Bondi Golf & Diggers Club

Tom Doak is one of the great talents of modern golf course architecture. He not only designs wonderful courses but he visits a lot of layouts during his global travels and, at the end of each year, he releases a list of the best courses he’s seen throughout the year.

Nestled on his list for 2018, among some renowned layouts, was Bondi – a little nine-holer that lies across the top of a headland overlooking the world famous beach to the south. The views from here are extraordinary and there is no question the course always promises a challenging round given the terrain and ever-present wind.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes, weekdays), $25 (weekends). 

Bondi GC. PHOTO: Brendan James.

Breakers Country Club

Breakers Country Club is a pretty, par-33 nine-hole layout at Wamberal on the Central Coast.

Formerly known as Terrigal Memorial Country Club, the course has six par-4s and three par-3s and offers alternate tees for those looking to play 18 holes. In recent times, the presentation of the layout has markedly improved and the small, slightly raised greens are terrific to putt on.

Breakers is a challenging course with thickly tree-lined fairways, while water comes into play on six of the nine holes. One of those holes is the 322-metre par-4 3rd hole where you must choose to lay-up short or try and carry a creek that cuts diagonally through the fairway. The shortest carry is down the right edge of the fairway but this will leave a complicated approach around tall trees to find the narrow green, which is protected by one bunker left and another right.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes).

Breakers Country Club. PHOTO: Supplied.

Cammeray GC

The closest course to the Sydney CBD is a golfing oasis just minutes north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

In fact, the freeway approach to the bridge runs by the western boundary of the course, which underwent a redesign back in the late 1960s as a result.

Cammeray’s well-manicured tree-lined fairways and small greens demand precise
ball-striking. Arguably the most testing of its holes is the 164-metre par-3 6th. From an elevated tee, nothing is hidden from view as you set up for a tee shot that must carry a lake to find the putting surface. A tall tree front right of the green comes into play and can propel balls back into the water.

Green fee: $27 (nine holes, weekdays); $29 (weekends).

Cammeray Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James

Harrington Waters Golf Club

Situated at the mouth of the Manning River, Harrington Waters is about 25 minutes’ drive east of Taree on the NSW North Coast.

Designed by Richard Mercer and opened for play in 2006, the layout loops clockwise next to a residential development and features
out-of-bounds left and water to the right on several holes. That said, Mercer created the layout with enough width to keep casual golfers interested and better players challenged to hit precise shots on the correct playing lines. Alternate tees on every hole add to the variety of shots you will face if you decide to play 18 holes.

Harrington Waters features an architecturally-designed clubhouse with a pro-shop and licensed café with a balcony where you can soak in the views of the beautifully maintained layout.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes, Monday to Saturday), $15 (Sunday).

Harrington Waters GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Lord Howe Island GC

Characterised by sandy beaches, subtropical forests and crystal clear waters, Lord Howe Island is a world-heritage listed paradise, which provides a unique backdrop for a round of golf.

With the towering Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower on one side and the blue Tasman Sea on the other, the Lord Howe Island course originated from a market garden in 1969 and has been developed and expanded into one of the most scenic nine-hole courses in Australia.

Boasting five par-3s and four par-4s, the layout meanders through a lush kentia palm forest and out into the gently undulating fairways along the ocean foreshore. This not only brings the beach into play but the wind offers its own challenges. For most, the oceanside 2nd and 8th holes – both par-3s – are the highlights of a round.

Lord Howe Island can be reached in less than two hours flying from Sydney or Brisbane. This month, the club will celebrate 50 years of hosting the annual Lord Howe Island Open, from November 9 to 15, which offers more than $8,000 in prizes.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes); $95 (weekly unlimited golf).

Lord Howe Island Golf Club. PHOTO: Supplied.

Mollymook GC – Beachside Course

Measuring an easy-walking 2,102 metres from the tips, Mollymook’s Beachside layout covers undulating terrain between beautiful Mollymook Beach and the equally stunning Collers Beach inlet.

While hardcore golfers tend to make a beeline for the Top-100 ranked Hilltop course, a few minutes’ drive away, the par-33 Beachside course is perfect for a fun holiday hit with the kids or casual golfing friends.

The variety of the par-3s is an obvious highlight of playing Beachside. This can be seen with the back-to-back one-shotters – the 6th and 7th holes. The 6th is a straightforward 106-metre hole calling for a wedge or other short iron to find the long, bunkerless green. The next hole is arguably the layout’s most interesting par-3 where the tee shot is struck from an elevated tee down to a green that is heavily-bunkered to the right.

