Situated outside Primbee, on the northern spit that separates Lake Illawarra and the Pacific Ocean, the course at Port Kembla Golf Club has had a number of makeovers in recent years.
We’re not sure when the course first opened or if an architect was involved, but we do know that James Wilcher redeveloped 13 greens and their surrounds early in the new millennium and Craig Parry started further improvement work in 2019.
The easy-walking fairways are separated by a combination of gum and melaleuca trees, as well as a number of ponds and lakes (especially on the back nine), which makes Port Kembla a layout that rewards the straight-hitting golfer.
There’s much to like about the front nine, with little rough to endure between the fairways and the coastal scrub. Highlight holes include the likes of the short par four 7th, where a cluster of fairway bunkers to the right of the landing area gives golfer s food for thought on the tee.
The most memorable holes come later in the round, beginning at the par five 14th, with the approach shot played to a green that has most of its right flank tucked behind a large pond. The smart option is to lay-up short but even this area of the fairway is pinched between fairway bunkers and water.
Water also comes into play on the par four 16th and 17th holes in the southwest corner of the property. The 16th veers right around a lake towards a green that’s positioned just beyond the water’s edge, while the longer 17th (rated stroke index 2) bends left to the target around another menacing water hazard.