Owned and operated by the Ainslie Group, one of the leading hospitality groups in Canberra, the 18-hole layout at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club (known locally as “The Lakes”) first opened for public play in 1996, so it’s one of the newest golf facilities in the Australian Capital Territory.
Co-designed by Ted Parslow and Jamie Dawson of Enviro Links Design Pty Ltd, the course was renovated only a decade after opening when Jamie Dawson returned to add new bunkers, upgrade tees with ornamental stone walls and landscaping, as well as install new cart paths.
The course is characterised by lakes and creeks, with water featuring on many of the holes, particularly on the back nine. The toughest hole is kept until last at the 417-metre 18th, where a pond cuts in on the right side as the fairway bends gently towards a heavily sand-protected home green.
Gungahlin Lakes far surpassed my expectations and deserves a higher ranking. The greens are undulating and slick. There are a number of amazing holes, particularly the short par 4s which wouldn't be out of place at any of the world's top courses. Yes there are some weaker, slightly boring holes too but overall there is great variety to the experience with the water adding a unique element not present in the ACT's more highly fancied courses.
Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club is a public access course in suburban Canberra. The course and clubhouse are owned by hospitality company Ainslie Group and opened for play in 1996. It was designed by Ted Parslow and Jamie Dawson
Dawson later returned to add bunkers and generally upgrade tees, paths and general landscaping.
In the early days the course conditioning was holding it back, but this is no longer the case. The owners have continued their investment in the course, and added an impressive clubhouse overlooking proceedings. As a result of their investment (& COVID) membership numbers are strong.
The course is not long- 6119 metres off the back tees- but makes up for the lack of length by challenging the golfer in different ways.
The tree lined fairways demand accuracy off the tee, and the combination of strategically placed bunkers and water hazards maintain the pressure to position your ball throughout.
The water holes at Gungahlin Lakes are the most memorable- holes 2, 3, 13, 14 & 16 are standouts. And the short par 4's at holes 2 & 14 are world class.
Gungahlin Lakes is a worthy addition to the golfing landscape of our nation's capital. There is so much to see and do around Canberra, so it makes a very good destination for a golf trip. Any such trip should include Gungahlin Lakes.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
A younger parkland course in Canberra's northern suburbs, with plenty of lakes and creeks in play as it's name would suggest. The design is interesting but conditioning used to be the biggest let down, but over the past few years the course has come along very nicely. The course is fairly short but the presence of the hazards means that shot-making has to be precise. I think the standout feature of the course is the short par 4 holes which offer so many options.
Gungahlin Lakes is a serious contender as the third best course in the ACT region.