As the Great Ocean Road is such a spectacular part of the world for a golfing holiday, I asked my friend Glenda who is a keen golfer (shown here with her new puppy Scully)to give me a tour of her favourite courses and some tips for golf travellers.
Not only can you play golf on some of the most picturesque courses in the world, but you can also drive along the Great Ocean Road with all the beaches, food, art and nature then return home truly satisfied.
1. LORNE is Glenda’s favourite course because “it is like paradise”, especially the views from the Club House on the top of the hill overlooking the pier. The course itself is challenging due to the hills and Glenda advises, “Do not expect your balls to land where you think you aim for. The hills are tricky.” She asks, “Do you hit straight? Because accuracy rather than length is the value of this course. It is all about placing your shots.” It is a nine hole course so when you play the full eighteen you will get a second chance to look at the views. The other lovely thing is that in some places you will be amongst the bush, which is also gorgeous. While Glenda has not ventured beyond Lorne for golf she has had the Port Fairy course recommended as highly enjoyable to play.
2. THIRTEENTH BEACH – The Beach Course. “There’s not a bad hole on this course. The fairways are undulating so you will not be able to see where you are hitting until you get close to the green. The greens are wonderfully consistent for putting. “There is an advantage in being a female golfer at this course because the men’s course is longer and tougher,” advises Glenda. She also mentions that any golfer must take into account the WIND at 13th Beach where it can be a “4 club breeze”. The Creek Course is not as pretty according to Glenda and has some water so shots need to be given more thought. Glenda prefers the Beach Course to the Creek course but would never pass up the opportunity to play either.
3. ANGLESEA – Glenda’s home club, is a very challenging course, and Glenda would rate it the hardest on the coast because the hills make the fairways seem longer. Glenda also suggests that you will need longer clubs than you might usually use. For example the Par 3 16th hole is approximately 110 metres from the ladies tee but the front of the green slopes away so you will need a club that will take you plus 10 metres. Female players who are unfamiliar with this hole will frequently under-club Glenda has observed.
KANGAROOS – are fellow residents of the Anglesea Golf Course and must be given due respect. October is the best time to see the new joeys (baby kangaroos) trying out their feet. They have been known to approach quite close to golfers. HOWEVER it is a strict rule that no golfer approaches a kangaroo as they are wild animals and can be dangerous. Glenda advises that if you just play as usual they will go about their business accepting you as part of their habitat. TOURISTS are not allowed on the golf course but can view from the car park or the Pro shop.
4. TORQUAY is a very accessible and easy course. There are views of the ocean on some holes particularly the par 3 17th hole which overlooks Jan Juc beach as you will see on the website. This course does have some tricky spots but it is also a great course for juniors to develop their skills. If you are planning to play a round during the summer holiday season it is important to phone ahead as this course is very popular with visitors.
5. THE SANDS is the most heavily bunkered course in the district so it is very challenging. Glenda advises that this is a course where course management is essential. The fairway bunkers are deep and Glenda likes to avoid them so she will often take an extra lay-up shot to ensure that she gets to the green via the fairway rather than through the sand.You may need to take 2 shots to get to the green to avoid the bunkers and if you find yourself in a bunker it will be very difficult to recover, as they are deep and sandy. Glenda likes this challenge and if you are a thinking golfer you will too. While this is a private golf course anyone with membership at another club can organise to play.
I hope that this will pique your interest in packing the clubs, bringing some friends to travel the Road stopping off to sample the courses and little towns along the way. Maybe you will see Glenda on the course – say “Hi” to her and thank her for the tips.
Some clubs you might like to try along the Great Ocean Road and on the Bellarine Peninsula: