Laid out on Stuart Island, close to where the Nambucca River spills into the Pacific Ocean, the fairways at Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club occupy just about every available square metre of a compact 80-acre coastal property.
Located just a 10-minute drive off the Pacific Motorway, the original 9-hole course on the island was established shortly after the end of World War II. The club then extended this layout to eighteen holes in 1992, somehow managing to shoe-horn an additional nine into a very tight space.
Surrounded by water on every side, Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club has to be one of the most picturesque public golf courses in Australia, where you might be lucky enough to enjoy your round while watching dolphins swim by with ospreys and sea eagles flying overhead.
The 5,130-metre layout plays to a par of 69, with six par threes (three on each returning nine) and three par fives on the scorecard. It’s a flat, easy walk on fairways lined with she oak and paper bark trees and putting surfaces comprise quality bent grass greens.
Feature holes include the 130-metre 5th and 120-metre 13th (both played over ponds to sand-protected greens), the severely left doglegged 11th, the demanding par four 16th (rated stroke index 1), and the closing par three 18th, which is somehow squeezed in next to the car park.
Located on New South Wales' northern coast, Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club occupies a unique location on Stuart Island. The Nambucca River meets the Pacific Oean close by, and water dominates every vista It is a glorious setting!
The golf course is squeezed into the 80 acre island property with nothing to spare. Originally Nambucca Heads was a 9 hole course and was built after World War Two. It wasn't until 1992 that the club engaged noted architect Ross Watson and upgraded to 18 holes.
The par 69, eighteen hole course now plays to 5281 metres off the back markers, and although short it demands accuracy both off the tee and for the approach
Tight fairways lined by she oaks and paper bark trees dictate play. There are doglegs aplenty and whatever you do, you must position your ball off the tee to allow a view of the green
Being near enough to dead flat, and only marginally above sea level, the course is ideal for walking golfers. It is however subject to flooding.
We visited a few weeks after a particularly heavy rain period had resulted in some water damage, but the team already had the course back in decent shape The slightly raised bent grass greens were in good shape
Nambucca Heads Island Golf Course is a nice course in a spectacular location. It is an easy walk, and although short it can and will challenge a golfer's ability to stay in play, and play to position. And there are some truly spectacular holes.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.