New South Wales - New South Wales - Australia

New South Wales Golf Club,
Henry Head,
Botany Bay National Park,
La Perouse,
NSW 2036,
Australia


  • +61 (0) 2 9661 4455

  • Golf Club Website

  • On N headland of Botany Bay - 20 miles from Sydney

  • Book in advance


Australian Open Golf TrophyAustralian Open winners at New South Wales Golf Club:

Adam Scott (Aus) 2009.

New South Wales (NSW) is one of the most spectacular courses in Australia and it’s one of the toughest tests of golf in the country. If you have been fortunate (or should we say unfortunate) to try and play NSW in any sort of wind, you will certainly know what we mean. It has lost some of its undergrowth with the bushfires that went through the area a few years ago but the panoramic views that have resulted will leave you spellbound.

Initially Dr Alister MacKenzie designed New South Wales in 1926. MacKenzie was responsible for probably the most famed cliff-top ocean course in all of world golf – Cypress Point in the USA – two years after he created the layout here at La Perouse. The NSW course overlooks Botany Bay, where Captain James Cook first sailed in to Australia in 1770. The course was built some 150 years later with the assistance of another famous architect, Eric Apperly, who was largely responsible for the bunkering and ensuring that MacKenzie's vision became a reality.

The tough par three 2nd soon gives you a flavour for the stern test of golf ahead. Each of the four par threes are set in different directions, which means that you will be tested by the wind that will hit you from all directions – just like the great links courses in the British Isles. Whilst not a pure links course, NSW's rugged terrain combined with lightning fast greens demand the very best from a golfer both physically and mentally.

The stretch of holes from the 5th to the 7th is generally considered to be NSW's best. The par five 5th is a cracker with a blind drive over a hill. If the wind is a northerly, a good drive and a wedge will suffice but if it’s a southerly, you may need up to three woods to reach the green.

We then reach the world famous par three 6th with its back tee located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the wreck of the SS Minmi we soon realise that this hole can definitely wreck your scorecard. Sometimes we need to aim our tee-shot directly into the Pacific Ocean for it to move on the wind to reach the green. Such a shot requires the utmost in commitment, just like almost every shot here at NSW, because this course definitely punishes poor or off-line shots more than most other courses. The drive on the long uphill par four 7th is another that requires pin-point accuracy as the vegetation will capture any off-line shot and this green is one of the more treacherous on the course.

You will struggle to find a better collection of holes anywhere than the last six at New South Wales Golf Club, beginning with four par fours each of different character. The 13th and 14th are classic cliff-top doglegs and the drive through the 'saddle' on the up-hill 15th, along with the blind second shot, will certainly test your resolve - as will the difficult dogleg 16th. The exposed 17th is another fantastic par three where you miss the green at your peril. The closing par five requires three accurate shots and, hopefully, no more than two nervy putts on a wickedly deceptive green to conclude a truly memorable and exacting round of golf where the clubhouse provides the only respite from the elements.

NSW perennially rates in the Top 5 courses in Australia and in the world Top 50. And, whilst it has only hosted a few tournaments in its time, the professionals should consider themselves lucky that they aren't asked to tackle it more often. Some words of wisdom – when you play NSW for the first time, add at least five shots to your handicap before teeing off - you'll certainly have more chance of playing to this higher handicap.

Course description by Kevin Pallier.

