If you’re looking for a golf course in Sydney, your options are many and varied. Sydney is home to 20 golf courses, with many more lying on the outskirts. Every one has magnificent scenery, whether it’s on the coast or inland. We asked a golfing expert to share their favourite courses in the state.
Australia is all about the great outdoors, being active, and sport. The spectacular scenery and stunning warm weather make it the perfect place for those three things, and what brings them all together better than golf?
Rediscover these golf courses in Sydney and one a little further afield, as gems for golfers who need some time out on the smooth fairways and greens. Beginners and experienced golfers alike will find both challenge and fun in these courses!
Long Reef Golf Club
It may be easy to become distracted by the stunning panoramic ocean views of this 18-hole, par-71, links-style golf course. But the unique layout, small greens, and generous fairways of Long Reef Golf Club will provide a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.
The wind will add to the challenge, and golfers will have to be strategic in their approach, playing each shot with control, or find themselves out of bounds.
Golfers will find that the test of skills starts from the very first hole, which is a challenging uphill, 450-metre (492-yard) par-5, that doglegs to the right. There’s a creek that cuts across the fairway, which has a gradual climb to a green that’s tucked away behind a bunker.
Fortunately, you don’t just have to reach for your driver. Long hitters will find that even a long-iron can help them make par.
There are some demanding, short par 4s at holes 3, 6, and 8 on the first nine. Hole 3 will require strategy and shot control. It features a blind tee shot, sharp dog-leg left and just beyond that, fairway bunkers.
On the back nine, golfers will enjoy the challenge and stunning views that overlook the beach. This is where a golfer’s approach will be tested and you’ll need your best golf clubs when the winds pick up.
Where: Anzac Ave, Collaroy
The Lakes Golf Club
The Lakes Golf Club private championship golf course that has hosted the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Open numerous times.
This course should be on every golfer’s bucket list, to follow in the footsteps of legends. Fortunately, you can book a round of golf as there are some limited playing opportunities for those who won’t be invited by a member.
While the course is mostly flat, there are several challenges with unique hole designs and multiple water hazards. The natural terrain will demand that you be accurate from the moment you tee off.
Golfers will find it difficult to recover from the sand and the hazards, which have to be negotiated with care.
Hole 7 is a par 3, 160-meter (175-yard) stretch that has you playing on a slight uphill, bunkers down the right side, a bunker to the left centre, and a large false front. Golfers will need to make a quality shot where they can attack from the left side of the green.
The 14th hole, which is a par 5, 502-meter (549-yard), is the signature hole and one of the most interesting ones. Water runs the length of this hole on the left, while the right side is lined with trees.
There’s a carry over water with a set of bunkers with a downwards slope that takes you to the edge of the lake. The green is then 60-feet away from the pin. Golfers will need both strategy and distance control for this hole.
Others that golfers will find memorable are the 3rd (bogey beware), 8th, 13th, and 16th holes.
Where: Vernon Ave &, King St, Eastlakes NSW
New South Wales Golf Club
New South Wales Golf Club is a “must play” golf course, as it’s truly a masterpiece! The natural terrain makes it enjoyable to play, while it puts your skills to the test. It has thoughtful green complexes, wide fairways, attractive bunkering, and a fantastic layout.
Golfers will find the first two holes are gentle openers. The 3rd hole is a par 4 with a blind tee shot to a hard dog-leg left, and an approach shot to an elevated, narrow green, guarded by three deep bunkers.
The signature hole on this course is the 6th hole, a par 3, 184-meter (202-yard) hole that has an elevated tee. It provides a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, which has the potential to distract you for a moment.
Golfers will play their tee shot over a small water cove, with a challenging dog-leg left. There are strategically located bunkers on the left of the green. The focus for this shot will be on the approach, and golfers should take a moment to make sure that they hit a solid tee shot.
The 5th hole has to be one of the best par 5s on this course. It’s 468 meters (512 yards) and accuracy is going to be vital, as there’s not a lot of room on the fairway to land a second shot.
Fortunately, golfers will be able to see which ridge they want their ball to land on. On the second shot, you’re met with the spectacular view of the ocean and the green in the foreground. The green slopes towards the back and it’s guarded by two sandtraps.
Other holes that golfers will find memorable are the 7th (bogey beware), 8th, 12th, 13th, 17th, and the spare 19th hole, which is a remarkable short par 3.
Where: Henry Head, Botany Bay National Park, La Perouse
Bonville International Golf Resort
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful inland courses, where the layout has been carved through a forest.
Golfers will find Bonville Golf Resort, in the Coffs Coast Hinterland, to be both fun and challenging, with undulating fairways lined with trees, generous greens, creeks and ponds, and strategically-placed white bunkers. This course requires strategy and accuracy, as any wayward shot is likely to end up behind a tree.
You would be better off hiring a cart when playing a round at this course, as there are significant changes in elevation and several long walks between the tee and greens.
Hole number 1 sets the tone for the course. It’s a challenging, long 360-meter (393 yard) par 4, with the rest of the holes getting better from there. The 3rd hole looks visually intimidating, as it’s a long downhill par 3 with a strategic bunker on the right that slopes down to the left.
The 16th hole is a short dog-leg, with water on the left side and strategically-placed bunkers in front of the green, which slopes to the left.
Finally, the 17th hole has to be a favorite! This par-3, 142-meter (155-yard) hole has you carry over a pond. It would be wise to hit a straight shot to the left of the course, as the green has two bunkers on the right.
Where: N Bonville Rd, Bonville NSW
Next time you’re in Sydney, don’t miss out on a top-notch round of golf at one of these golf courses. Each one of them is well worth a few hours of your time, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer.
Of course, you’ll also be burning calories, getting a muscle workout, and spending time in the great outdoors. What more could you ask for?
Whether inland or at the coast with a welcome breeze, don’t forget to gear up with your best golf hat to protect you from the Australian sun while you’re walking or driving the course. Happy golfing!
Author: Jordan Fuller is a golfer with decades of experience, and he’s been lucky enough to tee off on spectacular courses around the world. He currently shares his golfing knowledge with amateur and intermediate golfers on his website, Golf Influence.