Lake Karrinyup (Championship) - Western Australia - Australia

Lake Karrinyup Country Club,
North Beach Road,
Karrinyup,
Western Australia,
6018,
Australia


  • +61 (0) 894 228 222

Australian Open Golf TrophyAustralian Open winners at Lake Karrinyup Country Club:

Gary Player (SA) 1974,
Jack Nicklaus (USA) 1968,
Bruce Devlin (Aus) 1960,
Norman von Nida (Aus) 1952.

Designed by Alex Russell, the 1924 Australian Open Champion and business partner of legendary course designer Dr Alister MacKenzie, Lake Karrinyup was constructed in the main by sixty Italian labourers who withstood sandflies in the scrub and leeches in the lake to fashion 18 holes out of some inhospitable territory to the north of Perth city centre.

Keith Barker, a founder member, wrote the story in 1969 of how the Lake Karrinyup course came into being forty years before and it makes fascinating reading. Available as a link on the club website, it tells of dragging old tree stumps together to form the base of the 12th green and even burying a dead workhorse in a bunker by the 10th green!

In Sep 2014, BG contacted us and commented as follows: “Not exactly true that Karrinyup means place where kangaroos graze. In fact it means nothing, as it is not a real word. The original name of the area was Careniup, but the founding committee in the late 20s didn’t like the way that sounded and so over a couple of beers, made up the word Karrinyup and also dictated that the Y was to be silent. Such was the influence of the membership, that eventually the Dept of Lands changed the name of the region to match that of the Club."

In December 2016, John contacted us to say that: "Careniup is a Noongar name for a nearby swamp, which translates to 'the place where bush kangaroos graze'." Who knows?

Karrinyup, “the place where the bush kangaroos graze”, has held the Australian Open four times. Norman von Nida won it in 1952, Bruce Devlin claimed the title in 1960 then Jack Nicklaus walked off with the top prize in 1968 before Gary Player held the Stonehaven Cup aloft in 1974. Lake Karrinyup also hosted the prestigious Johnnie Walker Classic in 2002 and 2003 when Retief Goosen and Ernie Els overcame strong international fields to win. On his way to victory in 2003, The Big Easy shot an incredible 29 under par, the lowest score to par in European Tour history.

The lake is an obvious focal point on the course and it can be viewed from no fewer than seventeen holes. The wonderful bush setting is home to an abundance of native flora and fauna and more than fifty species of birds have been identified in the wetlands around the huge natural lake while kangaroos abound amongst the eucalyptus trees and shrubs.

The signature hole on the Championship course at Lake Karrinyup is the 220-yard, par three, 8th hole played over water to an elevated green, protected by deep bunkers to the front. Over club and the tee shot will run away down the bank at the back of the putting surface. It goes without saying that a three on the card is a very good score at this difficult short hole.

Mike Clayton was called in to upgrade the layout in 2007 and – over two years – he lengthened some holes (like the 3rd, 11th, 13th and 14th), shortened others (such as the 12th and 18th), and rebuilt every green and bunker in a major overhaul of the course.

The club also has a short nine-hole layout called the North course, which was built many years after the Championship course debuted. The North is an original Michael Wolveridge design before he joined Peter Thompson and measures a modest 1,700 metres with par set at 31.

After a three-year gap, the European Tour returned to Australia and Lake Karrinyup Country Club for the 2012 Perth International Golf Championship, a new event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia. Bo Van Pelt won the tournament by two shots, claiming his first European Tour victory after an all-US battle with Jason Dufner.

A play-off decided the 2013 Perth International when Korea’s Jin Jeong beat England’s Ross Fisher after both players finished on ten under. Thorbjørn Olesen won the title in 2014, beating Victor Dubuisson by three shots. There was no tournament in 2015 before Louis Oosthuisen came out on top in the 2016 event, winning by one shot from Alexander Levy.

In February 2017 Lake Karrinyup hosted the inaugural World Super 6 Perth, a new-look tournament, which is part of a drive to reverse the decline in the number of people playing the sport. The event combines 54 holes of traditional stroke play across the first three days, with an exciting six-hole knockout match play format for the fourth and final round. Local hero Brett Rumford dominated the 2017 tournament - he led after the three days of stroke play and then sealed four match play wins to claim the title. Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat James Nitties in the final of the 2018 event despite the Thai being a late entrant and not playing any practice rounds prior to the tournament.

