It cannot be denied that Australia is a long way from most other countries. It’s a 24 hour trip from my home in Scotland to Melbourne but this was a trip I had been determined to make for many years. When I finally made it I was not disappointed - it was golf heaven.
Nine of the top 100 courses in the world are in Australia and in total there are 1,800 courses in the country. The golfing capital is Melbourne. Here you will find the famed ‘sandbelt’ courses, with Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath leading the way. But there are many other great courses in Melbourne, such as Victoria and Metropolitan.
An hour’s drive to the south you will come across the Mornington Peninsula, another golf-rich region. If you keep going across the Bass Strait (plane is the best way!) you will get to Tasmania and the resort of Barnbougle which hosts two tremendously high quality courses - Barnbougle Dunes (a Doak and Clayton creation) and Lost Farm (Bill Coore).
King Island is a tiny island to the west of Tasmania and is in the process of turning itself into another golf ‘must-visit’ destination. The wind blows here and you are exposed to the elements but Ocean Dunes is a good test and Cape Wickham is one of the very best golf courses I have ever seen in the world. It is a simply phenomenal creation which needs to be seen to be believed!
While Melbourne and the islands south are the ‘must visit’ areas, there are other courses to see - Royal Adelaide is supposed to be a gem and New South Wales is the highlight in the Sydney area. There’s enough still to see to make me start thinking of a return visit already!
Please do get in touch if you are thinking of making the trip and looking for any advice, you can read the blog of my amazing trip -
Part 1 - From Edinburgh to King Island, and something very special
Part 2 - Barnbougle - Two Modern Classics
Part 3 - Sandbelt Golf and a podcast debut
Part 4 - A day trip to the Mornington Peninsula
Part 5 - Metropolitan and Victoria