There’s no denying there’s a sea view at Sea View Golf Club and it’s also the third oldest course in WA dating back to 1909. Perhaps more surprising is that Sea View is a links course, albeit a 9-holer, which was originally discovered underneath a dense thicket of overgrown coastal scrub.
Scotsman Peter Anderson, playing out of St Andrews University, won the 9th edition of the Amateur championship at Prestwick in 1893, defeating two-time champion Johnny Laidlay by one hole in the final. A couple of years later, Anderson emigrated to Australia, becoming the headmaster of Scotch college, Perth in 1904, a position he held for 41 years.
When Cottesloe Golf Club was formed, Anderson was called in to advise on the suitability of the coastal site chosen for the club’s 9-hole layout. Along with vice-captain N.C. Fowlie, he set out the holes on a very tight, 45-acre site that was leased from the municipal council, with the official opening of the new links taking place on 11th September, 1909.
Toby Cumming takes up the narrative in this edited extract from The Golf Courses of Vern Morcom:
“It wasn’t until 1931, when Cottesloe Golf Club relocated to Swanbourne, that Sea View Golf Club was formed and took over the lease. This was a fresh start, and Sea View’s first two years of custodianship were transformative. Reconditioning of tees and greens were undertaken, the course was tightened by a series of bunkers, and paths were built through the sandiest areas.
Following his 1938 visit, Vern’s suggestions for course improvements were pursued enthusiastically. The 2nd green was transformed, with undulations removed and the rear section built up, and a new 6th green was introduced. Fairways were extended on 2, 3, 6 and 7. At the 7th, a new green was planned behind the existing one, with the cross bunker at the front to be filled in.
Thirty-five years after it was first proposed, a clubhouse on the golf course reserve was finally built; it was opened on 21 March 1970. The sequence of holes was altered, becoming the order that is played today. In 2006, after decades of campaigning by club members, Council made the momentous decision to close Jarrad Street. The ever-present risk of cars being hit by flying golf balls was brought to an end.”
Used to despise this place! How immature I was. Very appreciative of the nuances required to negotiate these 9 holes. You must be able to play every shot, or you’re in trouble. Beautiful views, and if you play awful no problem, just pop into the Cott or the OBH after the round and drown your sorrows for a Sunday session up there with the best of them!
The challenge of a nine hole course is serving up the second nine so you don't feel you have just repeated the first, Sea View does this well, with varied tee positions and double pin greens. For a course that uses a vary small parcel of land the variety in holes is good fun. Add into the mix the wind and you have a small course that is a challenge to complete.
You play to the blue pins on the front nine and yellow pins on the back nine, on a couple of greens the pin is the same. Both par three holes have well defended greens with large well placed bunkers. A couple of the par four holes are drivable if the wind is in the right direction.
The 7th/16th par four is the stand out hole for me, anything right will end up on the road or even worse the beach, a well placed tee shot is needed to get you onto the green in regulation. At the top of the hill you are met by a massive green that was blind from you approach shot.
For a beach front golf course in one of the most affluent suburbs in Perth it is reasonable priced and extremely enjoyable to play.