Above: Two of Royal Adelaide’s world class par 4’s: the short 3rd and ‘the crater’ 11th
Nomadic_golfer : 2020 Summary – Courses
My Favourite Courses – Royal Adelaide tops the list
After playing my 100 different courses in 2020, I have had numerous requests to name the best courses of the year. ‘Best’ in terms of golf courses is very subjective; just take a glance at the lists that come out every year or 2 from the 3 Australian organisations that rank Australia’s top 100. It’s not that different at the top but once you get past 50, they are very different. It comes down to the criteria you want to use, how much weight is placed on condition etc. As such, rather than ‘best’, I have named my ‘favourites’, and 15 of them, in order. I also used a bit of poetic licence and grouped the 3 courses I played at The National into 1. If I hadn’t, these courses would have occupied 3 of the positions in the 2-5 range (with Royal Canberra in there somewhere) but I wanted to include more courses in the run down, so that’s what I did.
I did give each course a ‘score’ for layout and another score for conditioning upon the completion of each round but my list is more than just running down those scores in order; I have placed more weight on the layout and ‘character’ than on condition. The first 7 were relatively straight forward in my mind, the order of the next 8 not so clear cut.
So here’s the list, my favourite courses in order:
|1||Royal Adelaide, SA|
|2||The National, Vic|
|3||Royal Canberra, ACT|
|5||Murray Downs, NSW|
|10||Duntryleague, Orange NSW|
|12||Gold Creek, ACT|
|14||Mt Broughton, NSW|
Those that missed but came under consideration, were (in no particular order): Ocean Shores; Kooindah Waters; Byron Bay; and Murwillumbah. On the next level for me were: Leongatha; Coolangatta Tweed (both West & River); Victor Harbor; and Tura Beach. Others that missed out were: The Springs; Loxton; Barmera; Longyard in Tamworth; Tamworth; Dubbo; Port Macquarie; and Coffs Harbor.
Still to come are some other awards dealing with hidden gems etc
Royal Adelaide wins as my favourite. It is a gem, the course opening on it’s current Seaton site in 1905; Cargie Rymill & CL Gardiner laying out the original track, then Dan Souter and Alister McKenzie having significant input. The course sits on fairly flat land with a large sand dune running through the centre, which features in a number of it’s iconic holes. The par 4’s in 3 (short), 4, 11 & 13 (mid) and 14 (long) are the best collection of 4s in Australian golf. There is also a railway track running through the course.
It is my favourite course in Australia, been ranked as high as no. 2 in the country and as recently as 2017, ranked in the world’s top 100.
Above: The National’s 3 courses I played in 2020. The Old’s short par 3 7th, Long Island’s par 3 3rd bunkers and green; and Gunnamatta’s 8th green
Above: Bonville & Murray Downs
Above: Federal & Bairnsdale’s par 5 13th greens
Above: Yowani & Coomealla
Above: Duntryleague & Tallwoods
Above: Gold Creek & Tuncurry
Above: Mt Broughton & Thurgoona