Australia has an oversupply of golf courses where comparisons are made between them and Augusta National. Bonville is one; Royal Canberra (pre-redesign, but perhaps also post) is another. However, the course that arguably resembles the mighty Georgia layout most closely is the Hilltop course at Mollymook Golf Club, for its back nine marries magnificent flora with heavy undulations and slick putting surfaces.
Visit at the right time of year and the Hilltop course is a veritable array of floral delight, but at any time you’ll experience the roller-coaster ride that is the Bill Andriske/Ken Mackay-designed layout. While several holes in the middle of the front nine unfold across a flat portion of land, at least 12 holes feature steep ascents or descents plus several sidehill lies.
The Hilltop back nine is one of the prettiest and most challenging stretches of holes to be found. The elevation changes – some quite severe – link with the forest and garden-like setting to provide tranquility. Tranquil, though, is hardly the word to describe the greens. There are some brutal contours to conquer after navigating the sloping fairways. We hear the advice, “Stay below the hole” often, but on these putting surfaces it is often mandatory. The club itself puts it best with this succinct warning: “Once on the putting surface there may still be a good deal of golf left.”
Mollymook Golf Club (Hilltop course)
Ranking in 2020: 92nd
Prior rankings: 83rd (2004), 71st (2000), 75th (1998), 67th (1996), 78th (1994), 99th (1991)
Where: Clifford Close, Mollymook NSW 2539
Phone: (02) 4455 2055