The only other chunk of land on the same latitude west of King Island is South America. Therefore, winds whipping across the ocean have thousands of kilometres to escalate before striking the Bass Strait island. When they do hit, Cape Wickham Links is one of the first pieces of land the winds touch, which gives the five-year-old layout a capricious nature. There are no guarantees in golf; perhaps fewer still at Cape Wickham.
The exposed location between the rest of Tasmania and mainland Australia yielded a must-play destination for all golfers. Design-wise a union between Mike DeVries and Darius Oliver, Cape Wickham successfully melds its many stunning coastal holes with a collection of inland ones that lose no momentum within the routing despite the non-oceanside setting. Indeed, it might be Wickham’s finest achievement: the manner in which the crescendo of the 18 holes continues to build away from the shoreline in a manner that vaunted coastal courses like Pebble Beach do not. Holes like the tantalising par-3 seventh and multi-faceted par-5 ninth lose nothing for turning inland.
Entirely – and appropriately – public, the remote nature of the destination makes for some effort to reach. But the golf course that awaits on the northern tip of King Island makes the journey worthwhile. A 40-minute drive north of Currie, the major town on the island, Cape Wickham rubs the sleep from golfers’ eyes in a hurry. The course unfolds with a trio of holes where Bass Strait is unmistakably in play to the right of each fairway, while it’s the same case on the three closing holes, including the 17th [pictured].
Featuring hardy fescues throughout, a grass that yields a perfect surface for such a course, Cape Wickham allows for a variety of strokes to be played whether you prefer the sight of the ball in flight or bounding along the turf.
Cape Wickham Links
Ranking in 2020: 2nd
Prior rankings: 3rd (2018), 3rd (2016)
Where: Cape Wickham Rd, Wickham, King Island TAS 7256
Phone: (03) 6463 1200