Newcastle - New South Wales - Australia

Newcastle Golf Club,
Vardon Road,
Fern Bay,
New South Wales 2295,
Australia


  • +61 2 4928 1365

  • Paul Foulcher

  • Eric Apperly

  • Not known

Newcastle is located at the coastal outlet of the Hunter River, two hours drive north of Sydney. Its provenance is steel mining and shipping and the town retains its industrial demeanour. With heavy industries of the 19th century came Celtic miners with a yearing for golf and it is thought that a group of them formed the Newcastle Golf Club in 1905. Details are uncertain due to a catastrophic fire that razed the clubhouse in 1969 and with it most of the club’s records.

The steady expansion of Newcastle’s industries in the early part of the 20th century forced the local golf clubs to relocate. Newcastle Golf Club moved across the Hunter River to Stockton, then only accessible by ferry. Work on a nine hole golf course began in 1913 and was completed in 1915… The club struggled financially through its early years… It was therefore a decision of great courage to expand the golf course to 18 holes in 1935 when the Hunter Valley area was still in the grip of Depression.

Given its manifest qualities and historical significance, Newcastle Golf Club is somewhat of an anomaly. Compared with Victoria, the state of NSW is not well endowed with great historical golf courses, so Newcastle’s history, from the financially dicey early years to its settled maturity today, has taken place in a form of splendid isolation. The club celebrated its centenary in 2005. Credit is certainly due to decisions of committee after committee to preserve the original layout and bunkering as much as possible from Eric Apperly’s handsome design completed in 1930.

The above passage on Newcastle Golf Club is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.

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Description: Given its manifest qualities and historical significance, Newcastle Golf Club is somewhat of an anomaly. Rating: 5.2 out of 6 Reviews: 5

The Coal town. Beautiful beaches and restaurants occupy this lovely town.The golf course here is a hidden gem within Australia and is just as excellent as the beaches 10min away.

It has couch fairways that are a pleasure to hit off, rolling and undulating in this former dune area that is now a championship course. Natural bushland surrounds the course.

The best run of holes here are the 5-7th.

The 5th is world class and is seen as one of the very best Par 4's in the country and it's clear to see why when you play it, especially for the first time as I did. the 6th is an outstanding Par 4 wrapped around a hill as a dogleg left and then up toward the green to the right.

The best hole is the world class Par 3 7th.

This course I could certainly be a member at and I must get back to play it and update my photos soon!

I love the clubs emblem as well, it reminds of the kiwi fern.

5 / 6
Newcastle
May 24, 2018


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15th in the nation is about right for Newcastle. This is an extremely good golf course. I played it twice this week, on both occasions in at least a 3 club breeze. It is difficult - precision driving and precision iron play will be rewarded with good scores. I struggled with the poa greens, and wonder about a couple of design features ( the trees which obscure the fairway on 14, the blindness of the tee shot on 15) but each and every hole to that point is strong, with no weak shots anywhere. The stretch of 4 through 11 is I think as good as anything in Australia. 5 might just be in the top 3 or 4 holes in the country. The front 9 in particular is just really good golf, if a little quirky at times. I'm not fussed about conditioning - golf courses don't need to be outstandingly manicured to be great ( I suspect there might even be an inverse relationship).

The only think keeping this course from being right among the very elite of Australian golf is holes 16 and 17 and maybe 18. This will be dealt with when/if they go ahead with a major renovation after releasing the land that 16 and 17 and 18 sit on for commercial use. If the land they are opening up at the back of the property for new holes is as good as the land that 4-14 sit on and if the new holes are as good as those existing holes, then Newcastle has every chance to enter the very elite of Australian golf. It should be wonderful. I look forward to coming back to see it.

5 / 6
Newcastle
July 27, 2016


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Newcastle is a fine golf course though I left feeling a little flat after reading various reviews of the course prior to my game. It just didnt quite reach my expectations. The stretch of holes from 3-8 is the strongest in my view and there are some excellent holes in there. The routing is good and yes, each hole has an individual quality and demands strategy.. Unfortunately I believe there were quite a few holes out there that could appear on many an inland golf course and just didn't have the wow factor I was looking for. It was an absolute bargain for 40 bucks but its conditioning could be improved. Its natural, yes but certainly not in the same league as Sunningdale for example.
4 / 6
Newcastle
March 12, 2013


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A outstanding course which challenges all standards of golfer. It is a "natural" layout akin to Sunningdale or Royal Cinque Ports so that the architect has used the existing contours to construct 18 superb holes. The par3s are hard - unrelenting in terms of length and the need for accuracy. The par5s give a long and accurate hitter a chance to risk a second shot to the green but bunkers guard them well. Each hole is separately defined and so the player never feels pressed or at risk from adjacent holes although the overall area of the course is not huge. The greens are undulating but fair and one should always strive to play approach shots below the hole; the first establishes that maxim in spades. My favourite holes are 2, 5,7,10,14,16 and 18. Go play Newcastle; you will have a great time!!
6 / 6
Newcastle
November 10, 2009


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Newcastle Golf Club is one of the hidden gems in world golf, a two hour car drive north of Sydney on the east coast of Australia. It has an ingredient common to many great courses: it is unique and reminds one of no other course. Initially, Fred Popplewell Senior laid out nine holes in 1915. Seven of those nine holes remain today (the 1st, 2nd, 10th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th), as Eric Apperly wisely incorporated them into the eighteen hole course that the Club commissioned him to build in 1932. Newcastle does not possess holes that readily take one's breath away like New South Wales GC, another course that Apperly worked on extensively. Though it is within 1000m of the Pacific, the ocean is only heard, never seen, during the round. However, Newcastle, unlike New South Wales GC, doesn't have a single indifferent hole. The cumulative effect is a balanced course that keeps the pressure on the golfer to stay in position throughout the entire round. Similar to Pine Valley and Augusta National, the drive to the course does not inspire thoughts of golf as one passes through a steel plant. Nonetheless, the welcome is very warm and the golfing membership is extremely knowledgeable. A four hour round is still sacrosanct - even on a Saturday's competition day - and walking is a must to enjoy the stunning wildlife the course has to offer. From the opening tee shot to the last putt, all aspects of the golfer's game are challenged while he or she enjoys an uninterrupted walk through land unspoiled by man's hand. Isn't that what golf is supposed to be? Rather than try to overpower the course, the thoughtful golfer who keeps his ball in play off the tee and underneath the hole on his approach finds a round at Newcastle to be one of the most satisfying exercises in course management that the game has to offer.
6 / 6
Newcastle
December 15, 2008


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