To the southwest of Melbourne lies the Bellarine Peninsula, the counterpart to the Mornington Peninsula opposite. At their extremities the two are separated by a stretch of water that can be crossed by ferry in 40 minutes. Although the golfing lands are not as rich on this peninsula, their value has been increased with the completion of two relatively new courses just outside the town of Barwon Heads.
The Beach course at Thirteenth Beach is as accomplished an offering as Tony Cashmore’s previous work at The Dunes, across the water near Portsea. Thirteenth Beach has in its favour a closer relationship to the sea by virtue of a 3km stretch of land adjacent to the dunes, though these dunes separate the golfer from the beach itself and any views of Bass Strait. While the land at the Dunes is sand based, the sea has receded somewhat further, giving way to farmland. Both courses are open to the public and come strongly recommended for the touring golfer.
As with other courses on the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas, it’s a fair bet that most rounds of golf will involve some leaning into the prevailing winds of the day.
It is not easy designing and building public access courses that keep the attention of the local club champion but that can still entertain without demoralising the weekend out-of-state visitor. The economics of the business require a consistent circulation of happy swishers. Tony Cashmore has achieved this on a course that you will want to play several times.
The above passage is a brief edited extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.