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100 best golf courses in Australia named for 2022

There is nothing quite like getting out on a links course for a round of the gentleman’s finest, but doing it at the best golf courses in Australia is a near-religious experience. After two years of closures and borders restrictions putting a damper on destination travel, Australia’s top golf clubs are finally opening up to the world, giving the average joes and backyard hackers the opportunity to hit the fairway in true unadulterated sporting style. Similarly, Golf Australia Magazine is also coming out of the proverbial cave, after a few years off from its much-loved Top-100 Courses ranking, the specialist publication has unveiled the very best golf course Australia has to offer. Pack your bags and dust off the driver, we’re going golfing.

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Image: The National Golf Club

How the Rankings are Made

An annual edition, Golf Australia’s Top-100 Courses report ranks the best designed, curated and operated course across the country. This year, the list was compiled by a panel of 56 contributing judges, who visited as many courses as possible during a period when government health orders and travel restrictions made things challenging.

“Long periods of lockdown in various states, state border closures at different times and golf courses across the land filling tee time sheets with members and locals has made it more difficult than usual for our judges to view courses,” Golf Australia editor Breandan James said in the report. “When it became apparent in early 2020 that there would be problems arising from the pandemic, we recruited extra judges to the Top-100 panel from each state to overcome the likelihood of interstate travel being restricted.”

When it comes to how the Top-100 Courses were measured, it’s important to note that there is not an exact science. Instead, James revealed that the rankings are based on the various points of criteria, with each judge having their own ideas of what makes a good golf course.  Written by readers and golfers themselves, the Top-100 list recommends the best courses for Aussie golfers to get out and play.

Best Australian Golf Courses 2022

With golf participation in Australia on the rise and membership numbers increasing across the board, 2022 could mark the beginning of a great golfing resurgence Down Under. The healthy community is ever-improving and with Golf Australia revealing its Top 100 courses for 2022, the prospect of a golfing getaway is well and truly on the cards. Here are the 10 best golf courses in Australia for 2022, according to Golf Australia.

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Image: Royal Melbourne Golf Club

1. Royal Melbourne Golf Club – West Course

Undoubtedly one of Australia’s best golf courses, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club – West Course is 18 holes of pure golf delight. Achieving an incredible 99.86 points out of a possible 100, the course is defined by the latest trends in modern architecture, complemented by stunning surroundings and what feels like endless space and width. The course’s subtle architecture is matched by great conditioning and wonderful vegetation management, not to mention some of the best bunkering on the planet.

“The architecture at Royal Melbourne West is without peer, as is the leadership shown by Australia’s premier golf course – sustainable maintenance practices, native heath regeneration, a duty of care for its public golf neighbour Sandy Links, preservation and restoration of its own historic layout. A course and club that all Australian golf courses can take their lead from,” said Adrian Logue, co-host of The Good-Good Golf Podcast.

Address: Cheltenham Rd, Black Rock VIC
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 5 pm
Contact: (03) 9599 0500
Designers: Dr Alister MacKenzie (1931); Tom Doak (ongoing).}
Average points: 99.86

Royal Melbourne Golf Club – West Course

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Image: Cape Wickham Links

Located on the north coast of Tasmania’s King Island, Cape Wickham Links is a golf course like no other. With a perfect cool breeze hitting you while you play, the visual spectacle of this course is what brings it up to par with some of the best courses in the country. Designed by Darius Oliver and Mike DeVries in 2015, the dramatic, remote, true links destination on the north coast of King Island is postcard-perfect playing. Steadily achieving critical acclaim around the world, the sophisticated design was good enough for second place in Golf Australia’s Top 100 Courses for 2022.

Address: Cape Wickham Rd, Wickham TAS
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 6 pm
Contact: (03) 6463 1200
Designers: Darius Oliver and Mike DeVries (2015)
Average points: 98.07

Cape Wickham Links

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Image: Barnbougle

3. Barnbougle Dunes

Another spectacular Tasmanian golf course to get you feeling inspired, Barnbougle Dunes, is one of the most soulful golfing experiences for the best value. Designers Tom Doak and Mike Clayton changed the name of golf course architecture in Australia with this course, and the adjoining Lost Farm course means you can play some golf, then play some more.

