Although not the length of modern championship courses, Barwon Heads is a fair test of golf. The course lies on the south coast of the Bellarine Peninsula 20 minutes from Geelong and 75 minutes from Melbourne. It’s located on land adjacent to Thirteenth Beach Golf Links sharing a strip of coastline that gives way to the Bass Straits.
Barwon Heads was founded in 1907 in Geelong and was initially a nine-hole links on land north of the village of Barwon Heads. The links on the present site was developed in 1920, being laid out by Victor East, then the Royal Melbourne Golf Club professional.
The course was initially 5,720 yards with a bogey of 77. The first six holes that circulate on a piece of land across the access road to the beach, northeast of the clubhouse are in fact the most recent additions. These six holes are my favourite combination on the course on account of their closeness to traditional Scottish links in both atmosphere and playing character. They are also closest to the dunes and the beach beyond. This section of the course has a very open feeling to it. You play all holes within sight of the traditional weatherboard clubhouse, one of the most handsome golf structures in Australia.
The above passage is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.