PHOTOGRAPHY BY GARY LISBON
The Lakes is a golf course of multiple parts and multiple lives. Like its neighbour, The Australian, change was thrust upon the Sydney course with the construction of a freeway through the middle of the property. In stepped Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge to pen the bones of the layout that survives to this day, where holes two to eight reside on the opposite side of Southern Cross Drive to the other 11. Over time several course architects added their fingerprints to the layout, including Peter Thomson’s design firm, but rather than improve The Lakes, the result became a mismatch of architectural approaches.
Late last decade, Michael Clayton stepped in to reinvigorate the layout and provide greater uniformity. Ironically, he did so by making much of the course far less uniform. Where defined edges once ruled now exist blurred lines in the form of sandy wastelands, transition areas and a collection of sharply contoured putting surfaces, resulting in far more variety in strategic options. And on a windswept site littered with large water hazards, it makes for exhilarating golf for players of all abilities.
The Lakes Golf Club
Ranking in 2018: 18th
Prior rankings: 16th (2016), 14th (2014), 14th (2012), 17th (2010), 23rd (2008), 18th (2006), 16th (2004), 6th (2002), 7th (2000), 11th (1998), 9th (1996), 14th (1994), 21st (1991), 14th (1989), Second Ten (1986)
Where: Vernon Ave, Eastlakes NSW 2018
Phone: (02) 9669 1311