South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia Best in State Rankings 2021

02 March 2021 Respond to this article

South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia Best in State Rankings 2021

This is the third and final news item relating to our biennial review of courses in Australia. We’ve already published our new national Top 100, along with revised listings for Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Now it’s time to conclude our Antipodean review with revised charts for South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

We’ve added ten courses to South Australia to produce a new Top 20 and Western Australia now features a Top 40, which is an increase of fifteen from two years ago. All told, over seven Australian territories, our coverage during this reappraisal process has risen more than 50%, from 200 courses to 315.

If there are others that we’ve missed then please let us know via the Respond to this article option at the top and bottom of this page. We’ve made a concerted effort to beef up our reporting of courses in Australia and hopefully were can now receive some positive feedback by way of reviews for the additional layouts that that are now displayed.

We start off then in South Australia, where not a lot has happened in the top half of the table – but it’s all change in the bottom half...


South Australia

There are five non-movers in the South Australia chart and one of those courses is Royal Adelaide, which also held onto the #9 position in the national rankings when they were refreshed last month. Recent course improvements by Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design firm have also propelled this layout into our World Top 100 and that’s a very elite golfing environment for any course to find itself in.

Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Review comments for this place last year included: “no trip to Adelaide would be sated without at least one or two spins around Royal Adelaide. The course and the welcome afforded by the membership is truly world class… there are a few shortcomings but this course will more than withstand the challenges presented by the modern game for quite some time to come, it is a privilege to play here… this is a magnificent course and clearly the superior track in the state.”

Only two courses make upward moves in the new standings and they’re both modest, one-place improvements.

At #3, the course at Glenelg Golf Club in Novar Gardens was described by a reviewer a few months ago as “a lovely parkland members’ course in suburban Adelaide, situated just over a kilometre from the sea but blessed with a rolling sandy base that allows elements of links golf to feature.” It’s almost a hundred years old, having been laid out by Cargie Rymill in 1927 then redesigned by Vern Morcom after World War II, but it’s the new millennium improvement s by Neil Crafter that have really raised the standards here.

Glenelg Golf Club

Glenelg Golf Club

At #6, Mount Compass has also benefitted from more recent work carried out by Neil Crafter. Neil constructed the initial 9-hole course that his father Brian designed in the mid-1990s, returning shortly after to add another nine holes. When new owner Stephen Connor took over the business in 2016, his first move was to change the name from Fleurieu to Mount Compass then his second big decision was to call in Crafter to renovate the bunkers and remove extraneous vegetation from around the property. Five years on, the results of this work are now bearing fruit.

Mount Compass

Mount Compass

The highest new entry arrives at #10 and it’s the course at McCracken Golf Club, a mid-1990s Tony Cashmore design located in Victor Harbor. Laid out as two returning loops on a hilly site, the course is characterized by big, wide fairways and large, heavily-bunkered greens, with water hazards in play at several holes, primarily at the start of the round then early on during the back nine. Interestingly, the same par is never played consecutively until reaching the 12th hole.

McCracken Golf Club

McCracken Golf Club

Rank/ Course Move
1 Royal Adelaide No change
2 Kooyonga No change
3 Glenelg Up 1
4 Grange (West) Down 1
5 Grange (East) No change
6 Mount Compass. Up 1
7 Links Lady Bay Down 1
8 Millicent No change
9 Victor Harbor No change
10 McCracken New entry
11 Copperclub New entry
12 Tea Tree Gully Down 2
13 Naracoorte New entry
14 Mount Gambier New entry
15 Blackwood New entry
16 Mount Osmond New entry
17 The Vines New entry
18 Tanunda Pines New entry
19 West Lakes New entry
20 Barossa Valley New entry


Click the link to view full details of our latest South Australia rankings.


Tasmania

There’s little to report for Tasmania, as eight of the ten courses in the chart remain in the same position, one of which is the state No. 1 at Barnbougle Dunes in Bridport. Designed by Tom Doak and Mike Clayton, this links layout entered our World Top 100 at #64 in 2006 and is now placed at #30 (having risen as high as #28 in 2014). The following reviewer comment from five months ago probably sums things up perfectly for Barnbougle Dunes: “anyone who considers themselves a links devotee must visit this little corner of public access golfing heaven in the back of beyond.”