Green fee: $19 (nine holes, weekdays); $25 (weekends). Packages including green fee,
hire clubs, pull buggy, tees and five balls are available.

Mollymook GC, Beachside Course. PHOTO: Supplied.

Royal Sydney GC – Centenary Course

Royal Sydney also offers a short nine-hole layout called the Centenary Course, which was completely rebuilt to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary in 1997.

Water also comes into play on six of the nine holes. Of the courses showcased here, the Centenary Course might possess the best putting surfaces of all.

Green fee: Private course. Members’ guests only.


Scone GC

Scone, located three hours’ drive north of Sydney in the beautiful Upper Hunter, boasts the newest nine-hole course being showcased here.

Construction of a New England Highway by-pass of the town, dissecting the old course, forced a $4 million redevelopment of the site, funded by the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).

Pacific Coast Design architect Phil Ryan and experienced course constructors, McMahons, were commissioned to build the new course, which opened for play in May this year.

The club is now home to a superb nine-holer, with alternate tees on each hole, which measures 6,044 metres from the tips and features manicured kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens.

Ryan has created a terrific layout demanding good strategy to score well. The 343-metre (from the white pegs) par-4 3rd hole is a perfect example of a classic risk-and-reward hole. The sharp dogleg right tempts the longer hitter into cutting the corner to leave a short pitch into the green, which lies just beyond a lake. Players who cannot make the water carry, can also skirt the edge of the hazard to leave a shorter, more direct, line into the putting surface.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

Scone Golf Club. PHOTO: Supplied.

Tathra Beach CC

Tathra Beach CC is a pretty nine-hole layout lying next to the Bega River on the NSW South Coast.

The challenge of this Kel Nagle and Mike Cooper design is judging the breeze and selecting the correct club, especially on the par-3 tees, which are often surrounded by trees.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes).

Teven Valley GC

Set on 10 hectares of stunning Northern Rivers land, Teven Valley is about 25 minutes’ drive south west of Byron Bay.

The course was sold in 2015 with former Monash Country Club course superintendent Paul Gumbleton part of the new ownership. Since then, this par-31 has become one of the most beautifully maintained in northern NSW.

Gumbleton has been gradually redeveloping the property for much of the past two years. He started by creating a superb practice area and then began on the course. The 7th and 8th – currently being played as the 3rd and 4th holes – were the first to be refurbed and put back into play. The new 4th, 5th and 6th holes will soon follow and the last of the trio, with its green perched above McGuires Creek, promises to be Teven’s most challenging short hole.

While there might be work being carried out on the course, there is always nine holes open for play.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes).

Teven Valley GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Thredbo GC

Thredbo golf course is the highest nine-hole layout in Australia.

Winding along the Thredbo River, the pretty course is dotted with wildflowers and has fairways lined by big eucalyptus trees. The views of the surrounding Snowy Mountains is worth the cost of the green fee alone.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

Wingham GC

Wingham Golf Club has had a nomadic history, having moved five times in its 105-year history. That said, golf has been played across its current location since 1953.

It is a picturesque nine-hole layout, with relatively wide fairways and subtly undulating greens, some protected by bunkers.

The club is striving to take the course to even greater heights with a five-year strategic improvement plan in place.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

Woollahra GC

Woollahra Golf Club has been a popular course in Sydney’s eastern suburbs since it opened for play in 1931.

Resident Professionals during the 1940s, Al Howard and Carnegie Clark, both added to the design of the layout, which would later be expanded after Woollahra Council obtained an area of land from neighbour, Royal Sydney Golf Club.

When the club took over a management and maintenance of the course in 1960, Prosper Ellis was commissioned to create a new nine-hole course that is the foundation of what can be played today.

The highlights are the quality of its short par-4s, with the 272-metre 7th being one of the best. It is a narrow two-shotter demanding an accurate tee shot with out-of-bounds left and thick crops of trees to the right. The longer hitter who can move the ball left-to-right may have a crack at the long two-tiered green, which is protected front left by a bunker.

Green fee: $28 (nine holes).

Woollahra Golf Club. PHOTO: Brendan James.

Yarrawonga Mulwala GC Resort – Executive Course

Sitting alongside Yarrawonga Mulwala’s Lake and Murray layouts, the Executive Course offers a beautiful setting for beginners and those golfers looking for a fun hit.