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Reviews for Lake Karrinyup (Championship)

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Description: Lake Karrinyup Country Club, "the place where the bush kangaroos graze", has held the Australian Open four times and the lake is an obvious focal point... Rating: 5.8 out of 6 Reviews: 12
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Peter White

I had the privilege of playing Karrinyup with the Super 6 set-up. It really was a golfing test for everyone who took part. The course was immaculate, it is easy to see why this exceptional course hosts major golfing events, making it the best around in WA.

Every hole is a challenge, you play a Lake Karrinyup (Championship) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer hole and wonder why or even how it is stroke index 17 or 18 on the card. 200m par three holes, par four holes bordering on par fives at most other courses and a not too intimidating 560m par five. Add into the mix well-placed water in and around holes and the giant Lake Karrinyup itself and excellent layout starts to come to life.

Karrinyup is an awesome physical and golf workout, so many blind shots at tees hidden by the undulating terrain, an abundance of doglegs that only the most talented of golfers can cut. The real adventure around this course is the challenge of playing to your handicap (37 points won the competition with over 100 people in the field). The fairways are outstanding, the run you get on your ball makes a fade look like a good shot. Perfectly placed bunkers that suck up ball after ball, the run in and around the greens leads everything but the perfect shot into the sand and you are then faced with the added challenge of stopping your ball on the green.

The greens are out of this world, Lake Karrinyup (Championship) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer hard and fast any error in approach is punished and only the best will hold near the pin. Wayward balls will end up long or in the sand. Getting onto the green was the first challenge, now you look towards the hole and wonder how much it will turn. Judging how far left or right you need to play is a talent and speed in an understatement, even uphill putts go long without too much effort.

Based on my round and comparing with some of the awesome sand belt courses I have played, Karrinyup is done an injustice by not being in the Australian Top 10.

February 19, 2019
6 / 6
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Peter Wood

Lake Karinyup CC occupies a very impressive site dominated by a large sprawling clubhouse sitting on the high point – and looking quite majestic, I must say!

Perhaps this is the quintessential Aussie course with its genuine bush setting, large eucalyptus trees, black boys, and kangaroos roaming.

The playing surfaces are immaculate, and even the rough looks better maintained than most courses could dream of. Lake Karrinyup Golf Course - Photo by reviewer However the hilly site has its drawbacks with quite a number of long blind uphill tee shots.

I liked the look of the green complexes with tasteful bunkering, but putting was not easy given the overall gradient of the green sites. A number of greens are approached downhill to a green falling away.

The course appears to be quite difficult for those that have low ball flights or slow swing speeds with bunkering across the front of the green on a few occasions meaning a serious carry and little chance of stopping the ball if successful. These holes have no option to run the ball in- holes 16 & 17 are good examples of this.

Lake Karinyup would be a great starting point for international visitors wanting to see a top quality Australian Course in a classic bush setting, and should be part of any West Australian golf expeditions.

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

January 09, 2019
5 / 6
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Tyson Flynn

This course is the best in the West for a reason. Last year it held the Perth International World Super 6 tournament as well as 4 Australian Men's opens.

It has it all at Lake Karrinyup great routing, undulation on fairways and on the greens.

Surrounded by beautiful natural Australian bushland and fauna, plenty of kangaroos are seen here day in day out.

Do yourself a favour and make a booking here when in Perth,18 in the morning, lunch,18 in the afternoon to really appreciate it!

May 24, 2018
5 / 6
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George

Nothing worse than a famous course that is a let down when you finally see it. Nothing better than finding a gem you have never heard of. This is the latter. First time in Perth for me and went out as guest a week before a Euro tour event was to be played there. Apart from the fact I have never seen a better conditioned course in my life nor a more beautiful place to play (and I have been to Augusta and Pebble), it is really quite something. A course you would happily play for the rest of your life. That is about the highest praise I can give. If only it were not at the ends of the earth, it would be easily world top 50