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Reviews for New South Wales

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Description: New South Wales Golf Club is one of the most spectacular golf courses in Australia and it’s one of the toughest tests in the country. Rating: 9.2 out of 10 Reviews: 20
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Thomas
New South Wales is undeniably a beautiful course with sweeping views across little bay and the ocean it is a perfect picture of golf. That being said almost everytime I have played there has been very little wind to make the course exciting beyond the views. I completely understand why the course is set up as it is as into a gail force wind the course completely changes and becomes a totally different beast. But without the wind it is really not a difficult golf course, thats coming from a 10 handicapper. I'd love to know what lower handicappers think?Bare in mind that I am talking from a low wind perspective the majority of the holes can play very short, example being 5 with a par 5 playing as a driver 8 iron hole. A number of other holes play fairly straightforward if you know the lines you need to take. There are not a lot of elements of risk/reward golf.It sounds like I'm being overly critical of the course and thats probably not fair as I do really enjoy this course, although the walk is the most tiring of any golf course. But I just don't see the golf course as 6 balls when compared to other more interesting layouts.
February 02, 2016
8 / 10
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paul of chester
February 03, 2016
This is an interesting view. I wonder if, say, you played the Old Course on a calm morning you would say the same thing, because the course also needs wind to really challenge, and yet, even without wind, it is a marvelous course. When you rate a links course, it is unfair to denigrate it when there is no wind, as all links courses are designed for wind.
alan ritchie
February 05, 2016
I'm a low handicap player and am very impressed you found it relatively easy even without the wind. I have always struggled to play to my handicap there. it's slope rating is one of the highest in the state and the first hole being the easiest on the course ( on the card at least) is a real marker of its challenge. I once bumped into a certain r.ponting, a scratch player himself who said he struggled due to the difficulty there.
Craig Redford
I played New South Wales GC on a cold and very windy day in January 2016. Playing in a 50 – 60 km/hr southerly “buster” and a temperature of barely 19 degrees certainly presented a new set of challenges compared to the day before when it had been 40 degrees at the Lakes GC. just nearby. The course was in good condition and the couch fairways and bent-grass greens were a pleasure to play on. Any evidence of the overnight dumping of rain had almost disappeared. The layout plays largely through the valleys and occasionally up and over the rises of this magnificently undulating piece of seaside land. Then there are the couple of holes that are exposed to the brutal rocky coast. Not as dramatically high as Old Head in Ireland or Cape Kidnappers “over the ditch” in New Zealand I’ll grant you, but you are much closer to the “action” with sea spray affecting our vision on this very windy day. The par 3, 6th hole of 185m off the New South Wales Golf Course - Photo by reviewerchampionship markers is probably the signature hole. Not because it’s the best or hardest – just because it is the most dramatic. A walk out over a narrow bridge to a tee on a rocky outcrop, from which you hit back over the water to the green gets the adrenaline pumping (especially for me who comes from a course that doesn’t even have a water hazard on it!!) I particularly enjoyed the 14th hole. At only 303m off the members tee it at first appears short. But there’s a trick. It is a slight dog leg left, but has a ridge that diagonally bisects the fairway. The carry over the ridge gets longer the more aggressive your line off the tee. If you are conservative off the tee to ensure you carry the ridge you then have a long second shot for such a short hole. It’s hard to rate the course with the wind so dramatically altering how it would normally play, or how it was designed to be played. The condition, terrain and views certainly warrant 6 balls, and most other commentators suggest the course does too. So I’ll probably go with the majority. Would love to go back to play the course again in conditions that allowed one to appreciate the design, rather than just enduring the elements. One little complaint would be the pace of play. When we caught the field on the second nine (they having had had quite some head-start) we joined up with another single golfer ahead of us. We trudged in slowly with the last six holes taking 1:45hrs to play. This was apparently after the caddy ahead had already made the Proshop aware of the delays.
February 01, 2016
10 / 10
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Steve MacQuarrie
