy is never going to be enough.

Green fee: $40.

Port Fairy Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James.


The 6,300-metre par-72 Forest Resort course is the first design collaboration between Tony Cashmore (Thirteenth Beach and The Dunes) and PGA Tour player Robert Allenby.

Opened for play in 2008, the design team came up with a creation that is challenging for both novices as well as professionals, which was seen when the course hosted the Victorian PGA Championship a few years ago.

The course follows the natural flow of the hilly landscape and this has heavily influenced the course routing. Where possible, the ridges, swales, spurs and landmark trees covering the layout have been used to create standout individual holes.

Green fees: $40 (weekdays); $50 (weekends).

Forest Resort. PHOTO: Brendan James.


Sandringham has long been regarded as the Melbourne Sandbelt’s best public access layout.

It covers gentle rolling land making it is an easy-walking round but it is the quality of the design and the layout’s recent improved presentation that elevate this par-70 to its high standing.

Given its location in the heart of the Sandbelt, just across the road from Royal Melbourne, it’s hardly surprising it offers many of the on-course qualities of its private club neighbours, at a fraction of the cost.

Green fees: $37.50 (weekdays); $39 (weekends).


The home of former PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle, Shepparton was designed by Sam Berriman, who was also responsible for creating highly rated courses like Cranbourne and Horsham.

The routing covers very good golfing terrain with the front nine weaving across the most interesting land and giving rise to a terrific stretch of four holes from the short par-4 6th to the par-5 9th holes. The short par-4 6th is a definite highlight. A blind tee shot presents and the best drive here is to the right half of the fairway to leave an unobscured view to
the green.

Green fee: $33.  

Shepparton Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James