The 18 holes at the Tony Cashmore-designed Beach course debuted at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in December 2001 then two years later, collaboration between the same architect and Sir Nick Faldo resulted in the unveiling of the 18-hole Creek layout.
The green complexes are the main highlight of this course and they feature closely mown swales and hollows that sit beside artistically shaped bunkers cut into the putting surfaces – shades of Alister MacKenzie and his Royal Melbourne sand traps here.
The 143-yard 6th is the shortest hole on the course and it plays to a wonderfully shaped green that’s protected to the front by mature cypress pines and to the back by an enormous bunker. Trees also come into play at the short par four 14th hole, where the risk-reward dividend of driving between a pair of tall pines down the left of the fairway is a short pitching wedge approach to a wickedly-contoured green.
A creek has recently been opened up on the course and this water hazard crosses the 7th hole on its way to a small lake beside the 8th hole, adding considerably to the challenge on the front nine.
The Creek Course was designed by Sir Nick Faldo in conjunction with Tony Cashmore, and opened for play on January 1, 2004.
While the Beach course has a number of holes in the dunes by the beach, the Creek course travels more inland. It has more of a sandbelt feel with the main features being the sculpted bunkers, contoured greens and rolling fairways.
With trees framing most holes, and routed a little inland of the Beach course, The Creek is a little protected from the sea breezes, and is a popular choice when the weather comes in..
Notable holes include:
- hole 5, a long strategic par 4 with a sunken green
- hole 6, a delightful par 3 with an elevated green
- hole 7, an interesting par 5 with options- but the key is the approach to a green sloping away from play
- hole 8, a mid length par 4 with water snaking in and out on the approach
- hole 10, a longer par 5 defined by impressive fairway and green side bunkering
- hole 12, a short par 3 to a smallish green with water in play left
- hole 14, a teasing driveable short par 4 where a layup right is the sensible option for most
- hole 15, a longer par 3 over water to a large sloping green
In it's early days I thought the Creek course was 'The Ugly Sister", but over the years the course has matured nicely. The members at 13th Beach love it, and visitors regard it as one of the best courses on The Bellarine Peninsula.
On windier days, The Creek offers just a little more protection than the Beach course, so it is a nice alternative to have. Recommended!
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.