After a couple ordinary holes, the real fun starts at New South Wales. The 3rd is a sharp dogleg with a completely blind drive. Emerging from the chute after hitting one’s tee ball, the golfer is greeted by the spectacular ocean views that (s)he will enjoy for the next 15 holes. After a fine par 4, The 5th, a short par 5, runs down to the shore and precedes the spectacular par 3 6th. Alister Mackenzie’s routing is but one of the strengths here. Local lore has it that he routed the par 3s in four directions, then the par 5s in four directions and then filled in the remaining par 4s. The result is a layout where the golfer gets to deal with the ever-present wind in every conceivable direction. Combined with firm and fast conditions, there is plenty of challenge here, but not so much as to be oppressive to the less skilled golfer. There are plenty of opportunities to challenge the line of charm from the tee, either via doglegs (#s 3, 9, 13, 14. 15 and 16) or on straighter holes with cleverly placed fairway hazards. These hazards are not at all ubiquitous and, when combined with wide fairways, the more common penalty is not a lost ball, but a difficult angle to the green. The bunkering is lovely, but unlike at most of MacKenzie’s other Australian courses, these have the revetted, sod walls characteristic of Scottish bunkers. The greens have plenty of fun undulations and most greens can be approached either through the air or on the ground. The only Australian course I enjoy more than this is Royal Melbourne.
July 04, 2015
10 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary
Dr. Alister MacKenzie designed this course just south of Sydney in a place called La Perouse, which is a sand-dune peninsula overlooking Botany Bay. The land that the course is built on remains within the boundaries of Botany Bay National Park, and certain modifications to the course still have to go through the Park council. The present suburb New South Wales Golf Course - Photo by reviewerof La Perouse was named after Comte Jean Francois de Galoup La Perouse as this was where the last recorded sighting of him and his ships occurred. On 29th April 1770, Captain Cook dropped anchor just inside the headlands on the southern shore of Botany Bay. In seeking to replenish his water supply, he was unable to locate fresh water on the south side of the bay, so he dispatched a boat to the northern shores where suitable fresh water was located in “Captain Cooks Waterhole”. This is located about 200 meters below the 17th tee and is still visible more than 200 years later. In addition to the great history that surrounds the location of this golf course, the architect who laid out the 18 holes is no stranger to carving his own name in golfing history either. Click the link to read Fergal’s full report on New South Wales
April 27, 2014
8 / 10
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John
I have played Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Metropolitan, Barnbougle Dunes, Victoria and more. I would rate NSW ahead of all of them. I played there in January 2014, for the first time. The course was faultless. It had the conditioning of Metropolitan, the wow factor of Barnbougle Dunes, and the undulation and strategic interest of Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath. The course starts with an excellent, fair, opening hole, and then just proceeds to get better. Although some in our group were slightly underwhelmed by the 2nd, I thought it was the first of four varied, interesting par threes, all of which run in different directions. Much has been written about the iconc 5th and 6th holes. Whilst deserved, the hyperbole serves to distract from other excellent holes, such as the 7th, which is a demanding uphill par 4, the bunkering of which forces you to make a strategic call as to whether to hit driver off the tee. 13 - 17 is probably the best stretch of finishing holes you could wish to play. Sensational par 4 after sensational par 4 - clifftop views, ocean carries, drives through heathland corners - followed by a fantastic little par 3 and excellent closing par 5. Having thought long and hard, I would rate this the best course I have played, which means above Troon, Prestwick, Royal Portrush, Royal St George's, Sunningdale, and Royal Porthcawl, as well as the Australian courses listed above. Simply outstanding (and, I should add, a considerable improvement on what I consider to be the rather mundane golf offered by some of its Sydney competitors, such as the Australian, Royal Sydney or the Lakes).
January 31, 2014
10 / 10
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Phil Banister
September 10, 2014
I had the pleasure of hosting a group of members from Royal Melbourne recently and most of them had similarly kind words and regard for NSW. glad you enjoyed the experience.
Felicity Rampart
I absolutely loved this course. Played on a windy day and was kindly accompanied by a gentleman member from the club. I played 15 over my 7 handicap but the experience was worth it. As mentioned in some other reviews no 2 holes are the same and the wind will catch on one hole or another. The view from the 6th tee was spectacular and I particularly liked the 13-14-15-16 string of par 4s. Perhaps the nicest thing about New South Wales is that it is a "golfers" club and can be enjoyed by golfers of all levels. Even though the clubhouse is elegant and the atmosphere great it is not a "social" club in the same sense at, say, Royal Sydney (where I also played) where the extra-golf activities (restaurants, tennis, social facilities) are equally important and are a social destination for upscale families and social groups. My thanks to all of the lovely folk I met at NSW who made my experience so enjoyable.