The par-33 covers easy walking terrain and offers quality holes ready to challenge golfers of all abilities.

Green fee: $33 (nine holes).



Norfolk Island GC

Historic Norfolk Island is an external Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean about two-and-a-half hours’ flying time northeast of Sydney, making it one of this country’s most isolated communities.

The Norfolk Island course, which dates back to 1913, is located within the oldest of 11 penal sites around Australia that have been classed as World Heritage Site. Located on the south-east coastline of the island, walking the wide fairways here is a visual and golfing splendour.

The sparsely treed layout winds its way across the easy-walking terrain, which hugs every bump, hollow and crease in the landscape crafted by Mother Nature.

There is no better example of this wonderfully natural course architecture than what you will find on the 152-metre par-3 4th hole. The tee is perched above one end of a small boomerang-shaped beach, while the green is slightly obscured behind the cliff at the other end of the beach. It is a daunting tee shot. The putting surface is small and bunkerless. But a steep downslope from the top of the cliff to the right propels balls onto, or across, the green.

Green fee: $27 (nine holes).

Norfolk Island GC. PHOTO: Supplied.


Apollo Bay GC

Apollo Bay is found two-and-a-half hours southwest of Melbourne along the Great
Ocean Road.

The 4,223-metre course (par-64) is set on relatively flat terrain – but it features sweeping sea views and is made challenging by ever-shifting winds. The scenic layout comprises four par-3s and five par-4 holes.

Green fees: $25 (day pass).

Aussie Golf Ranch

Designed by Ross Watson in 2007, Saltwater Creek at Aussie Golf Ranch is located on Phillip Island and provides its guests with an enjoyable, links-like test.

The well-maintained fairways and true-rolling bentgrass greens are superb, while the 17 pot-style bunkers and coastal winds combine to enhance the challenge of any round.

Guests can stay onsite at Aussie Golf Ranch and utilise the Two-Club Pitch & Putt course and the Aussie Bush Mini Golf Course.

Aussie Golf Ranch also hosts the annual Victorian Open Pitch & Putt Championship, which was this year played in mid-October.

Green fees: $20 (nine holes), $30 (day pass, midweek).

Aussie Golf Ranch. PHOTO: Brendan James.

Barwon Heads GC – Par-3 Course

In addition to its highly-ranked 18-hole layout, Barwon Heads features an excellent nine-hole, par-3 course that aims to provide “more relaxed” conditions for its members and guests.

First-timers and experienced heads alike will enjoy the dramatic greens of the course, which were originally laid out in 1961 and redesigned by Crafter and Mogford Golf Strategies in recent times.

Green fees: $10 (nine holes).

Barwon Heads Par-3 Course. PHOTO: Supplied.

Birregurra GC

Set against the foothills of the Otway Ranges, 90 minutes’ drive southwest of Melbourne, Birregurra boasts nine well-maintained holes with scenic views of the Barwon River Flats.

In fact, the view of the surrounding farmland from the elevated 2nd tee of the par-3, known as ‘Niagara’, is worth the green fee alone. Sitting 40 metres below, the green is thankfully bunkerless as it is challenge enough to get your tee shot onto the putting surface.

Green fees: $20 (day pass).

Burnley GC

Since opening in 1970, Burnley has offered its guests nine enjoyable holes just five kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD.

The council-operated course features six par-4s and three par-3s, each boasting well-maintained couch fairways and bentgrass greens.

One of the real highlights comes during the final stretch. The drivable, par-4 8th hole measures just 225 metres from the tips and presents an excellent birdie or eagle chance.

Conversely, the par-3 9th hole stretches to 182 metres and features an undulated,
well-guarded putting surface. Many good rounds have been undone by this testing one-shotter.

Green fees: $21 (nine holes).

Burnley GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Cerberus GC

With beautiful views of Western Port Bay and Hann’s Inlet, the current nine-hole layout at Cerberus dates back to 1946 – but it has only been open to the public since 1999.

The par-72 was previously reserved for use by defence force personnel, their families and their invited guests, making Cerberus a Mornington Peninsula hidden gem.

Today, members and visitors alike are greeted with tree-lined kikuyu fairways and bentgrass/Poa annua greens. Dual tees create 18 marginally different holes, with the 5,840-metre layout boasting numerous memorable offerings.

The 507-metre 7th hole is one of those. The putting surface, which is reachable in two solid blows, has Western Port Bay and the distant Dandenong Ranges as a backdrop while the tee box lies adjacent to the base’s cemetery.