“Australian golf’s Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come has proven to be the case for the course that changed the game for both golf course architecture and public golf in Australia,” Top-100 judge Brian Walshe said. “Tom Doak and Mike Clayton built a raft of holes that are not only some of the best in the country but are the equal to anything overseas. The 7th shows that you don’t need to have a 450-metre par-4 to scare golfers, in fact a par-3 that is often no more than a flick with a wedge can be absolutely terrifying.”

Address: 425 Waterhouse Rd, Bridport TAS
Hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 10 pm, Saturday – Sunday 7 am – 10.30 pm
Contact: (03) 6356 0094
Designers: Tom Doak & Mike Clayton (2004)
Average points: 97.5

Barnbougle Dunes

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Image: Barnbougle

4. Barnbougle Lost Farm

Just a short pitching wedge across the river from The Barnbougle Dunes is its second, and just as impressive, instalment- Lost Farm. Despite Lost Farm’s proximity to The Dunes, it is vastly different, featuring 20-holes that wind along the coast and through the coastal dunes. The course was designed and built by world-renowned US golf course design company Coore & Crenshaw, which shows in its refined features and how the course incorporates the natural landscape.

Address: 425 Waterhouse Rd, Bridport TAS
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 6 pm
Contact: (03) 6310 8400
Designers: Bill Coore
Average points: 97.31

Barnbougle Lost Farm

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Image: Kingston Heath Golf Club

5. Kingston Heath Golf Club

Standing the true test of time, Kingston Heath Golf Club is surrounded by exquisite bunkering and features a plethora of wonderful shots. The green complexes are among the best in the country, and the course is best known for its astonishing collection of par threes. The ageless design means you can expect this course to be in the top 10 for years to come.

“A routing that twists and weaves yet never feels cramped, Kingston Heath doesn’t bludgeon you but gently and subtlety lets you know that it’s a very good course,” Golf Australia Magazine’s Matt Mollica said. “From the likes of the brilliant short par-3 10th to the sweeping downhill par-4 16th, it doesn’t try to overwhelm you but instead keeps asking questions for the golfer to answer.”

Address: Kingston Road, Cheltenham VIC
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 am – 9 pm
Contact: (03) 8558 2700
Designers: Dan Soutar, Dr Alister MacKenzie
Average points: 95.75

Kingston Heath Golf Club

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Image: Peninsula Kingswood

6. Peninsula Kingswood – North Course

Located in Melbourne’s famous Sandbelt golf region, Peninsula Kingswood’s North Course is what golfing dreams are made of. After undergoing a series of major renovations over the past few years, the course now boasts exceptional green complexes, clever bunkering and the purest putting surfaces and is unique in that it can easily see-saw from member-friendly to pro-level. The course also includes additional facilities such as state of the art practice facilities as well as luxury accommodation, so you can make a weekend out of it.

“The major renovations have been nothing short of spectacular. Exceptional green complexes and gorgeous bunkering are complemented by pure putting surfaces, which are now even better a few years after the completion of the rebuild,” Mollica said.

Address: 211-279 Skye Rd, Frankston VIC
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 6 pm
Contact: (03) 9789 2222
Designers: Sloan Morpeth (1969); Mike Clayton (2002); Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Clayton, Mike Cocking & Ashley Mead – OCCM (2019)
Average points: 96.33

Peninsula Kingswood – North Course

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Image: Royal Melbourne Golf Club

7. Royal Melbourne Golf Club – East Course

Another course currently undergoing some refurbishments courtesy of Tom Doak, Royal Melbourne Golf Club’s East Course is a truly stunning approach to modern design. The East Course starts and finishes on the main site and is highlighted by seven ‘home paddock’ holes. The bunkering is superb, while the greens, though smaller than the West’s, are as beautifully constructed and sloped. Whilst Royal Melbourne West gets most of the attention, the East Course deserves just as much praise.

“More than just the sibling of the West course, Royal Melbourne East is a fine, testing yet manageable layout,” Mollica said. “It sits comfortably within the upper echelon of Australian golf courses, and is still under-rated by some due to the grandeur of the course next to it. East has benefitted from further subtle tweaking from consultant architect Tom Doak and bunker work during the COVID-induced layoff. Its best holes are brilliant, and a joy to play.”

