Situated just a few blocks inland from Manly’s famous white sandy beach, Manly Golf Club has been in operation for over a hundred years, celebrating its centenary in 2003. Host venue for the Women’s Australian Open in 1977 and 1978, the course has undergone something of a radical transformation in recent years.
Starting in 2009, golf course architects Thomson and Perrett set about the rebuilding of the layout – a massive task that would lead to the rerouting of reseeded Windsor Green Couch fairways, the construction of new waterways and native wetland areas and the creation of modern greens and bunkers.
The first nine on the North Links was ready for play in middle of 2011, with the South Links following a year later. Members and visitors appear to be delighted with the makeover, which has also improved the drainage on the course and enhanced the local bird and marine life habitats.
In relation to the playability of the course, Manly is a shorter layout, measuring 5,913 metres from the back markers, but what was lost in length was certainly gained in strategic bunkering, new green complexes and water hazards, with a major emphasis now placed on short game play due to the demands of firm and fast putting surfaces.