Situated on the rugged cliffs at La Perouse, New South Wales Golf Club
overlooks Botany Bay where Captain James Cook first sailed into Australia on
the SS Endeavour in 1770. For golfers, however, it was the visit of another
intrepid British pioneer, which gives the site its historical significance.
|About the Club||
During his whirlwind 1926 Australian tour, legendary designer Dr Alister
MacKenzie visited La Perouse and was enthused about the potential for
building a great golf course. Clearly moved by the surroundings he declared
that New South Wales would present more spectacular views than any other
golf course in the world, with the possible exception of Cypress Point.
Today golfers continue to make the pilgrimage to this sacred site to tackle a
course built by nature, framed by the Pacific Ocean and shaped by the
greatest hand of all.
NSW is a wonderful combination of undulating fairways, beautiful scenic vistas and a spectacular Clubhouse which is a magnificent combination of traditional architecture and five star comfort. Shortly after its 1928 opening, an edition of Golf in Australia magazine described New South Wales as needing only the improving hand of time to become the acme of perfection. The hand of time has indeed improved this masterpiece and though it is unlikely any course is the absolute acme of perfection, New South Wales Golf Club gets about as close as any in Australia.
The course and club are steeped in history. It is a well known historical fact that Captain Cook and his crew found their first drinking water in a natural spring below where the18th tee is located today.
In short, this is more than just a golf course it is an unforgettable experience of nature. To play golf at NSW Golf Club is to play golf how the game was intended to be played at the complete mercy of Mother Nature and the golfers ability.
This inspiring layout is bounded by water on three sides and has many of
the characteristics of true links golf. Magnificently wild and exposed, the
entire course offers tremendous views and a series of stunning holes built
around, over and through the hills and valleys that lead toward the
coastline. The course has undulating fairways and small greens which call
for great skill in shot making when the sea breezes blow. It has been
written that golf had its origins on unique seascapes similar to this one,
where the wind is a dominating factor and the direction from which it blows
making any of the eighteen holes comparatively easy or extremely difficult.
The success of the golf course cannot be solely credited to the genius of
MacKenzie as the work of Eric Apperly in completing the architects plans
after he departed was also outstanding. The routing, as much as the
setting, makes New South Wales special and despite more than 70 years of
change and evolution, twelve holes and the majority of the standout moments
remain either Mackenzie originals or variations on a theme he first
suggested. Of those altered the most noticeable are the four Apperly par
3s, which form the best set of short holes in Sydney, and the par 5 8th
which is a combination of MacKenzies 7th and 8th.
While Mackenzie mapped the routing, the bunkers were left to Apperly, who
also made a number of changes to the layout during the subsequent years.
Most significant was the building of the world-renowned 6th hole in the
1930s and the shifting of the 5th tee after the army reclaimed land during
The Second World War. These two holes are individually among Australias
best and collectively one of the most awe-inspiring double acts in world
6TH PAR 3, 185 METRES
The memorable par 3 6th is played from a rocky outcrop behind the 5th green
over the sea to a small sloping green back on the mainland. Interestingly
this was not originally part of MacKenzies plan, the oversight possibly due
to the land not being available for use when he first saw the site.
Considering he left Australia to finish work on Cypress Point, which boasts
the most famous Ocean carry par 3 in the world, it seems doubtful that when
looking to thrill he would have missed the opportunity for such an obvious
Avoid the gradient left of the green as well as the bunkers left and right.
Photography by Gary Lisbon
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