Ocean Shores - New South Wales - Australia

Ocean Shores Country Club,
Orana Road,
Ocean Shores,
New South Wales 2483,

  • +61 (0) 6680 1008

Ocean Shores Country Club started out as a real estate development at Brunswick Heads in the late 1960s. One of the world’s largest development companies, Wendell West of Seattle, paid $1 million for the land and planned to spend another $100 million on the property, attracting investors like American singer Pat Boone (who lost a lot of money in the project).

The intention was to make the 3,700-acre property a “community resort” with 22,000 inhabitants but, more than fifty years later, only around a quarter of that number of people reside in the area. Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin designed the 18-hole layout in the early 1970s, setting out the course with six par threes, six par fours and six par fives (arranged so that the same par is never played consecutively during the round).

Laid out between Marshalls Creek and the Brunswick River, the course is configured as two returning nines, each of which drop down from the clubhouse to lower lying terrain before returning to higher ground again at the 9th and 18th. The relatively open front nine weaves around several attractive water hazards, with the more tree-lined back nine a significantly longer (and tougher) proposition.

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Description: Configured with six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, the course at Ocean Shores Country Club is an early 1970s Bruce Devlin and Robert von Hagge co-design where water comes into play at many of the holes. Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 1
Peter Wood

Ocean Shores Country Club was established in 1972, as part of a large real estate development.

The course was designed by Australian golfing legend Bruce Devlin together with American architect Robert Von Hagge. Devlin and Von Hagge collaborated on a number of courses including The Lakes in Sydney.

Devlin went on to design 140 courses including St Andrews Bay in Scotland, and Secession in South Carolina (a personal favourite).

Von Hagge designed 250 courses in 20 countries including Doral Blue Monster (Florida), Buenos Aires in Argentina, Les Bordes & Le Golf National (France)

With a clubhouse sitting high on a hill, the first surprise at Ocean Dunes is that the course is relatively flat with golfers descending from the clubhouse to the lower levels on holes 1 and 10 and returning up again on 9 & 18.

Notably the course has 6 par 3's, 6 par 4's and 6 par 5's arranged in such a way so that none is played consecutively.

The first six holes are dominated by water. These holes are picturesque and demand good ball striking from the outset

Von Hagge & Devlin knew their business and have produced a well designed course which demands accuracy with both tee shots and approaches.

At times the strategic nature of the design gives way to penal architecture with water threatening on one side and bunkers on the other.

Later in the round the holes become longer and stronger demanding long carries I thought the back nine was quite challenging and good test for the better golfer

Notable holes include:

- hole 1, a downhill par 5 where the second half of the journey arcs around water to the right. With large splash bunkers hugging the left side of the fairway there is no choice but to hit long and straight- welcome to Ocean Shores!
- hole 2, a delightful shorter par 4 that bends around a water hazard to the right. You need to get the line and the length with your tee shot to stay dry and in position to attack the green
- hole 5, another short par 4 with water in play both sides of the fairway. The approach must carry water to a green protected left and long by the lakes and surrounded by bunkers
- hole 6, a mid length par 3 protected by bunkers front, back and right of the green
- hole 9, a long uphill par 5 with a very tight tee shot
- hole 10, a long downhill dogleg par 4 with a heavily bunkered green
- hole 18, a long uphill par 5 to finish requiring 3 good shots to get home. The tee shot in particular needs to be very accurate to stay on the short grass as water right and bunkers left leave a small margin for error.

Ocean Shores is a championship course. The start to the round is impressive with the first 6 holes featuring water at every turn. The back nine has less water and more length. I found it quite challenging

Holiday golfers enjoying some time in the Byron Bay area should not miss playing Ocean Shores. But be sure you bring your ‘A’ game!

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

June 28, 2021
7 / 10
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