It’s no easy task living in the shadow of one of the world’s Top 50 ranked golf courses but that’s exactly what the 18-hole layout at St Michael’s has had to do in relation to the famed New South Wales course ever since they first co-existed, cheek by jowl, in 1938.
Set out on a tight parcel of land atop the cliffs of the Little Bay peninsula, the course at St Michael’s arrived ten years after its illustrious neighbour and the fairways were only in use for five years when – like NSW – they were requisitioned for military purposes by the Australian army during the latter years of World War II.
Fifty years or so after the government returned the course to St Michael’s Golf Club, the character of the course had changed quite significantly, with trees and native bush along some of the fairways encroaching a little too far, bringing a significant element of unwanted interference into play.To counter this intrusion, clusters of trees were removed in recent times to undo these parkland-style features and, in the process, return St Michael’s to the type of links-like course it was originally designed to be. The result is that today’s course is a little more forgiving than it once was but try telling that to golfers when a stiff sea breeze gets up off the Pacific Ocean during a round!
St. Michaels is a tough test off the tee with a few blind tee shots. Great setting for this course along the NSW coastline, the cliff holes are very pleasing, but the better holes are the inland ones.
Beautiful natural bushland runs throughout the inland holes, great routing meets the golfer here.