Green fees: $15 (nine holes).

Cerberus GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Cheltenham GC

Cheltenham will celebrate its 90th anniversary next year and continues to provide an enjoyable and scenic challenge in the heart of the Melbourne Sandbelt.

The nine-hole layout is carpeted with Santa Ana couch fairways and poa annua greens,
many of which are guarded by large, Sandbelt-style bunkering.

The 152-metre 4th hole is considered by many to be the signature hole at Cheltenham, where the view from the highest point of the property is truly memorable. The tee is protected from westerly and northerly winds by the surrounding trees and gusty easterlies swirl around the tee, making it hard to predict the ball flight of your tee shot.

Green fees: $25 (nine holes).

Chelteham GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Eastern GC – Shark Waters

Since opening in 2017, Shark Waters at Eastern Golf Club has offered members and guests nine par-3s of varying difficulty.

The Greg Norman-designed course features Grand Prix couch fairways and T1 bentgrass greens to match the main, 27-hole course, allowing players the ability to get the best out of their play or practice. So, too, does the figure-eight design flow of the course, which requires golfers to shape shots both left and right.

The 4th and 5th holes measure 120 metres and 102 metres respectively and provide club-selection dilemmas.

Eastern Golf Club has created a Shark Waters golf membership category for those golfers who are starting their golfing journey or those who are unable to play the full course but still want to stay involved in the game.

Green fees: Contact the club for details.

Shark Waters, The Eastern GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Frankston GC

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Millionaires’ club, it is safe to say this is not an extravagant golfing retreat but has hosted prominent businessman, politicians and even royalty in its 106-year history.

Of all the courses featured here, this is the most private and requires an invite from a member to play. If you do ever get the chance, you’ll love the experience of this hidden Sandbelt gem. Few holes are better than the opener though. The short downhill par-4 affords players a view of Port Philip Bay in the distance as the fairway descends to the bunkered green.

Green fees: N/A.

No website available


East Geelong GC

Nestled between Corio Bay and the Geelong Botanical Gardens, East Geelong Golf Club presents nine, well-manicured holes with multiple tees to create an 18-hole test.

The course dates back to 1923 and today boasts healthy, couch fairways and good-quality greens.

Players enjoy six par-4s and two par-5s, with the lone par-3 the signature hole at East Geelong. The picturesque one-shotter comes in the form of the 4th/13th holes and measures over 190 metres both times around.

Long hitters will be able to reach numerous greens from the tee. But the course generally rewards accuracy over power.

Green fees: $20 (nine holes).

East Geelong GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Geelong GC

Having closed for more than 10 years, Geelong reopened at the end of 2014 with its
new, nine-hole course, designed by acclaimed course designer Graham Papworth.

Well-groomed Santa Ana couch fairways and bentgrass greens now meander through a residential estate. Visitors are greeted by four par-3s, four par-4s and one par-5.

A strong offering comes early in the round at the 282-metre 3rd hole. The par-4 plays marginally uphill to the putting surface, which is obscured behind five bunkers with only the flag visible.

One of the real highlights comes at the drivable 7th hole. The 256-metre par-4 is reachable for some players, but if you take aim you will need to fly your tee shot all the way to the green. The target is small and is guarded by a rocky burn, isolating it from the fairway, and cuts between wetlands to the left and a pond to the right. A large bunker long and right of the angled green is best avoided.

Green fees: $20 (nine holes).

Geelng GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Kings Cove GC

Located in East Gippsland, Kings Cove is a nine-hole course designed by Ted Parslow, and is central to a large residential development during the past two decades.

It is a modern course, with big putting surfaces giving rise to some dramatic slopes and tiers. Parslow has used bunkering sparingly in his design, especially along the fairways, but they certainly play their role in protecting most greens.

Green fees: $20 (nine holes).

Lorne CC

Perched above the township and overlooking Louttit Bay, the current nine-hole layout at Lorne opened for play in 1968 and is home to an array of native fauna, including kangaroos, kookaburras and koalas.

The 480-metre, par-5 opening hole is one of the most talked about holes in the district – and it’s little wonder why. Your tee shot is guided by the hill-top marker. What greets you on the other side is an incredible coastal panorama that extends to the Great Ocean Road, Aireys Inlet lighthouse and beyond.

