Golf Digest recently released its latest "Top 100" courses in the world (outside the USA) and we were happy to see a number of Australian and New Zealand courses make the list!
Certainly no surprise for those who have the opportunity to visit, but we are guessing the course most "secret" or unknown to many will be Cape Wickham (No.12 on this year's list). Located on King Island, this course opened in 2015 and immediately garnered the world's attention. We were happy to see it recognized.
A few notes on the rankings from this year's issue:
4) Royal Melbourne West and (19) East: Given the terrain of the course, its history and design by the great Alister Mackenzie Royal Melbourne will always be at the top. The golf world continues to cherish this classic design for good reason! What many visitors will not know is that the East course was designed by Sir alex Russell, a study under Mackenzie and architect of Paraparaumu on the North Island of New Zealand as well.
11) Kingston Heath: Another Sandbelt course and a favorite to visit for travelers to the area, Kingston Heath is a "shorter" course than some modern layouts but nonetheless a beautiful example from the Golden Age of architecture and a wonderful place to play.
12) Cape Wickham: Although potentially difficult to get to, once golfers make the trip to King Island they will love what they experience at this course. Accommodations are sparse, but the playing experience more than makes up for it!
14) New South Wales: Having recently visited NSW in May of this year, we were so impressed with the history and how the course sits on this point just outside of Sydney. Not only is this club located near one of the great cities of the world but it offers magnificent views and a challenge along the water. Incredible.
16) Barnbougle Dunes and (37) Lost Farm: With the addition of the new "short course" this resort is now even more than ever a must-play to combine any golf trip to the Sandbelt. Not only is it a blast to play by itself, but we are looking to pair the excellence of Barnbougle with the new course build in the southern part of Tassie outside of Hobart.
57) Victoria GC: Prior to working on its green complexes Vic was a gem. Now it's even better, and hosting the upcoming Australian Open along with Kingston Heath. A fun aspect to visiting is that as an International player the club will fly the home flag- very neat to see as you start/finish a round. The trees on this course are almost a botanical lesson on the Australian ecosystem in the area- so well cared for!
58) Metropolitan GC: Another classic Sandbelt course which is often played along with others in the area, Metro is easily reachable from Melbourne CBD for a day trip and reflects what great design matched with great terrain can produce.
70) Royal Adelaide GC: Having recently visited, we can attest to how fun and special this course is to play. A trip to Adelaide need not end with a round at RAGC but should include a visit to the Barossa. When the new course on Kangaroo Island is completed we would expect to see golf trips of greater length to South Australia in addition to the Sandbelt... after all it's an easy flight between Melbourne and Adelaide.
80) The National (Moonah): A great course no doubt, but surprisingly the Golf Digest team lists Moonah in its Top 100 and does not include its sister course at Gunnamatta- recently worked on by Tom Doak's team. In addition to the exclusion of Peninsula Kingswood recent work, we are guessing that the judges from Golf Digest haven't had the opportunity to visit and rank prior to publication.
The entire article can be read here
If thinking about a visit to Australia our team would love to make it happen for your group. Please contact us for a complete package (flights, accommodations, ground transport and tee times). Many trips to Australia will include activities like wine tasting, a side trip to the Great Barrier Reef, walking tours of the lanes in Melborne or guided architecture and history tours in Sydney.
We are happy to work with you to make sure your time in Australia is as nice as possible!