Byron Bay Golf Club lies close to Cape Byron Lighthouse, the most easterly point in Australia, with golfers enjoying ocean views from several holes. The club dates back to 1957, when a dairy farm on Broken Head Road was chosen as the site for an initial 9-hole course. The property was ideal as was nicely contoured, had income flows from a quarry and leased acreage, along with a farmhouse that had potential as a clubhouse.
Tasks of removing old fences, barbed wire, logs and stones began. Members with carpentry skills started work on the old farmhouse. By 20th April 1958, all was ready and the official opening took place with 100 golfers participating in a 27-hole event. The Associate lady members, despite a tiny kitchen space, did all the catering, providing an impressive morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea for the male participants.
As the years passed, permanent greens were established, trees were planted, and a new clubhouse opened on 18th January 1975. With voluntary labour and local support, five more holes were added in 1980 then holes 15 to 18 soon after, with the official opening of the new 18-hole layout taking place on 6th March 1983. The layout has since been developed to add dams, new tees, remodelled greens and an expanded clubhouse.
Byron Bay GC first opened as a nine hole course in April 1958, eventually adding a further nine and becoming an 18 hole course in March 1983.
Right from the start the local members banded together to build and improve their club with all initial development of the course and facilities handled by the locals.
It wasn't until late 1959 that course architect Al Howard was commissioned to design an 18 hole championship course with entrance roadway and clubhouse site.
But it took until 1975 for the new clubhouse, pro shop and roadway to be completed, and it was 1983 before the complete 18 holes was open for play.
Since then the members have continued to upgrade their course, continually working on the condition of the course, drainage, new tees and more..
Byron Bay has hosted the Australian Legends Schweppes Tour Championship annually since 2007. Former winners include: Ian Baker-Finch, Peter Senior & Peter Lonard
The course is located in the heart of beautiful Byron Bay- one of the iconic beach towns on the NSW northern coast. It's a nice piece of land for golf, with the two nines exploring different terrain.
The front nine covers lower lying marshy land. You need to be accurate because the fairways are very tight in places- claustrophobically so at times, framed by paperbark trees. Water hazards also feature on most of the holes this nine.
While not quite as tight as the front, the back nine moves into hillier territory with gum trees now the predominant vegetation. It's hard to find a level lie on this nine as the holes move up, down and across the slopes. There are a number of doglegs, keeping the emphasis on accurate driving to open up vistas of the green for the approach.
Throughout the course green complexes are relatively simple- both the greens themselves and the associated bunkering are well maintained and nice to play.
Byron Bay is lovely place to play golf. The playing surfaces are top quality and there is a nice variety of holes It's just a nice place to relax and play But make sure you arrive with a driver that hits it straight!
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.