Kwinana Golf Club was established in 1959 and within four months of its formation six holes were available for play, but two further seasons passed before the founding members were able to play over nines holes. It then took another decade before a second nine was completed.
Inevitably the course was altered in later years, most notably in the late 1970s when Murray Dawson visited the club and advised on alterations to the par five 9th and 18th holes which return to the two storey clubhouse.
Today’s 18-hole course is a demanding bushland golfing test from the 6,271-metre back tees. The two nines are rather contrasting with the front nine playing over flatter ground and the back nine featuring undulating fairways and two large hills.
Kwinana is best described as a the sum of all its parts, there isn't a bad hole here, every hole is a challenge in its own right, each has something to test the best (and worst) golfers. 18 holes of testing golf with no let up in the difficulty or challenge, makes the post match beer discussion all the better. If you split Perth golf courses North and South of the Swan river, this hidden gem is a stand-out course amongst some of the best Australia has to offer.
The first two things that you get from Kwinana is that it is long, off the whites you play over 6,000m and off the blues it is close to 6,300m. It also has some of the best greens you will play, the are small with nuanced variations and subtle breaks add into the mix the lightning speed which is only beaten by Karrinyup in WA and you have a golfers dream.
You start with an impressive par 5 reaching the top of the hill makes the green just about drivable until you see the perfectly placed bunkers, the stepped green and tough pin positions will harnis you inner Rory to make a bogey and be happy. Each hole is flanked by huge tuarts, placed perfectly by nature and left to grow by the course designers 60 years ago to say that some are over 40m high is not an understatement, ending up behind them can make the holes that one shot longer than it needs to be.
Playing safe is a good option on this course, the par four 4th is a great example, a decent tee shot down middle will leave you a wedge in but anything errant will lead you into the bush on the right or large trees on the left both are equally shot sapping. Then onto the par four 5th, a massive dogleg with bush so thick you need a machete to get through it on the right and a fairway that is protected by plenty of trees, take on the dogleg at your own risk, the rewards could be great a ball sitting close to the green or the penalty could be expensive (to your wallet) with balls you will never find again.
This is followed by one of the best par three holes in WA, the 6th is 171m uphill often into the wind, the green looks undefended and it will put you into a false sense of security. Anything short will roll back to you, anything long will leave you with a downhill chip onto a lightning fast green that is running away from you, left or right will leave you wondering where you went wrong as you hunt for your ball in either the longer grass or bush.
The par five 12th is a glorious hole, named heartbreak hill it is the shortest of the par fives at 435m, but as the name suggests many a score has been undone by this cracking hole, the dogleg starts at 200m a decent drive will still leave a fairway wood in because of the elevation of the green which is defended by a bunker to the left and slopes to right, the walk up the hill takes your breath away and you can imagine the disappointment when you realise that ball you think is on the green has run off and is now sitting 20m away leaving a tricky chip.
The course also serves up some of the best at the end, as you are tiring and thinking of the past game pint the course gives you the 400m plus 17th which is a superb risk reward hole, take on the trees to the left and you are rewarded with a shot at the green if you make it. Then you finish with a par five hole that can be up to 530m depending on tee and pin positions, getting to (or close to) the top of the hill on your first shot is key here.
When you put everything together Kwinana is one of the best in metropolitan Perth and in a city that boasts so many spectacular golf courses this hidden gem is top of the pile.