Address: Cheltenham Rd, Black Rock VIC
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 am – 5 pm
Contact: (03) 9599 0500
Designers: Alex Russell (1932); Tom Doak (ongoing)
Average points: 94.9

Royal Melbourne Golf Club – East Course

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Image: The National Golf Club

8. The National Golf Club – Gunnamatta Course

One of the top Australian golf courses, formerly the ‘Ocean Course’, Gunnamatta Course is situated by the breathtaking whitewash of Gunnamatta Beach and has an impressive 18 holes to match. Doak expertly embraces the natural undulations of the region’s sandy terrain, delivering width, strategic bunkering, and imaginative green shapes. The result is a simultaneously playable, fun, and naturally beautiful course.

“In an era where too many golfers equate hard with good, The National’s Gunnamatta shows that good can also be amazing fun,” Top-100 judge Brian Walshe said. “A combination of width, angles and amazing green complexes that can start up to 30 metres from the putting surface proper, Gunnamatta provides options galore with slopes and banks to feed the ball to pins that might reject a lofted shot. Like all the very best courses, it’s not just the broad brush that stands out, but the intricate detail in the greens that have you learning new things each time you play it.”

Address: The Cups Dr., Cape Schanck VIC
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm
Contact: (03) 5988 6666
Designers: Tom Doak (2019)
Average points: 92.9

Gunnamatta Course

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Image: New South Wales Golf Club

9. New South Wales Golf Club

Self-acclaimed as one of the world’s most extraordinary golfing experiences, New South Wales Golf Club is perched on the rugged cliffs at La Perouse. It is a Par 72 private golf club that beautifully combines beautiful views, tight grass, repelling slopes, undulating fairways and scrubby dunes. If you’re in Sydney and looking for somewhere to golf, this is definitely your best bet.

“One feels NSW GC is nearing the end of a generation-spanning cycle of modest changes and sober maintenance of its status quo as Sydney’s best course,” Logue said. “But as Royal Sydney ruminates on its Gil Hanse redesign and the rest of the Sydney golf scene evolves, NSW may yet be forced to re-invent itself as it did once before at the end of World War II. Hopefully this time, with more exposed sand and firm, sloping fairways snaking through great patches of wild Eastern Suburbs Banksia scrub along the rugged rocky cliffs at La Perouse. More than just Sydney’s best course it should truly be Sydney’s unique contribution to world golf.”

Address: Kamay Botany Bay National Park, 101 Henry Head Lane, La Perouse NSW
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 am – 6 pm
Contact: (02) 9661 4455
Designers: Dr Alister MacKenzie (1928); Eric Apperly (1937 & 1951); Greg Norman & Bob Harrison (2010); Greg Norman (2018); Tom Doak (2019)
Average points: 91.33

New South Wales Golf Club

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Image: Victoria Golf Club

10. Victoria Golf Club

One of the best golf courses in Australia, if you’re looking for a golfing experience that’s on par with the world’s best, head to Victoria Golf Club. The course has undergone a dramatic transition with a remarkable resurfacing of the greens, pure surfaces and excellent slopes. Part of the world’s best golfing destinations – the Melbourne Sandbelt, the course is a crowd favourite for avid Victorian and international golfers alike. In the judging, Golf Australia Magazine’s Matt Mollica described the iconic course as a continually evolving success story.

“Victoria has matured with the irrigation and green works of several years ago settling in nicely, so as to see the course regain its lustre,” Mollica said. “Continued work on vegetation management compliments the greens renovation program.”

Address: Park Rd, Cheltenham VIC
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8 am – 6 pm
Contact: (03) 9584 1733
Designers: Oscar Damman, William Meader & Dr Alister MacKenzie (1927); Mike Clayton (2005); Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Clayton, Mike Cocking & Ashley Mead – OCCM (2019)
Average points: 94.5

Victoria Golf Club

Best of the rest

Image: Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Best of the Rest

With the top 10 best golf courses in Australia officially listed, it’s time to take a look a the best of the rest. Here, you’ll find those courses ranked from 11-99 in Golf Australia’s Top 100 Courses list for 2022. Happy putting!