Shot selection for your second will tempt low markers to go long – but the towering blue gums left and right caution the majority to play conservative to the flattest Lorne fairway many metres below where you stand. An expansive green awaits and produces its fair share of eagles and double bogies.

Green fees: $25 (nine holes).

Lorne CC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Mt Macedon GC

Mt Macedon Golf Club, an hour northwest of Melbourne, is set at the base of its namesake and is known for its wide fairways and abundant wildlife.

Each hole has two tee blocks to create variety, with multiple holes changing by as much as 100 metres the second time around.

Green fees: $20 (nine holes).

Peterborough GC

Travel 15 minutes west of Port Campbell – along the Great Ocean Road – and you will find Peterborough GC and its nine-hole course.

The clifftop layout was established in 1958 and from the opening tee shot, players are treated to panoramic views of the coast and rugged countryside.

The 164-metre 3rd hole is one of Peterborough’s best. This one-shotter is wedged between heavy rough and out-of-bounds, while the wind plays a significant role most days. Walking off with a par here is an achievement. If you don’t, enjoy the view.

Green fees: $15 (nine holes), $20 (day pass), $60 (all-week pass).

No website available

Peterborough GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Spring Park GC

Spring Park, on the fringe of the Melbourne Sandbelt, was designed by Sam Berriman, who also created notable nearby courses including Cranbourne, Keysborough and Southern.

In fact, six holes of the Spring Park layout were formerly part of the Southern course.

Set in botanical gardens, Spring Park features four par-4s, four par-3s and one par-5.

Narrow, blended kikuyu/couch fairways feed into small, well-protected bentgrass greens, while strategic bunkering and some water hazards add to the challenge.

The 6th hole is perhaps one of Spring Park’s best. Ranked as the hardest hole on the card, this dogleg right 472-metre par-5 demands a long tee shot down the left side of the fairway to leave the easiest second shot. Hitting the peanut-shaped green requires precision. It sits at an angle to your approach and features two large bunkers, one left and another right, which pinch into the middle of the green.

Another strong hole follows and is Spring Park’s shortest. The tee shot at the 105-metre par-3 is played over water and between overhanging trees into the long, diamond-shaped green.

Green fees: $20.50 (weekdays), $22.50 (weekends/public holidays).

Spring Park GC. PHOTO: Supplied.


Tambo Valley GC

Run by volunteers, Tambo Valley Golf Club can be found nestled between Omeo and Swifts Creek, just off the Great Alpine Rd.

Opened for play in 1970, the layout is a hidden gem of the Victorian high country. It mixes stunning views with a fun layout that consists of three par-3s, three par-4s and three par-5s.

Although the course isn’t overly long, it is made challenging by narrow fairways and small greens.

Green fees: $20 (all-day golf).

The Dunes Golf Links – Cups Course

The Dunes is one of the best public access courses in Australia. And its adjoining nine-hole, par-33 Cups course covers the same links terrain and offers as much enjoyment but on a smaller scale.

The layout features natural bunkering and expansive areas of native grasses and is a course that challenges players of all abilities and is perfect for families.

The 74-metre 6th hole is undoubtedly one of the highlights. Hitting from an elevated tee down to a heavily bunkered green with a very short iron in hand seems easy enough but, if you miss the small target, you will have to play a brilliant second shot to make your par.

Green fees: $25 (nine holes).

The Dunes Golf Links, Cups Course. PHOTO: Supplied.


Binningup GC

Binningup is a magnificent nine-hole course just north of Bunbury. It is carved from natural bushland with holes emerging from the bush to beach dunes offering great ocean views.

It is one of those rare offerings that can rightly claim being a ‘hidden golfing gem’.

Designed by Michael Coate and opened for play in 1986, Binningup (known locally as Lakewood Shores) is laid out in a clockwise routing around rugged sandy scrubland. There are two long
par-5s in the first three holes, with the 568-metre 3rd being an absolute brute in the afternoon when the south-westerly breeze picks up. The walk from the 3rd green to the 4th tee brings the Indian Ocean into view.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

Embleton GC

Embleton is a well-maintained layout, which lies just seven kilometres north-east of Perth’s CBD.

The course has a variety of par-3s and par-4s, which players of all abilities and ages will find enjoyable, especially in the beautiful surrounds.

Green fee: $17 (nine holes, weekdays AM), $14.50 (weekdays PM); $22 (weekends AM), $18 (weekends PM).

