The 27-hole complex at Coffs Harbour Golf Club has all the trappings of an up-to-date modern golf facility so it’s hard to imagine it stated out as far back as 1940 with a basic 9-hole course designed by three-time Australian Open winner Carnegie Clark.
Coffs Harbour lies in the shadow of nearby Bonville International, which lies 11½ kilometres to the south via the Pacific Highway, but golfing visitors to the area would be making a big mistake if they only played the nationally-ranked near neighbour and missed out on here.
The three 18-hole courses are configured as follows: “The Lakes” comprises holes 1-9 then 10-18, “East Lakes” consists of holes 10-18 then 19-27, with “West Lakes” incorporating holes 19-27 then 1-9. All the opening holes pose interesting questions to start the round and the finishing holes are just as challenging.
Highlight holes on The Lakes include the two par threes on the front nine, at the 138-metre 3rd and 151-metre 6th, where small ponds protect the front left of both greens. On the back nine, the short par four 16th is a tough nut to crack, with the approach shot forced to carry water to the front right of a sand-protected green.
Coffs Harbour Golf Club is located on New South Wales' northern coast, just up the road from Bonville Resort. The club started with a nine hole course designed by Carnegie Clark, opening in 1940. Over the years the club grew and added more holes.
Today the club boasts 27 holes in three loops of nine: Holes 1-18 are known as the Lakes course (considered the strongest routing) Holes 10-27 are known as East Lakes course, and Holes 19-27, then 1-9 are known as West Lakes course
Like so many courses in northern NSW the clubhouse sits high on a central hill and the opening tees and closing greens for each nine are on the same high ground.
The remainder of the holes play through relatively flat terrain with tree lined fairways and water hazards determining the lines of play
The club has a strong membership with real pride in the courses, and a desire for wider recognition. Maintenance levels are first class- the courses are immaculate! And the golf is both picturesque and challenging.
Craig Parry has recently been engaged to set out a 20 year Master Plan for the club. The future looks bright!
Bonville Resort has a reputation as Australia's answer to Augusta, and is a wonderful place for a golf holiday Coffs Harbour GC compares well with it's illustrious neighbour, and together they make a great golfing destination. Throw in Sawtell GC as an opener, and perhaps the picturesque Nambucca Heads and you have a memorable trip!
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.