​Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania Best in State Rankings 2017

15 November 2016 Respond to this article

Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania Best in State Rankings 2017

Top 100 Golf Courses updates its state listings for WA, SA and TAS in Australia

This is the second of three Australian regional announcements relating to an exercise where we extended and revised our listings for seven of the national states Down Under. We’ve already reported on Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales and we’ll soon be presenting a feature on Queensland and Victoria.

In this review, we’ve completed a ranking revision of courses in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, adding ten tracks to the thirty that were already in place within these three states which translates into us now maintaining a Top 20 for Western Australia and a Top 10 for the other two regions.

Western Australia

Lake Karrinyup

The top four positions in our chart for the Wildflower State remain the same as last time, which means that Lake Karrinyup is still the number 1 layout. Four-time venue of the Australian Open between 1952 and 1974, and host to the Perth International tournament since 2012, the course is a fabulous old Alex Russell design which was overhauled by Mike Clayton not so long ago.

Eight of the nine reviews ever posted for this layout have attracted a six-ball rating, with comments ranging from “I have never seen a better conditioned course in my life nor a more beautiful place to play” to “the best in WA by a million miles”. One person thought it was “a top course that has the reputation it deserves” whilst another described it as “sublime, tough and challenging to match the best in the world”.

Kalgoorlie golf course

Only two courses make upward moves in our new standings: Kalgoorlie, a Graham Marsh design from 2010 which a recent reviewer termed “very pleasing to the eye and a pretty strategic test” and it rises three places to number 5 with Cottesloe, where the same architect carried out a course upgrade in time for the club’s centenary in 2008, edging up one spot to number 9.

Royal Fremantle is the highest of our five chart newcomers at number 12 and it’s one of eight Australian clubs to have had its royal title conferred by a member of the British monarchy. The club’s more than a century old now, operating a compact and challenging course with views out across the Indian Ocean, and the last major redesign of this layout occurred in the late 1960s with Michael Coate also carrying out some work here in 1996.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Lake Karrinyup No change
2 Joondalup (Quarry & Dune) No change
3 Kennedy Bay No change
4 The Cut No change
5 Kalgoorlie Up 3
6 Western Australian No change
7 Mount Lawley No change
8 Meadow Springs Down 3
9 Cottesloe Up 1
10 Vines (Lakes) Down 1
11 Secrets No change
12 Royal Fremantle New entry
13 Sun City New entry
14 Royal Perth Down 2
15 Araluen Down 2
16 Albany Down 2
17 Bunbury New entry
18 Vines (Ellenbrook) Down 3
19 Mandurah New entry
20 Collier Park (Island & Pines) New entry

To view further details of the Top 20 Golf Courses in Western Australia click the link.

South Australia

Links Lady Bay

The state of South Australia in the south-central part of the country extends to almost a million square kilometres of mainly desert terrain, with three quarters of its inhabitants living close to Adelaide, the only major city in the region. Most of the one hundred and sixty clubs in the area are naturally situated close to this large centre of population but there are a few other top tracks, like Links Lady Bay, scattered around the more outlying sections of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Royal Adelaide

All six courses at the top of the Festival State Top 10 chart stay in the same position so Royal Adelaide is still in the number one slot. A nine-time host venue for the Australian Open over nine decades, the course was remodelled by Alister MacKenzie in 1926 and it’s been modernised down the years by both Peter Thomson and Mike Clayton. More recently, Tom Doak was hired to reappraise the layout and his renovated par four 17th was unveiled in April 2014.

Courses in positions 7 to 10 are all new to the listings and they’re headed by Fleurie in Mount Compass, located fifty-eight kilometres south of Adelaide city centre. It’s a Golf Strategies design from Neil Crafter – whose portfolio includes places like Kooyonga, Glenelg and Barwon Heads – and he set the course out on a sandy soiled landscape, making terrific use of the natural topography.

Rank/ Course Move
1 Royal Adelaide No change
2 Kooyonga No change
3 Glenelg No change
4 Grange (West) No change
5 Grange (East) No change
6 Links Lady Bay No change
7 Fleurieu New entry
8 Millicent New entry
9 Tea Tree Gully New entry
10 Mount Gambier New entry

To view further details of the Top 10 Golf Courses in South Australia click the link.


Separated from the Australian mainland by the Bass Strait, the island state of Tasmania comprises the main island of Tasmania and more than three hundred smaller islands. Golf Tasmania oversees the amateur game within the state and there are more than fifty clubs registered with this local governing body, which is a fair number of golf facilities for a population of around half a million people.

Barnbougle Dunes

The top two courses in the Tasmanian Top 10 retain the positions they were in two years ago when we last updated the regional listings. Sited adjacent to each other amongst the towering dunes that stretch along the northern shores of Tasmania, Tom Doak and Mike Clayton’s Barnbougle Dunes is still the number 1 course, with Bill Coore’s Barnbougle Lost Farm tucked in just behind it in the runner-up spot.

Farmer Richard Sattler probably never dreamt in a million years that a portion of his massive 14,000-acre coastal property could almost overnight be transformed into a couple of modern links masterpieces which would boost Tasmania’s profile as a golfing destination, becoming a must-play 36-hole facility in such a remote part of the island.

These two new millennium layouts ride high in the Australian and World Top 100 charts and they could soon be joined in both those prestigious listings by another Tasmanian newcomer, Cape Wickham, our highest new chart entry at number 3. This track opened for business last year on King Island and it’s been attracting rave reviews from those who’ve ventured to play the latest Mike DeVries design.

The comments have been unstinting in their praise: “one of the finest courses on the planet,” “this is a sure World 100 (course)… only question is how high” and “after playing 400 courses on five different continents, it is not often that I add a course to my top ten. After playing four rounds… I am ready to add it” – now it seems only a matter of time before Cape Wickham makes an impact on the global rankings.

Ocean Dunes

Not to be outdone by the Barnbougle model of having two 18-hole links layouts open for play next to each other, King Island has just unveiled another debutant, Ocean Dunes, and this Graeme Grant design enters our Tasmanian chart at a very creditable number 4. Lying a short drive south of Cape Wickham, it now makes the remote island even more attractive as a 36-hole golfing proposition.

Rank Course Move
1 Barnbougle Dunes No change
2 Barnbougle Lost Farm No change
3 Cape Wickham New entry
4 Ocean Dunes New entry
5 Tasmania Down 2
6 Royal Hobart Down 2
7 Devonport New entry
8 Ulverstone New entry
9 Kingston Beach New entry
10 Launceston New entry

To view further details of the Top 10 Golf Courses in Tasmania click the link.

We’re thrilled to receive feedback when we carry out re-rankings so why not get in touch to tell us if we’ve got things right (or wrong)? If you’d like to let us know your thoughts on any of these three state chart updates then please click the “Respond to this article” link at the top or at the bottom of this page to give us your opinion.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses