The charmed run of Elanora Country Club within our biennial ranking was broken only by the club’s request to sit out the first three rankings of the new millennium while major course work was conducted and allowed to settle.

Yet the exclusive, reclusive private club in Sydney’s north was better for it. James Wilcher’s savvy touches took a course that was bouncing to all parts of the lower realms of the Top 100 and made it a top-50 mainstay.

Blessed with a naturally undulating bushland site, Elanora owns a reputation for presenting an immaculate arena. But there’s substance behind the style. Fifteen years ago, Wilcher reworked Dan Soutar’s original design to highlight the best aspects of the land in an inviting escape from urban life. Along with the varied topography, further highlights include the bold bunkering and tenacious treelines. About the only design flaw one could level at the layout is an abundance of uphill plays into the greens (as many as half the 18 approach shots are towards greens set above tee or fairway level).

It’s a difficult tee-time to secure but well worth the effort and any expense for those fortunate few.


Elanora Country Club

Ranking in 2018: 45th

Prior rankings: 46th (2016), 38th (2014), 42nd (2012), 47th (2010), 51st (2008), NR (2006), NR (2004), NR (2002), 95th (2000), 64th (1998), 55th (1996), 52nd (1994), 54th (1991), 63rd (1989), ‘Fifth Ten’ (1986)

Where: Elanora Rd, Elanora Heights NSW 2101

Phone: (02) 9913 7336