Kennedy Bay - Western Australia - Australia

The Links Kennedy Bay,
Longbeach Clubhouse,
Port Kennedy Drive,
Port Kennedy,
Western Australia,
Australia


  • +61 (08) 9524 5333

  • Ronnie Old

  • Michael Coate, Roger Mackay and Ian Baker-Finch

  • Not known

The Links at Kennedy Bay lies on Western Australia’s coastline, 50kms south of Perth. Opened in 1999 and then re-launched in 2001 with a new management structure and some course modifications, it is a worthy contender for the title of best public course in Australia.

Michael Coate, in conjunction with the late Roger Mackay and Ian Baker-Finch, has created a wonderful modern links course. While the rough tends to resemble the grasses and gorse of Scotland, closer inspection reveals that this rough is largely made up of native bush. Although there is some subtle landscaping around the tees this course is a thoroughly traditional affair.

All the ingredients are present: fast running fairways, tight grass, small pot bunkers, large bunkers with severely riveted faces, raised greens, dramatic run-offs and unpredictable sloping. The manner in which the fairways merge into rough with no clear line of delineation is authentic, and the flow through the land is brilliantly done. The course is set some way back from the sea, but the fairways are sufficiently recessed so that you rarely see much of the other holes, only their stout flagpoles rippling in the breeze.

Whilst the facilities around the course are still being developed, this matters little, as it’s the course that is the star here. The best recommendation that can be given is that as soon as you finish playing this course, you will want to come back and play it again.

The above passage is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.

The following article was written by course architect Michael Coate and is an extract from Volume Four of Golf Architecture: A Worldwide Perspective. Reproduced with kind permission. To obtain a copy, email Paul Daley: [email protected]

For any golf architect the chance to design and create a golf course on a true links site is almost a sacred opportunity.

In 1994, I was given the opportunity with the late Roger Macay to do just that. The golf course was to be the first of two proposed courses at Port Kennedy, alongside the Indian Ocean south of Perth in Western Australia.

The Kennedy Bay site is part of an area formed of sands deposited in the last 6,500 years, known as the Quindalup Dunes. These sands advanced across the landscape to form progressive dune ridges and valleys roughly parallel to the shoreline. The deposition of these sands and the formation of the dune landscape occurred in almost the identical timeframe as the deposition of the sandy beaches and shorelines that form the basis of the storied United Kingdom links.

The successful creation of Kennedy Bay, is due, in no small measure, to the contribution of Construction Supervisor and Course Superintendent, Trevor Strachan. His experience, skill and understanding proved invaluable. Mention must also be made of the shaping team led by Bill McKenzie and Terry Foster. Bill is a Scot and like his namesake, Alister, he has a wonderful feeling for golf course shapes. He could often be seen at the end of a long day looking at the effects of the shadows playing on the shapes he had been working. His contribution was marvellous and a major factor in the final result that is Kennedy Bay today.

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Reviews for Kennedy Bay

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Description: Michael Coate, in conjunction with the late Roger Mackay and Ian Baker-Finch, has created a wonderful modern links course at Kennedy Bay. Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Links Kennedy Bay was disappointing in the fact it isn't on the coast at all. The course itself doesn't quite live up to the bill of being one of the better courses in W. A

Some holes are needing some tinkering.

There are some good holes here don't get me wrong but for the best part it just had me underwhelmed.

S. T

4 / 6
Kennedy Bay
May 24, 2018


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The course was a little scruffy and the clubhouse leaves a lot to be desired, but from a pure golf POV this is a great challenging layout. True, you can't see the sea much (though you can hear it, which is in parts enough) but you get a chance to play real links golf and for this I could return everyday.

5 / 6
Kennedy Bay
July 12, 2017


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Great little course but I do have my reservations. Certainly one of the purest examples of a traditional Scottish links that you'll ever play outside the mother country, but for me they missed a trick or two: most importantly is how tight the playing area is, which in an area with a very strong prevailing wind means that I can't afford to give the place any ratings balls as I lost too many on my way round! Secondly you rarely ever see the ocean that is barely a couple of hundred yards away so it lacks the scenic views. Niggles aside though, it is undoubtedly a decent track and well worth playing if you're in the area.
4 / 6
Kennedy Bay
March 26, 2011


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Great links style course an hour south of Perth, the holes weave through natural Australian links land. Tight fairways, deep bunkers and interesting greens make for a fun experience.This course is world class value - I paid £30 for 18 holes, decent hire clubs and a buggy. The only extra was a tip for my wife who drove me around the course avoiding kangaroos and a mean looking snake by one tee. DO NOT MISS KB if you are in the area.
5 / 6
Kennedy Bay
November 13, 2006


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