Thirteenth Beach (Beach) - Victoria - Australia

Thirteenth Beach Golf Links,
Barwon Heads Road,
Barwon Heads,
Victoria,
3227,
Australia


  • +61 (03) 5254 1097

  • Anthony Masters

  • Tony Cashmore

  • John McIntosh

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.

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Description: The Beach course at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links is as accomplished an offering as Tony Cashmore’s previous work at The Dunes, across the water near Portsea. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 3

The Beach Course at the 13th Beach Golf Club is certainly nearer the beach than the other course (the Creek Course), on the complex. Though Beach by name it is by no means entirely a links course. The first four holes run out and back amongst some sparsely built out housing blocks. Holes 5 -9, run out and back to the clubhouse along a stretch of sand dunes to the East of the clubhouse that protects the course from the surf of 13th Beach. Likewise holes 10 – 13, 16 & 17 play close to the dunes (this time to the West of the clubhouse) but the 14th and 15th wander off a bit back towards the housing on some fairly flat uninteresting land.The 5th 312m par 4, the 6th 511m par 5 and the 311m par 4 13th hole were my favourite holes, each requiring strategy and placement on each shot. There are other holes that are longer or that require a straighter hit but I thought these holes were more complete packages.We played in January 2016, just 3 weeks before the course was to host the Victorian (State) Open Championship. Fittingly the course was in very good condition.Having played here previously on a Public Holiday it was a less than pleasant experience on that occasion. The pace of play was funereal and the shirtless antics of some drunken patrons ahead of us just left a bad taste in the mouth. This time we played on a Friday and whilst better, play was still slow and just doesn’t seem to be monitored. It seems the clubs practice is to play their Members on one course and leave the public to their own devices on the other on any given day.All in all, a couple of top quality holes and some very likable holes over some great terrain, but it is let down by a couple of weak ones. The whole experience would be so much more enjoyable if the Proshop took an active role in policing the course.It is hard therefore to know how to rate the course. As a golf course it’s a solid 4 balls for me tending toward 5 but not quite making it. As an experience I rate it less than 3. Don’t play on a Public Holiday or busy time is my advice.
4 / 6
Thirteenth Beach (Beach)
February 01, 2016


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Recently spent two weeks golfing in Victoria and liked this exhilarating course very much indeed. I played with a high handicapper who found the going too tough in what was a stiff breeze. The rough was pretty brutal when I was here and the little room for error off the tee. It’s close proximity to the beach is part of its allure and enjoyed many of the holes especially the tempting 5th which asks you to have a go at the green and the SI 1 17th. The huge greens were very slick and found myself struggling to get down in two on many occasions. Very good course for sure.
5 / 6
Thirteenth Beach (Beach)
March 26, 2010


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Thirteenth Beach, (the Beach course), has some truly wonderful golf holes amongst a collection of consistently excellent ones. Yes there are one or two that need something to lift them but overall I have no hesitation in rating this a better course than many of the famed sandbelt courses of Melbourne. If you are a fan of those courses you will not be disappointed with 13th Beach. It will probably never outpoint Royal Melbourne or Kingston Heath but those two aside this is a course well worth a visit. When the wind doesn't blow it is not particularly difficult. Quite manageable for the average golfer but be warned strong winds are not uncommon and a 420 meter par 4 into the teeth of a gale is a tough ask as is the tiny par 3 of 110 meters set on top of a rise. If the wind is up finding the green is a serious challenge. It is a very fine golf course.
5 / 6
Thirteenth Beach (Beach)
October 02, 2007


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