With nearly 30 percent of Australian golf courses being of the nine-hole variety, you don’t have to venture too far to find one that offers plenty of fun without burning a hole in your pocket.
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).
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 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).
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).
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 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).