THERE’S something about playing golf in coastal regions.
The naturally stunning views, sea breeze, sunshine and taste of salt in the air blend effortlessly to trigger a sensory overload so powerful that even a bad round can feel good. Perhaps it explains why Aussie golfers are some of the happiest on earth. After all, the coastline of the Australian mainland stretches more than 30,000 kilometres. Throw in all the nearby islands, including golf mecca Tasmania, and this amounts to more than 47,000km of spectacular landscape that’s cherry ripe for memorable golf.
With so much seaside land it’s little wonder Australia is world-renown for having some of the most spectacular public-access courses on offer.
We’ve handpicked a selection of the country’s best-value layouts by the beach.
Whether you want to escape the cold or plan for the summer, there’s a tee time here with your name on it!
Curlewis Golf Club, VIC
Located on the stunning Bellarine Peninsula one hour from Melbourne, Curlewis Golf Club could be the best course you’ve never heard of, and it’s a stone’s throw from the Great Ocean Road and some of the country’s most iconic beaches. From the very first hole, similarities with some Melbourne Sandbelt courses are obvious: gently undulating holes lined by native trees and sandy waste; subtle changes in elevation; sharp doglegs; and boldly contoured green complexes. This Geelong layout is highly enjoyable for all abilities – trouble is visible for the low marker, yet higher handicaps are left in ignorant bliss of the aggressive lines.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: 1345 Portarlington Rd, Curlewis, VIC 3222
Phone: (03) 5251 2534
Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, QLD
Nestled amongst 22,000 acres of sprawling tropical coastline and overlooking the shores of Great Keppel Island – world-famous for snorkelling and fishing – Capricorn Resort Golf is home to the No.58-ranked course in Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses.The resort offers an unparalleled range of leisure facilities, sightseeing activities and day tours to key tourist attractions within the Capricorn Coast region.
Just 45 kilometres east of Rockhampton, the resort is located on 20km of pristine beachfront where guests can walk, jog or horse ride while looking out towards the crystal-clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands of the neighbouring Keppel Island Group.
The Yeppoon Resort’s magnificent array of activities, together with its quality accommodation and wide choice of restaurants and bars, allow guests to design the holiday they want in Queensland.
There are more than 20 activities to choose from at the resort including the championship golf course, rainforest canoe adventures, lawn bowls, tennis, guided horse riding, archery, beauty and massage therapy and more.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: Farnborough Rydges Access Rd, Yeppoon, QLD 4703
Phone: (07) 4925 2621
Maroochy River, QLD
Cradled within viewing distance of magnificent and distinctive Mt Coolum and just minutes from pristine white beaches synonymous with the Sunshine Coast, this new 18-hole, par-72 golf course offers corporate golfers and keen amateurs the freshest challenge in the region. Formerly the Horton Park Golf Club, tee off on the stunning Graham Marsh-designed championship layout through to the featured 18th hole that boasts a memorable water carry to the green. And when a well-earned hunger strikes, Maroochy River’s superb restaurant and bar has you covered.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: 374–514 David Low Way, Bli Bli, QLD 4558
Phone: (07) 5373 1000
Ocean Dunes, TAS
The anticipation is killing us, but we’ve been assured the opening of Australia’s most anticipated new golf course isn’t too far away. When it does – after September 1 – it could turn Tasmania’s King Island into a golf destination worthy of comparison with the famed Monterey Peninsula in California with many predicting it will rival big sister Cape Wickham for quality.
The Southern Ocean acts as a beautiful backdrop on the downhill approach to the par-5 opening hole and the views don’t get any worse from there.
At the short par-4 second, the ocean skirts the right-hand side of the hole and must be driven over at the long par-4 third, while the 130-metre par-3 fourth promises to be one of the most photographed holes in Australian golf with an ocean carry to a green perched out on a rocky point.
All holes at Ocean Dunes have at least four different teeing grounds, which will make the course playable for not only mid to high handicappers, but also elite players wishing to test their mettle from the back tees.
Bring it on!
HOW TO PLAY
The Sands Torquay, VIC
The Stuart Appleby-designed Sands Torquay is an enjoyable layout on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula, with plenty of changes in elevation and near-perfect turf conditioning. The course was crafted out of land between sand dunes and beach and, as such, the green complexes and greenside bunkers boast plenty of character. The Sands Torquay retains the surrounding environment’s unique natural vegetation, as well as the feel of the Victorian surf coast. With plenty of bunkers and uphill approaches, as well as some intimidating tee shots and tricky par 3s, The Sands Torquay is a fair test of golf ready to be enjoyed by all.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: 2 Sands Blvd, Torquay, VIC 3228
Phone: (03) 5264 3307
Links Hope Island, QLD
OK, so the beach isn’t right alongside the course, but it may as well be. The Gold Coast is, after all, the beach capital of Australia and Links Hope Island Golf Course is at the forefront of it in golfing terms – rising to No.37 in Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses. Links Hope Island’s prestige emanates a message that it is exclusive and private, but it is it is very much open for play for visiting golfers.
This Peter Thomson-Mike Wolveridge gem has been described by its most recognisable member, Peter Senior, as “one of the best championship links courses you’ll play”. And it’s hard to disagree with the reigning Australian Masters champion.
Links Hope Island is just 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise and 40 minutes from the Brisbane CBD – giving it one of the greatest locations in the country for public-access golf.
HOW TO PLAY:
Address: Hope Island Road, Hope Island, QLD 4212
Phone: (07) 5530 9033
Noosa Springs, QLD
Like the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast is one of the great beach-golf destinations on the planet and Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort boasts one of the most enjoyable layouts in the region.
In a setting that celebrates natural bushland, there are 10 freshwater lakes that come into play on 12 of the 18 holes of this Graham Papworth design. Under new ownership, the course presentation is as good as ever, making this an absolute must-play during your next coastal golf getaway.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: Links Dr, Noosa Heads, QLD 4567
Phone: (07) 5440 3333
The Coast, NSW
One of the best pieces of real estate in Sydney is also home to The Coast Golf Club.
Situated along the rugged southern Sydney coastline, The Coast is open to the elements and can play differently from one hour to the next, which is what makes this place so special.
Approximately 12km south of the CBD along Anzac Parade, and 8km east of the airport, visitors can enjoy ocean views from every hole, the same views shared by neighbouring Top 100 courses New South Wales and St Michaels. The Coast also boasts its own popular restaurant with spectacular views across the course, Little Bay and along the coastal sea-cliffs. Public play is permitted on the course seven-days-a-week outside of member’s competition times and there are weekly Tuesday and Friday open competitions for affiliated handicap holders.
HOW TO PLAY
Address: 1 Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay, NSW 2036
Phone: (02) 9661 5367