Barnbougle Dunes

Barnbougle Dunes

Only one course advances its standing in the new state table and that’s the 18-hole layout at Ulverstone Golf Club in West Ulverstone, rising one spot to #8. Founded in 1911, the club operated a 9-hole course overlooking Buttons Beach until relocating sixty-five years later to a densely wooded property further inland, close to the River Leven, where Al Howard carved out eighteen holes from the forested landscape. Ulverstone has hosted a number of state events, as well as two editions of the Australian Junior Girls’ Championship in 2006 and 2010.

Ulverstone Golf Club

Ulverstone Golf Club

The real golfing news for Tasmania – concerning a couple of exciting new projects – isn’t chart related at the moment, but that might not be the case when we re-rank again two years from now.

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach

Situated among the sand dunes next to Hobart airport, Seven Mile Beach is a Mathew Gogin collaboration with Mike Clayton and Mike DeVries that’s due to start site clearing later this year. Twenty kilometres to the southwest, a Neil Crafter/Paul Mogford co-design called Arm End is part of an integrated public recreation development that’s also about to break ground.

We’re in close contact with all the protagonists so we’ll keep an eye on things as they progress.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Barnbougle Dunes No change
2 Cape Wickham No change
3 Barnbougle Lost Farm. No change
4 Ocean Dunes No change
5 Tasmania GC No change
6 Royal Hobart No change
7 King Island No change
8 Ulverstone Up 1
9 Kingston Beach Down 1
10 Devonport No change


Click the link to view full details of our latest Tasmania rankings.


Western Australia

The Championship course at Lake Karrinyup Country Club retains its title of state #1. Designed by Alex Russell in the mid-1920s and built in the main by sixty Italian labourers who endured sandflies in the scrub and leeches in the lake to fashion eighteen holes from the swampland to the north of Perth. Four-time host venue for the Australian Open, the course was renovated by Mike Clayton not that long ago when he reconstructed all of the greens and bunkers during a major upgrade.

Lake Karrinyup Country Club

Lake Karrinyup Country Club

Only seven courses move upwards in the new listings and the biggest climb is made by the 18-hole layout at Gosnells Golf Club (up three to #17), which flies under the radar of many. Still, we’ve received several reviews for this unheralded track, with it being called “a place that has beaten me up so many times. One of Perth’s toughest layouts, and the most consistently well-conditioned too… Not a long course in today’s standing, but in the summer months with the Freo Doctor blowing this course changes totally… Any golfing trip to Perth should include a cheeky round at Gosnells.”

Gosnells Golf Club

Gosnells Golf Club

The highest new entry appears at #21 and it’s the 18-hole layout at Lakelands Country Club, which lies within a 135-acre property in the northern Perth suburbs, close to the sparkling waters of Lake Gnangara, the most southerly of the Wanneroo wetlands. Designed by Brian Crafter in the early 1980s, the course has just undergone an extensive course upgrade by Terry Gale.

Lakelands Country Club

Lakelands Country Club

Sad to relate, the Lakewood Shores Golf Course at Binningup (#17 in out last WA chart) has now closed permanently. Designed by Michael Coate in the mid-1980s, this remarkable little beachside track initially shut during the coronavirus pandemic but the eighty members of Binningup Golf Club then found it would not be reopening. It’s too bad that such a fun layout should bite the dust at a time when 9-hole courses are ever more popular in our time-deficient modern world.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Lake Karrinyup (Championship). No change
2 Joondalup (Quarry & Dune) Up 1
3 The Links Kennedy Bay Down 1
4 The Cut No change
5 Kalgoorlie Up 1
6 Meadow Springs Down 1
7 Western Australian No change
8 Cottesloe Up 1
9 Mount Lawley Down 1
10 Sun City No change
11 Vines (Lakes) No change
12 Secret Harbour No change
13 Royal Fremantle No change
14 Albany Up 2
15 Royal Perth No change
16 Araluen Down 2
17 Gosnells Up 3
18 Kwinana Up 1
19 Mandurah Down 1
20 Bunbury Up 2
21 Lakelands CC New entry
22 Nedlands Down 1
23 Wanneroo No change
24 Sea View No change
25 Melville Glades New entry
26 Vines (Ellenbrook) Down 1
27 Capel New entry
28 Busselton New entry
29 Margaret River New entry
30 Sanctuary Golf Resort New entry
31 Hartfield New entry
32 Dunsborough Lakes New entry
33 Wembley (Old) New entry
34 Pinjarra New entry
35 Augusta New entry
36 Collie New entry
37 Rockingham New entry
38 Broome New entry
39 Manjimup New entry
40 Geraldton New entry


Click the link to view full details of our latest Western Australia rankings.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses