Our biennial ranking of the Top-100 Public Access Courses in the nation is here. With international travel off the table for the foreseeable future, here is a feast of fine courses everyone can play … right here at home.
There has never been a better time to hit the road and explore this big, brown land with a set of golf clubs slung over your shoulder.
Dreams of global golfing odysseys are going to have to wait as international travel goes on hold because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. There is plenty of quality golf to be discovered in our own backyard, which makes this presentation of Australia’s Top-100 Public Access Courses arguably the most important ranking Golf Australia magazine has ever published.
If there is a positive to be drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the shot in the arm it has given Australian golf. According to figures from Golf Australia, there have been more rounds of golf played across the country in the past 12 months than at any other time in the past 20 years.
100. MOORE PARK GC
Moore Park, NSW.
Judge’s Comment: “As a golfer I hope Moore Park gets a stay of execution as the axe hangs over cutting the layout to just nine holes. No other course in this country can offer fun, interesting golf on well-presented playing surfaces, just five minutes’ cab ride from the CBD, like Moore Park can.” – Julian Allen.
99. GARDINERS RUN
Judge’s Comment: “Gardiners Run was a revelation to me. There was plenty of variety in terms of shots the course asks of your game. The bunkering was dynamic, while the greens were pretty large and often dramatic. I started 2019 having not heard of Gardiners Run and have since played it five times, I was that impressed with it.” – Sam Brooking.
98. DUNTRYLEAGUE GC
Judge’s Comment: “Duntryleague is a beautiful place to play, especially in the spring, when the course is alive with colour. The first time I played there a few years back the playing surfaces were very good. When I returned in 2020, my expectations were for much the same, but they were exceeded.” – Jodie Ewart.
97. CLUB MANDALAY
Judge’s Comment: “This Peter Thomson and Ross Perrett-designed layout looked like it might fall out of the Top-100 after finishing 99th two years ago. But it has edged up two spots for this list, which I think can be attributed to the improved conditioning right across the entire layout.” – Graham Brady.
96. THE KOORALBYN VALLEY
Judge’s Comment: “This is the first time Kooralbyn Valley has appeared in a Golf Australia magazine ranking for more than 20 years. After a decade of gradual decline under a series of different owners, Kooralbyn closed in 2008. Current owner, Peter Huang, reopened the resort and adjoining course in 2016 and the significant multi-million dollar investment made to recapture the glory of the original Desmond Muirhead design is certainly evident.” – Brendan James.
95. RIVERSIDE OAKS RESORT (Gangurru Course)
Judge’s Comment: “I always enjoy playing the original Riverside Oaks course because there are plenty of memorable holes. My only ongoing criticism is the placement of cart paths alongside water hazards, especially on several back nine holes like 12, 17 and 18, which make for some unfair bounces.” – Scott Matthews.
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