Lake Karrinyup CC – North Course

Lake Karrinyup Country Club has hosted many international tournaments including the Perth International and World Super 6s in recent times. Its championship layout has, as a result, become widely regarded as one of this country’s finest.

However, the club is also home to the little known North Course – a 1,700 metre short course where accuracy, not power, and fun, not futility, are the order of the day.

Arguably one of the most enjoyable holes is the par-3 4th hole, which plays as long as 123 metres and as short as 91 metres. The green here is shaped like a peanut shell with a bunker left cut into the narrow middle section of the putting surface.

Green fee: Private course, members’ guests only.

Mosman Park GC

Originally built in 1961, Mosman Park commissioned a redesign by acclaimed architect Michael Coate in 2007 and the changes raised the standard of the picturesque course to one of the best nine-holers in Western Australia.

The course, located 20 minutes’ drive from the Perth CBD, opens with one of its most testing holes – a long par-4 of 391 metres from the tips. The fairway is pinched in at the driving zone by a bunker on the inside of the dogleg right. As the fairway turns right, it climbs gradually toward the green, which slopes dramatically from back to front.

The undulating topography combined with the good presentation makes Mosman Park a fun course to play for golfers of all standards. And, after a round, it is recommended you adjourn to the 19th hole for a beverage and soak in the view over the Swan River that flows beneath the clubhouse verandah.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes, weekdays), $30 (weekends).

Mosman Park GC. PHOTO: Theron Kirkman

Nedlands GC

Nedlands is a well-established nine-holer laid out across beautiful terrain in Perth’s affluent inner south-west.

It is a suburban oasis with holes flanked by beautiful tuart gums, red gums and banksias, while also offering scenic views of nearby Matilda Bay.

Two sets of tees provide a variety of distance and angles on most of the holes. Arguably the best hole at Nedlands is the short, driveable par-4 6th. With out-of-bounds to the right and the prevailing sea breeze blowing from the left there is always the potential of losing a ball beyond the boundary.

Green fee: $35 (nine holes, weekdays). Nedlands is a private club with limited social tee times.

Point Walter GC

The Swan River also flows by the Point Walter course and, like Mosman Park directly across the waterway, offers panoramic views of the Perth CBD.

Point Walter is widely regarded for the high quality of its kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens, which complement the fun series of holes that cover the easy-walking terrain.

Measuring just 2,605 metres from the back markers, Point Walter is an ideal layout for golfers of all standards. The 338-metre dogleg left par-4 5th is the hardest hole on the layout as it regularly plays into the wind, while the green is narrow and rolls quickly from back to front. In February 2017, this green was the scene of a new Guinness World Record with the holing of the longest ever putt (from back down the fairway).

Green fee: $21 (nine holes, weekdays); $24 (weekends).

Point Walter GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Sea View GC

Located in the beachside suburb of Cottesloe, north of Perth, Sea View dates back to 1908 when former British Amateur Champion, Scotsman Peter C. Anderson, laid out nine holes on coastal dunes opposite the beach. Not surprisingly, the Indian Ocean can be seen from all corners of the course.

Sea View not only offers alternate tees for a second nine, it also boasts alternate flags on the 1st/10th, 5th/14th, 7th/16th and 8th/17th , such is the expanse of the putting surfaces on these holes.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes, weekdays); $30 (weekends). Bookings are essential.


Boomerang Farm

Boomerang Farm lies just 30 minutes’ drive away from the heart of the Gold Coast in the beautiful Hinterland.

Spread across nearly 20 hectares on what used to be a dairy farm, the layout winds through vast areas of lush sub-tropical vegetation and features several elevated tees that add some memorable moments to a round.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes).


Bowen GC

Bowen Golf Club celebrated its 90th anniversary last year and, despite its longevity, it remains a golfing hidden gem.

This beautiful nine-holer lies right on the edge of the beautiful waters of Queensland’s Whitsundays, with several holes running along the water’s edge. Likewise, the clubhouse with its huge verandah overlooks the sea and all its glory.

The par-35 is an easy-walking layout but the challenge ramps up when the wind whips in
from the ocean, providing a strong crosswind on most holes.

Perhaps Bowen’s best is left until last. The 132-metre par-3 9th plays back towards the ocean and creates the challenge of having to hit a short iron up into the breeze and staying out of a big bunker to the left. Another reason not to mess up here is the 9th green lies in front of the watchful eye of golfers sitting on the clubhouse verandah.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes). $50 (nine holes Sunday/Monday special for two players and
cart hire).

