The 15-year-old Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club is bracing for a dramatic increase in interest as Sydney’s long-awaited second airport draws closer to reality
The first signs that things are going to be different in the area surrounding Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club are the roadworks along The Northern Road. This once rural road, which connects Narellan to Windsor, now boasts multiple new lanes, roundabouts and traffic lights as western Sydney awaits the completion of its shiny, new second airport.
The aim for delivery of the airport is 2026, which may time perfectly with Australia’s international borders finally reopening to the world. From outside Twin Creeks’ boundaries, 2026 is believable. A lot of soil is being turned over and there are plenty of hard hats, stop signs and witches hats. But once you’re inside the gates of this western Sydney sanctuary, it is impossible to imagine A380s flying over. In fact, it’s so tranquil out here it is tough to believe you’re in Sydney at all.
Twin Creeks is already an oasis from the daily grind of the city. Just ask some of the celebrities who regularly make the 40-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD, along the M4 motorway, to the private club at Luddenham. The drive is worth it to get in a game of golf where Sydney’s most recognisable faces are less likely to be interrupted than they would be at some of the courses in and around the city. It is not uncommon to see current or former NRL stars like Benji Marshall and Wendell Sailor out at Twin Creeks. Sometimes they bring Test cricketer David Warner with them. They can be local celebrities, too. Penrith Panthers NRL coach Ivan Cleary is known to play Twin Creeks regularly, as are some of his Panthers charges. A partnership with Golf NSW, which brought the 2019 New South Wales Open to Twin Creeks, has also bolstered the club’s profile among Sydney’s rich and famous.
Over time, Sydneysiders will lean even more on Twin Creeks as an escape as the city grows both in its population and infrastructure. The Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will be a full service airport operating without a curfew, while also delivering international, domestic and freight services. Infrastructure to support Sydney’s second airport – which will reportedly see 10 million passengers land on its runways each year – has already begun being built, or announced. Several months ago, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian and treasurer Dominic Perrottet launched the Bradfield City Centre, a new suburb that will be built to support the airport’s ecosystem. The satellite city is expected to take up the spatial equivalent of 60 percent of Sydney’s CBD. It is set to create more than 17,000 jobs.
And what an escape it is. Twin Creeks takes its name from the Cosgrove and South creeks, which surround the 345-hectare property. That land is ideal for bushland golf; gentle undulations make for an exciting and dynamic routing. There are hero tee shots from elevated positions, flat holes, doglegs, straight holes and everything else that helps you remember almost every hole.
As with most Graham Marsh designs, the bunkering at the 6,444-metre layout is instantly recognisable. Large, sprawling complexes add a ruggedness to the course. Some bunker areas and mounding cleverly disguise the bailout areas, while other traps split holes into safe and aggressive lines. It’s clear from the opening tee shot; bunkering down the left side of the par-4 first disguises how much room there is to the right while making the hole look longer than the 340 metres it measures from the gold tee. Same goes for the driveable par-4 12th, with heavy bunkering tempting and terrifying the golfer to choose between laying up short left or going for the green. The bunkers at Twin Creeks were dealt a blow when flooding affected the property in February last year, but maintenance staff are working to restore the sand traps to their original glory and are removing some of the tongues to make them more playable.
Moreover, Twin Creeks is just fun. The par 5s are wide open from the tee, but demand extreme precision for better players going for them in two. The par 3s require bold carries and their greens are positioned in a way that accentuates the Australiana bushland backdrop. A series of enjoyable, corridor-style par 4s on the front nine allow good players to get on a roll. This writer’s favourite hole on the course is the driveable par-4 third. Going for it requires a precise fade, but it is equally fun to hit a long iron or hybrid and leave a wedge in. It is easy to recount most of Twin Creeks’ holes and that is a hallmark of a good golf course.
After the round, Twin Creeks’ modern clubhouse and Paperbark restaurant are too difficult to resist a post-round beer on the deck overlooking the dogleg par-4 18th and pond. The food is modern Australian, pub/clubhouse-style food but with a classy touch, so it’s not difficult to understand why Twin Creeks is a popular venue for weddings and social events.
Like the area outside the golf course, Twin Creeks’ clubhouse will change over the coming years, with plans to redesign the layout of the clubhouse as well as formal plans for a 5-star resort on the property to cater for an increase in international arrivals.
It may seem a long way into the future with COVID-19 at the front of our minds and Australia’s international borders shut, but the reality is this part of western Sydney will become one of the busiest parts of the city. And Twin Creeks will be ready.
Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club
Where: Twin Creeks Drive, Luddenham NSW 2745
Phone: (02) 9670 8888