One of the major considerations for expats when looking for a new country to live in is whether they’ll be able to continue indulging in their hobbies and passions. Golfing expats are particularly concerned with this question, and with good reason – you can take your stamp collection with you, you can buy a new winemaking kit, you can even play basketball in your neighbor’s backyard, but without golf courses, you’re not going to be playing any golf.
Fortunately, if you’re a golfer heading to Australia, you’re extremely lucky – your destination is the country that has the highest number of courses per person in the world.Of course, quantity isn’t the only thing that counts – you also want quality, or at least a course that matches your needs. Western Australia has an incredible variety of courses, from fancy, high-class clubs to small, neighborhood courses, even courses for mini golf, and plenty of public driving ranges. If you’re in Western Australia, you’ll probably be in or around Perth, which is where most of the population is concentrated and also where most of the golfing action is.
Here are five great courses that you should visit if you’re in Western Australia.
● Lake Karrinyup Country Club: This private golf club near the city of Perth was designed by Alex Russell and opened for play in 1930. It has regularly appeared on lists of the best golf courses in Australia. It has an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole short course, set in a mixture of woodland and wetland, with the titular lake of course being the centre of it all, visible from most of the holes and beautifully incorporated into some of them. Apart from being great for golfing, the setting makes the club a great home for a rich assortment of birds and trees, as well as housing a kangaroo population.
● The Links, Kennedy Bay: This relatively new 18-hole links course is considered by many to be one of the best golf courses in the region and the best public course in the country. It was designed by Roger Mackay and Michael Coate along with Ian Baker Finch, and although it is mostly very traditional, there is a definite modern touch to it. There’s also a distinctly local touch, such as the native bush that has been used to create the rough.
As a links course, it has everything one could want – pot bunkers with revetted faces, gently undulating sand dunes, and fast fairways with slick greens. In addition, since the course is right on the coast, nearly touching the Indian Ocean, there are many points at which you can both hear and see the sea. The facilities around the course are still unfinished, but with a course like this, one hardly cares.
● Western Australian Golf Club: Originally designed by Eustace Cohen and later modified by Alex Russell while he was working on the nearby Lake Karrinyup, this is an 18-hole course in the hills of Yokine, also a short distance from Perth. In fact, you can get a spectacular view of the city at several points in the course. Western Australian is also regarded as one of the best courses in Australia, and in 2010 it was the chosen location for the Western Australian Open championship.
● Cottesloe Golf Club: The Cottesloe Golf Club is again not far from Perth – but it’s definitely worth visiting, because not only is the golf course an old favorite, but Cottesloe itself is a quiet little town with great cafes and beaches. The course starts off quite easy but gradually gets more and more challenging. It has seen numerous changes through the years, including one relocation in the early years and rather extensive improvements for the 2008 centenary.
● Joondalup Resort: Around 30 km north of Perth and a few kilometers away from the Sunset Coast, Joondalup Resort is home to three wonderful 9-hole courses that make for a spectacular 27-hole championship course. It is built over bushland, gum tree groves, lakes, limestone quarries, and sand dunes, so the courses are constantly and dramatically changing. Joondalup is one of the few golf locations in Australia to be designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, and is considered one of the best and most challenging choices.