July 01, 2013
10 / 10
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Phil Banister
September 10, 2014
I am pleased you receievd the welcome we strive to provide to all guests. Great course, spectacular setting, good company. what more can you wish from a game of golf anywhere?
Emil Weber
NSW is a great course that certainly deserves its rating among Australia's finest courses. What makes it is the routing which definitely has Mackenzie's handprint on it. He used the land in varied ways, making NOT ONE hole play or look the same. They are all different and each is unique and enjoyable. Ridges, for example , are employed at diferent distances and many different angles. The ocean is brought in on both nines so the course reaches a climax twice. All par 3s and all par 5s play in different directions, which means the player faces a different wind on each of those holes. IIn general, only few consecutive holes ever play in the same direction.The natural blow-outs that have been restored in recent years combined with the teacherous pot-bunkers are REAL hazards, while the course is playable for higher handicappers. Although penal in most parts, the course has a collection of world-class strategic holes that add to the variety.A weaknesss of the course might be the green complexes. I felt that many played similar and most were elevated. They are still good, but not as great as the rest of the course.The fairways were in perfect condition, firm & fast as they should be although many a golfer (especially some americans expecting perfectly manicured, lush, green fairways) will mind the yellow-ish colour of them. I personally do mind that at all.
September 12, 2009
10 / 10
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alan ritchie
NSW golf club is better than Royal Melbourne... easily. Excellent clubhouse to start with and the course is very tough but full of quality holes throughout. We played off the back tees and shot some big numbers on a pretty calm day. Started on the 10th so its a slight shame not to play it in the desired order but still a strong hole to begin with followed by a lovely par 3 11th that has fantastic views of the ocean reminiscent of St Andrews a bit. Difficult to pick a true favourite hole but 5 and 6 are world class and the 18th is a majestic par 5 to finish. The greens are slick but receptive and some of the panoramas with the massive tankers passing by are very special. On the down side, a couple of the fairways were not in the best nick and that's about the only thing that stops it getting 6 stars from me.
May 07, 2009
8 / 10
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David Gollaher
NSW is one of the world's great courses, a MacKenzie gem you could play forever. The fairways and greens are wind-hardened, and many a well-struck shot bouces off into the rough. The outlooks are tremendous: folding cliffs and sea without end. For sheer drama, NSW if far more memorable than Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath. Worth a special effort to play.
July 02, 2008
10 / 10
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David Storey
May 06, 2009
Having played Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath too, New South Wales definitely should be rated the number 1 course in Australia. My HCP is 2 and it is the toughest test in Australia.
David Davis
Ha ha, I just returned from playing this great course and seriousely had to laugh at the comments from the the course description. I played this course on a day when the wind was about a 4 club wind blowing in from the sea. Since they were working on the 18th they didn't have any course guides, no caddies available and me a 9 handicap and my playing partner on the day a 4 handicap both playing for our first time managed to lose about 10 golf balls. Sometimes you deserve it of course but with a course like this you need a guide or a caddy to play the first time due to all the blind shots. To play it literally blind as we did makes it nearly impossible. However that didn't take away from the breathtaking beauty this gem had to offer. After the third hole we just accepted we would be in for a very funny ride and just enjoyed rather than tried to score. The par 3 over the ocean was great, we played it from the professional t's over the bridge and on the island. On this day with the wind you had to aim way out into the ocean and just trust the wind. It's intimidating with the waves crashing in front of you. Wow! If you are ever in Sydney, go treat yourself.
April 08, 2007
10 / 10
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phil banister
January 06, 2010
As a member I agree that this course should only be played with someone who knows it on the first occasion. If you request, however, you may find members who are happy to accompany you and guide you around the course.