8 amazing Australian golf courses you must play
From Port Stephens to Port Hedland, Australia teems with beautiful golf courses. Better still, most are easily accessible to the general public.
For some travellers, golf clubs are the first item to be packed when taking a break. The accessibility and wide variety of Australian courses ensures that playing golf when on holidays is a popular pastime.
Rather than compile yet another list of Australia’s best golf courses, we wanted to highlight for you those layouts that provide the average player with an interesting yarn that can be shared when returning to their BIG4 accommodation.
Whether unique, quirky, novel, or ancient, we introduce you to eight Australian golf courses that you must play.
1. Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Club, South Australia
This is one of the best golf courses to play when on holidays in Australia owing to a couple of quirks that make for great conversation. Firstly, the course is completely grassless, which makes you think you’re playing on another planet. To hit the ball, you simply carry with you a piece of artificial turf to place on the ground. The course’s second quirk is that it claims to be the only golf club in the world with reciprocal playing rights with the famous St Andrews Links in Scotland. More information can be found on the BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort website.
2. Ratho Farm, Bothwell, Tasmania
There is some contention to this claim, but Ratho Farm bills itself as the oldest golf course in Australia. That alone makes it worthy of gracing these fairways. Ratho Farm traces its roots to 1822 and is likened to playing golf in Scotland. There are even sheep that act as greenkeepers. It all makes sense – the course’s founders were Scottish and modelled the layout on those in their former homeland. Bothwell is one hour’s drive northwest of Hobart.
3. Bonville Golf Resort, New South Wales
When it comes to the prettiest golf courses in Australia, Bonville is right up there. The outstanding beauty of this course means you’re more likely to want to reach for the camera than the putter. With massive trees lining the fairways and abundant wildlife and bird life to see or hear, strolling these fairways is like taking a walk in a national park. If your game isn’t up to scratch you’ll at least be able to blame it on the constant distraction of remarkable views. Bonville is a short drive from Coffs Harbour. More information about this course can be found on the BIG4 Emerald Beach website.
4. Barnbougle (The Dunes), Bridport, Tasmania
Although there are many reasons to play the original of two layouts at Barnbougle – including the fact the Dunes is one of Australia’s greatest golf courses – it makes our list for having the largest sand bunker in the southern hemisphere. If you find yourself stuck in the sand on the fourth hole of this links course, you’ll end up feeling as though you spent a day at the beach. And your mates are likely to get a chuckle from your attempt (or attempts) to negotiate this massive sand trap. This breathtaking course is an essential stop when touring the St Helens and the North East region.
5. Nullarbor Links, South Australia and Western Australia
Welcome to the world's longest golf course and an idea that is pure genius. Nullarbor Links breathes life into the massively long stretch of road it’s named after and creates the ultimate road trip adventure. An 18-hole course, it covers a whopping 1365km, with holes found in towns or roadhouses stretching from Ceduna in South Australia all the way to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
6. Narooma Golf Club, New South Wales
This is another course that ranks highly when it comes to Australia’s best golf courses, but we’ve put a circle around it for the sheer beauty of its signature third hole. A testing par three, it is one of the most awe-inspiring golf holes you’ll ever come across. Witness incredible coastal views from this vantage point as you attempt to navigate your shot over water and onto a small green. It’s one of several holes that offer remarkable views of the coast, which contrasts massively with those fairways that are surrounded by tall trees. Play the course when staying at a BIG4 park in Narooma.
7. Anglesea Golf Club, Victoria
If travelling with international guests who like golf, this is the course to take them to. Play a round at Anglesea Golf Club and expect to share the fairways with a huge population of kangaroos. We’re not just talking about the occasional ‘roo hopping past every so often – the course is literally packed with dozens upon dozens of these native animals. It might just be the biggest crowd you ever play in front of, although it’s doubtful you’ll receive much applause when you drain that 20m putt. Play here when staying at BIG Anglesea Holiday Park. More information about the Anglesea Golf Club is available on the BIG4 website.
8. Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, New South Wales
Billed as Australia's largest public access golf resort, with a mammoth 45 holes, this is a must-visit for those who want variety from their golfing holiday. Two 18-hole layouts as well as a nine-hole course ensure there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge. It’s not just quantity; these quality courses offer great views of Lake Mulwala. It’s well worth a stop when travelling along the Follow the Murray touring route.
Is your favourite golf course on this list? Or do you have another interesting layout that you wish to share with our readers? Please leave a comment below.
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