Lake Karrinyup continues to improve on its standing as Western Australia’s best layout and Australia’s No.18 ranked course, according to Golf Australia magazine.

With renovations on the back nine’s greens now under way, the original Alex Russell design looks likely to improve on this position in years to come.

Scheduled to reopen for play in October this year, the back nine will have 007 bentgrass putting surfaces to match the outstanding front nine greens that were completed in late 2017. While Mike Cocking of Ogilvy, Clayton, Cocking and Mead is overseeing the recontouring and bunker shaping.

The new grass has taken well on the finished holes and the completion of all 18-holes will further highlight the work completed by Mike Clayton in 2006 to recapture the essence and challenges of the Russell layout.

Karrinyup, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, features multiple blind tee shots and elevation changes that make driving the ball a test of trust that you have selected the right line. And like so many of the great courses, it presents a risk and reward style, with fairways offering width but requiring the correct line if you are to receive a bounding bounce down the hole and the best line to attack the green.

The imposing trees throughout the property and the par-72’s large, rugged bunkers – which appear as if they were shaped by nature rather than man – make Karrinyup a visually stunning course. The firm and fast wintergreen couch fairways offer a terrific playing surface that place a high value on maintaining control over your golf ball.

Measuring 6,531 metres from the tips, it is Karrinyup’s short holes, particularly the 135-metre par-3 12th hole and driveable par-4 14th, that standout and best showcase Russell’s unique design style – which receives rave reviews from the competitors each year when the course hosts the European Tour’s World Super 6 Perth tournament.

Green fees: Interstate and international visiting golfers, who are members of a golf club, can apply to the general manager for a tee time.

Joondalup Resort (Quarry/Dunes Course). PHOTO: Brendan James.


An easy 35-minute drive north of the CBD, via the Mitchell Freeway, will have you in the car park at one of Australia’s best golf resorts – the 27-hole Joondalup Resort.

Joondalup’s Quarry/Dune course combination has been one of the nation’s most revered layouts for more than two decades, having claimed a swag of ranking honours from Golf Australia as well as magazines abroad.

In short, first-timers will be in awe of the golf holes that have been crafted across a dramatic and unique landscape by American designer Robert Trent Jones Jnr. The talented Jones Jnr once described his design at Joondalup as “one of the great golf courses in the game.” One round at Joondalup and you might agree as he has been able to combine golfing value with dramatic visuals to create a special layout.

Perhaps the most striking of all Joondalup’s holes present on the Quarry nine. When the vista of the 2nd hole first comes into view it is hard to imagine such a golf hole exists anywhere on the planet … or whether any other comes close. Dominating the landscape between you and the green are two bunkers. The first stretches diagonally across the fairway from the right, leaving a narrow corridor to the left for the longest of drivers to thread their tee shot.

The second bunker is incredible for its shape, size and position. Shaped like a crater on the moon’s surface, the total diameter of the circular shaped bunker – which is cut into the fairway as it rises to the plateau green – easily measures 20 metres across. The flat sandy base at the end of its steep sloping walls covers half that distance.

These two traps are distracting enough that you might not notice that there are five other bunkers on the hole – including four greenside.

The 372-metre par-4 3rd on the Dune course is another fine example of Jones Jr’s use of the landscape. A split fairway comes into play from the tee – the low road is shorter but presents a more difficult semi-blind second shot while the high road (to the left) offers a more conservative route to the green and a longer approach shot.

Green fees: $99 (18 holes, Sunday-Friday); $119 (Saturday); $80 (weekdays for hotel guests); $95 (weekends for hotel guests). All with twin share cart.

Mount Lawley Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James.


Located just 10 minutes from the centre of Perth, Mount Lawley possess a tranquil setting and classic design that utilises doglegs, small greens and expansive bunkering to challenge players.

The club is currently considering a master plan developed by Ogilvy, Clayton, Cocking and Mead, which focuses on enhancing the best aspects of the original 1928 David Anderson and James Tinlin design. A new spare hole and short game practice area was recently opened to showcase the design firm’s plans and allow the club to test multiple strains of bentgrass to eventually replace the putting surfaces.

Featuring a good mix of short and long holes lined with native trees, the course places a premium on accuracy and shot-making rather than pure power. And, although built on a relatively flat piece of land, Mount Lawley uses what elevation changes it does have well to make players think, rather than just blast away from the tee.

The club has seen significant improvements in conditioning over recent years and is currently celebrating its 90th anniversary as it prepares to welcome the WA Open in October. All of which means the course has rarely looked in better shape.

Green fees: $50 as member’s guest.

Joondalup Resort (Quarry/Lakes Course). PHOTO: Brendan James.


Joondalup Resort has three nine-hole loops, combining for three 18-hole combinations. Such is the quality of the golf at Joondalup, it gets a second layout into the dozen courses showcased here.

Although the Quarry nine is arguably Joondalup’s finest, the Dune and Lake nines are also impressive. The 3rd to the 7th on the Lakes course covers an undulating landscape that is littered with Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s signature bunkering, including a significant number of ‘moon’ crater bunkers, as well as dramatic mounding.

This run of holes covers the high ground at Joondalup and are the most exposed to the sea breezes from the Indian Ocean, adding another element of difficulty to play in this part of the course.

Jones’ design is fully complemented, right across the property, by some of the best playing surfaces in Western Australia.

Green fees: $99 (18 holes, Sunday-Friday); $119 (Saturday); $80 (weekdays for hotel guests); $95 (weekends for hotel guests). All with twin share cart.