Bowen GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Cooktown Links

Constructed on natural rolling sand hills, Cooktown Links was carved from tropical bushland between Walker Bay and the Annan River, about 10 minutes’ drive south of town.

Mount Cook is a constant backdrop to the layout, which is the northernmost golf course on the Australian east coast. The beauty of the surrounds, and its isolation, make it a must-play for those travelling golfers keen to get off the beaten track.

Cooktown is not long but the wind blows here, particularly from the south east at around 20 knots on most days, adding to the challenge.

The holes at Cooktown have been laid out with little, or no, earthmoving and as a result have a natural feel about them. One example of this is the blind par-3 6th, which measures 206 metres from the tips and features a two-tiered green. Birdies here are extremely rare.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes).

Cooktown Links. PHOTO: Supplied.

Murgon GC

Murgon, about 250km north-west of Brisbane, is home to a wonderful nine-hole course, which was designed and built by David Burrup, and opened for play in 1994.

The layout is a real surprise for first-timers. Large greens with smooth rolling surfaces are a highlight, as are the greens surrounds that feature bunkers (there are 12 across the layout), mounding and more dramatic slopes than you will find on most country courses.

One of Murgon’s most interesting holes is the 339-metre par-4 9th. The key here is to find the best side of the sloping fairway to leave a direct approach into the large, elevated, angled green and the pin position of the day. A large bunker hard against the right edge of the putting surface almost always determines the best shots come from the left half of the fairway.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

Murgon GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Noosa Valley CC

There are few, if any, prettier places to spend a few hours playing golf on the Sunshine Coast than the Noosa Valley Country Club.

Located in a serene valley about 20 minutes’ drive west of Noosa Heads, Noosa Valley is a beautiful nine-hole layout which you might mistake for a botanical garden if it wasn’t for the nicely manicured fairways and greens found between among the trees.

Green fee: $30 (nine holes).

Tamborine Mountain GC

Situated 500 metres above sea level in the Gold Coast hinterland, this picturesque nine-hole layout offers a round of difference to the renowned courses nearer the coast.

The views over the Gold Coast are stunning, as is the undulating course. The cooler, less humid, climate on the mountain is ideal for growing kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens, both of which are beautifully presented.

Green fee: $17 (nine holes).


CopperClub Port Hughes

Designed by Greg Norman on the beautiful Yorke Peninsula, two hours northwest of Adelaide, CopperClub has some of the best playing surfaces in South Australia.

Guests will find 18 sets of tees across the nine-hole layout, which is made up of two par-5s, two par-3s and five par-4s.

Green fees: $33 (nine holes).

Mawson Lakes GC

Mawson Lakes, 12 kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD, was redesigned by acclaimed course architect Neil Crafter in 2012 and 2013 as part of the multi-million-dollar sports precinct development at the University of South Australia.

The bentgrass greens and kikuyu fairways have improved significantly since the project was completed – thanks to better irrigation – while the strategy of the layout has also been enhanced.

The par-4 3rd hole forces players to shape their shots and the par-4 6th features water down the left from tee to green. But the drivable, 260-metre par-4 9th is arguably the most enjoyable hole and will have visitors coming back for more.

Green fees: $15 (nine holes Tuesday to Sunday). Discounted rates apply on Mondays.

Mawson Lakes GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Penfield GC

Penfield Golf Club, 30 minutes’ drive north of Adelaide, was designed and built by members of the Weapons Research Establishment Institute in 1959 and remained private until 2006 when the land was handed over to the state government.

The 5,470-metre layout features tree-lined kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens, both of which are well-maintained all year round.

Four years ago, Penfield added two more greens and increased tee boxes to provide varied nine-hole loops while still sharing the same fairways.

Anybody wishing to enquire about membership at Penfield should note that the club is currently offering specials until the end of the year.

Green fees: $22 (nine holes).

Penfield GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Regency Park GC

Located 10 kilometres north of the Adelaide CBD, Regency Park was established in 1977 and offers good-quality playing surfaces and an enjoyable range of holes.

Visitors will find three par-3s, four par-4s and two par-5s, played twice from dual tee blocks to create the 5,622-metre par-70 layout.

Designed by Neil Crafter, Regency Park is an easy-to-walk course that will appeal to everyone from beginners to more established players. It presents generous fairways, interesting green complexes, large bunkers, native wildlife and tall gum trees.

Green fees: $17 (nine holes).

