The Joondalup Resort is a 30-minute drive north of Perth, a few miles from the Sunset Coast in Connolly, an estate created in the late 1980s. There are three 9-hole courses – Lake, Dune and Quarry – laid out over some severe bushland terrain within the resort.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, Joondalup – “the place of shining waters” – is one of only a handful of projects undertaken in Australia by its esteemed course architect.
The three courses are routed over a harsh landscape of bush, gum trees, rocky outcrops, limestone quarries, lakes and dunes – quite a combination which allows the much used phrase “no two holes are the same” to be used here appropriately.
To say that golf at Joondalup is challenging is something of an understatement. Golfers of all abilities will have their skills put to the test, whether it is from playing an approach over a 150-yard long bunker to a green protected by a 30-foot high rock face or a shot from an elevated position to a green guarded by a 150-foot high cliff on one side and a 60-foot deep ditch on the other.
There are two great par three holes on the Quarry/Dune composite course. The 137-yard 3rd hole on the Quarry nine is all carry across an abandoned quarry gorge from the tee to the green and the 130-yard 7th hole on the Dune loop plays to an elevated, three tiered green with bunkers front left and back right.
I'm a massive fan of Trent Jones Jnr courses and Joondalup certainly didn't disappoint. There's great variety between the three 9's and as usual with RTJJ courses a lot of different looking shots from the variety of tees. Great practice facilities are present and needed to get you ready for the course, especially the massive sloping putting green which is actually not that ridiculous when you come to the greens on the course. They are mostly huge and with great big challenging slopes. Perhaps a little too much but great to test your game and you really need to hit greens in the right spots. All in all a fun experience at a friendly venue.