11. Royal Adelaide GC – 91.26
12. The National GC – Moonah Course – 89.64
13. St. Andrews Beach – 89.13
14. The Lakes GC – 89.1
15. Metropolitan GC – 88.86
16. Peninsula Kingswood GC – South Course – 88.5
17. Yarra Yarra GC – 87
18. Ocean Dunes – 89.63
19. Barwon Heads GC – 86.54
20. Lonsdale Links – 86
21. Kooyonga GC – 85.24
22. Lake Karrinyup GC – 84.93
23. Royal Queensland GC – 82.9
24. The National GC – Old Course – 82.15
25. Woodlands GC – 81.62
26. Thirteenth Beach Links – Beach Course – 80.46
27. The Dunes Golf Links – 79.73
28. Port Fairy Links – 79.42
29. Newcastle GC – 79.15
30. Concord GC – 79.13
31. Royal Canberra – Westbourne Course – 78.7
32. Commonwealth GC – 77.55
33. Magenta Shores G&CC – 77.16
34. Brookwater G&CC – 77
35. Bonnie Doon GC – 76.88
36. The Australia GC – 76.61
37. Portsea GC – 76.11
38. Bougle Run – 76
39. The Grange GC – West Course – 75.15
40. Bonville Golf Resort – 75.05
41. Joondalup Resort – Quarry/Dunes Course – 73.53
42. Hamilton Island GC – 72.85
43. Glenelg GC – 72.56
44. The National GC – Long Island Course – 71.3
45. Spring Valley GC – 70.27
46. Elanora CC – 70.15
47. Moonah Links – Legends Course – 70
48. The Grange GC – East Course – 69.86
49. Curlewis GC – 69.75
50. Terrey Hills G&CC – 69.5
51. Sandringham Golf Links – 69.33
52. The Vintage GC – 69.15
53. Thirteenth Beach Links – Creek Course – 68.33
54. The Eastern GC – South Course – 68
55. Links Hope Island – 67.13
56. Royal Sydney GC – 66.05
57. Meadow Springs G&CC – 65.98
58. Huntingdale GC – 65.25
59. The Grand GC – 65.13
60. RACV Healesville CC – 64.37
61. St Michaels GC – 63.9
62. Cranbourne GC – 63.5
63. The Cut GC – 63.15
64. Ranfurlie GC – 62.95
65. Sanctuary Cove G&CC – Pines Course – 62.56
66. Kalgoorlie GC – 61.33
67. Sanctuary Lakes GC – 60.75
68. Moonah Links – Open Course – 59.87
69. Rosebud CC – North Course – 59.83
70. Links Lady Bay Resort – 59.65
71. Royal Hobart GC – 58.8
72. Stonecutters Ridge – 58.1
73. Settlers Run G&CC – 57.67
74. Mt Lawley GC – 57.57
75. The Glades GC – 56.5
76. Avondale GC – 56.13
77. Narooma GC – 55.25
78. Maroochy River GC – 54.33
79. Tasmania GC – 53.25
80. Black Bull GC – 52.9
81. Sun City GC – 51.67
82. Warrnambool GC – 49.67
83. Mt Compass Golf Course – 49.15
84. Sorrento GC – 49
85. Killara GC – 47.87
86. Murray Downs G&CC – 47.33
87. Joondalup Resort – Quarry/Lake Course – 46.75
88. RACV Cape Schanck Resort – 45.13
89. Belmont GC – 44.25
90. Riversdale GC – 44.1
91. Pacific Harbour G&CC – 43.75
92. RACV Royal Pines Resort – Green/Gold Course – 42.67
93. The Federal GC – 42.15
94. Monash CC – 41.9
95. Indooroopilly GC – West Course – 40.33
96. Kew GC – 40.15
97. The Brisbane GC – 40
98. Castle Hill CC – 39.95
99. Sanctuary Cover G&CC – Palms Course – 37.67
100. Pacific Dunes – 37.15

General FAQs

What is the best golf course in Australia?

According to the official rankings from Golf Australia's Top 100 Courses list for 2022, the best golf course in Australia is the Royal Melbourne Golf Club - West Course. This esteemed course scored 99.86 points out of a possible 100, making it the top-ranked for the sixth-successive occasion.

Where is the Australian Open Golf Tournament played?

The Australian Open Golf Tournament is played at The Australian Golf Club in Rosebery, NSW.

 

CONTRIBUTOR

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O’Keefe is a Sydney-based freelance writer with a background in content marketing, lifestyle, architecture and travel coverage. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and has worked with Universal Magazines, various leading digital marketing agencies and The Local Project.