The well-planned course at Warrnambool Golf Club was laid out behind a tertiary dune system, in 1926, to a classic design by George Lowe Jr., son of the unheralded architect cum professional cum greenkeeper George Lowe, who originally laid out Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham & St Annes in England's northwest.
Not overly long at 5,750 metres, 35 out and 37 home, for a par of 72. The layout features several spectacular elevated tee blocks and reasonably generous, well grassed, ti-tree lined fairways. The trio of holes, 4,5, and 6, are as good as golf gets in this part of the world.
Constructed on a coastal sandy base, the course remains readily playable throughout the winter months. The greens are fast and true and the bunkering a genuine test of your prowess with the sand wedge.
The influence of the ever present fluky coastal sea-breeze cannot be understated and really adds to the challenge of a course which may play variously from one nine to the next and one round to another. Testing and yet enjoyable for players of all skill levels and invariably, all that play up to the 18th green at Warrnambool, are saddened that the round is at a close.
Article by Chris Croker and course photograph courtesy of Gary Lisbon www.golfselect.com
Warrnambool is a very under-rated course. It has arguably the best string of short or shortish par four holes from the third to the eight inclusive. The conditioning in early November 2019 was first class.
Aside from the glorious par fours, it has a very demanding par five tenth, over 500m uphill and into the wind. There are two steep uphill par threes, where the challenge is the picking of the correct club.
There are many elevation changes among the huge dunes. With the wind frequently providing difficulties, it is a layout better or far better than many of the courses listed well above it, including its near neighbour, Port Fairy.
I disagree strongly with Scarlett who suggested some holes blend in with others.
The annual Shipwreck Coast tw-day event in November is an excellent reason to visit.
This is a country town golf course of high quality that has part parkland feel but also some elements of linksland being quite close to the ocean and on old dunes. I played as a visitor in a stableford comp with interesting and welcoming members: the club notes itself as being a 'friendly club' and I'd have to agree. Only critisism might be that the holes can blend in to one another with the similar coastal vegetation surrounding many fairways. However, plenty of interesting holes giving risk/reward opportunities too. Being a more rural course it was certainly good value.
And if in the area, definitely head further along the coast to Port Fairy and play the classic links course there: whilst Warrnambool is good, Port Fairy is brilliant.