Situated on the rocky coastline of the La Perouse suburb of Sydney, New South Wales is recognized as a top golf course in the world for its challenge and layout. The location of this course is inspiring, being bounded by water on three sides, but its true characteristic is that this is true links golf.
Like many of the classic Australian courses the course's original design stems from a Dr. Alister MacKenzie visit in 1926. And while MacKenize did not remain in Australia to see completion of the course (1928) his partner Alex Russell provided input according to their shared philosophy (1931) on the bunkering and again suggestions for remodeling greens. The course was once again modified in the mid-1930s by Eric Apperley, a Sydney-based architect, to further adhere to the original MacKenzie plan. Recent years have also seen fairways bunkering assistance from Greg Norman's design company, while Tom Doak has recently been asked to provide input on how to address designs that hold the structure of bunkering against the rip of the wind off of the ocean.
The result is a spectacular links course set on hilly terrain bordering the water. New South Wales features par-3s (four in total) and par-5s (four in total) laid-out in differing directions, so the challenge of playing the wind is magnified throughout the round. With a number of world-famous holes to navigate, this is a must-play while in the Sydney area.
Signature Holes and Design:
Like many links courses in Australia (mostly in the sandbelt, not in Sydney) one may expect exposure to the wind, thick brush next to the fairway to gobble mishots, and terrain formed by dunes. The result is narrow fairways (as seen on the the opening hole, the 15th, etc) and a demand for strict attention to the wind!
Although the par-3s on this course are all fantastic, an interesting complex on the course is the 5-6-7...
5th, Par-5: This long sloping fairway is one that players will admire for a while as the hole juts up against rocks and the water beyond. At 512 yards, it's a nice test of both driver into the wind and long iron approach.
6th Par-3: One of the more beautiful holes in the world, the tee box is placed out from the rest of the course and almost on its own in Botany Bay. At 202 yards wind is always a factor as to how far out one challenges the bend to/from the water.
7th Par-4: Coming back up the hill, the 7th ends this three hole complex with demand of an approach to an elevated green which slopes to the front. Not enough power provided on a 120- yard approach will result in a 70-yard 3rd shot in the same direction.
15th Par-4: A famously difficult par-4 and the hardest on the course. In fact, when playing into the wind, this is probably the hardest drive you will find in Australia. It plays uphill into a narrow landing- only then will you have a decent look for the approach to the green.
- 2018: #30 in the World (Golf Digest)
- 2018: #4 in Australia (Golf Digest)
- 2014: #33 in the World (Golf Digest)