October 15, 2013
6 / 6
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alan ritchie
Played here for the first time last week and was thoroughly impressed. It’s a great old style course that for me felt like a Sunningdale of Australia with perhaps even a small sprinkling of Augusta. Lake Karrinyup Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe bunkering is one of the highlights, and certainly in the Russell/Mackenzie style. It’s a great start with a really short par 4 opener that demands some precision to a well protected green. In fact the first 3 holes to me were world class. The second is the first of many blind tee shots with a great downhill approach and the third is a great par 5 with a watery grave all the way down the left and a bunker perfectly placed on the right. Other highlights on the front would be the mammoth 7th and signature par 3 8th over the water. I reckon the front 9 is the stronger half but there are still many great holes on the back. The course was in excellent condition and there was hardly a soul out there, which just added to the experience. The only slight let down for me was a bit of repetition with 5 or so similar tee shots, blind over the hill to a fairway that leads gently to the left, but I would certainly return in a heartbeat.
May 24, 2013
5 / 6
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stuartw
Visited during the tournament and played immediatly afterward.Wonderful example of modern trend back to strategic golf.Some suggest it is the Augusta of Australia although I suspect the members might prefer to think of Augusta as the Karrinyup of the US.Playing surfaces are certainly Augusta like in their quality, but the bush is wild and a little scary, and that is a good thing.Its a huge course - big hills and massively wide fairways with lots of room to move. Pure sand based course, but bunkers kept to a minimum with each trap placed for a specific reason, rather than just scattering them everywhere which seems common elsewhere (Melbourne sandbelt for example). The player decides where to go, not the architect.The best in WA by a million miles, and the number of courses in Australia that are as good or better is a very small number. Very private and so not readily accessible, but not at all pompous or arrogant - if you do get in the gate you are treated as family.
February 06, 2013
6 / 6
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AS
Having played the best of what W.A. has to offer over the years (Port Kennedy, Vines, Joondalup, Albany, Mt Lawley, Meadow Springs, etc) I was eagerly awaiting my first visit to LKCC. I was not disappointed: a mature, classic, undulating track that is very tough without being unfair, tricked up or overly long. I left with the feeling that I had played a real golf course that had examined every part of my game. The greens were certainly hard and fast and all had meaningful borrows. There were lots of left to right dog legs as one of your other contributors observes and, if I had to be critical, maybe too many. I loved the opening hole, the par five 3rd, the 8th of course and the 17th to name just a few. The weakest hole was possibly the 12th, the little par 3. Certainly a top course that has the reputation it deserves and I cannot wait to return.
May 25, 2009
6 / 6
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William Johnson
February 08, 2011
Beautiful settings, lengthened course since Johnny Walker Classic and ability to hit a golf ball standing only 1 metre away from a Kangaroo!
josh
Visiting from the UK and I must say i like what i see. I play at an old Surrey healthland club and this to me would seem to be the local equivalent of Sunningdale, Walton Heath and Swinley Forest rolled into one, but with better weather. No heather of course, but the place seems to have acheived that happy knack of lovely golf on a grand scale, without actually making it seem pretentious or contrived. A very quiet place with only a few members who potter about and know how to behave but are still fun, and the only spectators are the Kangaroos. The course is sublime, tough and challenging to match the best in the world, but still enjoyable for all comers. It has held Australian Opens and I can see why, the only place to play in Perth if you can get invited.
March 31, 2009
6 / 6
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Steve
Holy guacamole batman - what a course. We simply do not have courses like this in America, or if we do I am not allowed on them. Taken out by a member friend on a sunny windy day (it is always windy in Perth) and stunned to my socks. Stunning condition as you would expect from a club with this lineage, but so so much fun. Lovely generous farways rolling over hills, with huge rolling greens in the mode of Royal Melbourne - hard and fast requiring a game that I simply do not have, but had fun trying. The bounce of the ball is everything here - to get to the pin you need to drive to the correct part of the fairway and then play some really imaginative shots to get over and around bunkers and undulations. Australian sandbelt golf at its best - playing surfaces sublime, the rest is rough and scraggy with snakes., kangaroos and god knows what else creeping about in the bush; put this in america and they would be playing US opens on it and the peasants would not be let within 100 miles of the place. And the wind!!!! And to cap it off, a old old private club with no idiots allowed, just nice ordinary local members who would not let me buy the drinks
December 13, 2008
6 / 6
Lake Karrinyup (Championship)
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Brian
The combination of magnificant course and crusty, exclusive old club is hard to match - and this place is both with bells on.Getting in the gate is hard, but once in you are made welcome. In the middle of suburbia, but almost totally secluded from the outside world - one of those places that is completley comfortable with its place in the world but sees no need to advertise the fact.Course is a gem, fabulous conditioning (although the new greens on the back 9 need a little more time to settle) tough but with options for the lesser play, and with endless variety and challenge. Nothing tricky or gimmicky, just understated quality.
October 20, 2008
6 / 6
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