No website available


Flinders Island Sports & RSL Club

The Flinders Island course enjoys picturesque views over Bass Strait to the west and the island’s rugged interior to the east.

Covering rolling and sandy terrain, Flinders is exposed to daily winds adding to the challenge, which has apparently seen the layout parred (as 18 holes) just once in the past 40-odd years.

Green fee: $15 (nine holes).

No website available








Freycinet GC

Lying next to the world-renowned Freycinet National Park and beautiful Wineglass Bay, the Freycinet course is two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Hobart and Launceston.

Designed by Bill Husband, the layout has an equal number of par-3s, 4s and 5s making it a challenging and fun round for golfers of all abilities. Even if the course is winning, you will enjoy the views.

Green fee: $20 (daily fee).

Llanherne GC

Llanherne GC occupies similar sandy terrain to its neighbour Royal Hobart.

The layout opened for play in 1994, having been designed by Peter Toogood, who was obviously inspired by the heathland and links courses of Great Britain.

The par-4s and 5s ask questions from the tee and there are at least two playing lines offered on each. This aspect of the design makes it a fun course to play.

Green fee: $25 (nine holes).

Quamby Estate

Quamby Estate is a boutique guesthouse less than 30 minutes’ drive from Launceston, which is surrounded by a nine-hole course designed by one of Australia’s greatest ever amateurs, Peter Toogood.

Arguably the best hole is actually its shortest offering and the only par-3 at Quamby – the 158-metre 2nd hole. Here, the tee must carry the edge of a small lake and a huge bunker stretched across the front edge of the large putting surface.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes).

Greens Beach GC

Laid out on sandy terrain on the edge of Bass Strait and about 60 minutes’ drive north of Launceston, Greens Beach is regarded as one of Tassie’s most challenging nine-holers.

Very little earth was moved when the course was created in 1950, instead the natural bumps and swales of the property were exploited to craft some memorable holes.

There are few better examples of this than what you will find on the 8th hole, which plays as a par-3, but is a much better hole when played as a 287-metre par-4 on the second loop. Its crumpled fairway leaves no flat lies for the approach shot into a putting surface surrounded by hummocks and hollows with Bass Strait to be seen off in the distance. It’s a wee gem.

Green fee: $25 (daily fee).

Green's Beach GC. PHOTO: Supplied.

King Island G&BC

Long before Ocean Dunes and Cape Wickham put King Island on the international golfing map, there was the island’s original nine-hole layout.

Located just south of Currie’s main street, there are many who believe the course of the King Island Golf and Bowls Club is one of, if not, the best nine-hole layout in the country.

Established on its current site in 1932, King Island features 12 greens as well as alternate tees for both nines covering rolling sand dunes.

Green fee: $30 (nine holes).

King Island G&BC. PHOTO: Supplied.

Port Sorell GC

Located just 15 minutes’ drive east of Devonport, Port Sorell has gained a reputation for well-maintained fairways and greens.

The opening six holes cover a sand based landscape, while the remaining three holes
wind back to the clubhouse through sparsely tree-lined fairways.

Of the three par-3s, the 155-metre 9th might be its most interesting with three bunkers flanking the angled, almost kidney-shaped putting surface.

Green fee: $22 (daily fee).

Swansea GC

Located on Tasmania’s east coast at Waterloo Point, about 140km north of Hobart, the Swansea course offers spectacular views across Great Oyster Bay towards the picturesque Freycinet National Park.

One hole offering the best views from the headland is the 74-metre par-3 7th hole. The tee of the diminutive one-shotter is in the trees, while the green is exposed to the breeze thus complicating any tee shot hit high into the air.

Green fee: N/A.

Tasman GC

Skirting the sea cliffs at Point Puer near Port Arthur, the Tasman layout offers breathtaking views of the Great Southern Ocean and dramatic Tasman Peninsula coastline.

The view is at its best on the tee at the 124-metre par-3 8th where you must hit your tee shot across the waters of Point Puer to a green on the other side of a rocky gorge.

Green fee: $20 (daily fee).

Wynyard GC

Wynyard Golf Club dates back to 1924 and is a laid out on a peninsula between the waters of Bass Strait and the Inglis River on the Tasmanian north west coast.

It is an enjoyable links course with the 275-metre par-4 3rd one of its most interesting. The dogleg right fairway slopes down to the beach and causes concerns for the right-handed slicer. Into the prevailing westerlies, this hole can play up to 100 metres longer.

Green fee: $20 (nine holes).