“So I jump ship in Hong Kong, make my way over to Anglesea.”
| The seaside town of Anglesea on the Great Ocean road has a few things worth stopping by for. A great little shopping strip with a bakery that makes a delicious pie, a pub with a good counter meal and a golf course. A very good golf course.
The Anglesea golf course should be the thing that puts this seaside town on the map. The fairways are spongy, drought resistant and wide. The greens are fast, small and tricky. The kangaroos are lazy and plentiful. The course is a pleasant surprise from start to finish. Designed by Vern Morcom, (Spring Valley, Long Island) this course is way better than the sleepy country course you might be thinking it is. In fact, if it was a little closer to Melbourne, it would rate a lot higher than it does. Golf Digests current ranking for the top 100 has Ranfurlie at 75, Settlers Run at 72. I would rate Anglesea better than both of them.
An unusual layout that starts with 2 par 5's. A par 73, this track winds its way up, down and sideways around the hills at the back of Anglesea. The starting par 5's are not exactly memorable, but the 2nd has some good changes in elevation that make it challenging. To me, this course starts at 3. It's a par 3 with bunkers left and right guarding a small green. It just looks fantastic from the tee. Like many of the good sand belt par 3's I have played. You may even want to stop to take a photo, then send it to your mates to say, “Hey, look where I am today.” They won’t be able to guess correctly. This starts a stretch of great holes with character. The 4th is a par 4 with an elevated green tucked away in the corner of the course. The hole made shorter by my misplaced drive left that ran off a large slope, leaving me 80 meters in and a birdie.
The good holes continue winding their way up and down. The 5th is a par 4 with a tiny sloping green that is hard to hit. The 6th, a par 3 like the 3rd but with another 20 meters added. The back pin position made it tough to reach. The 7th, a par 4 uphill and although short in yardage, hard to pick the club into the small green on the hill. 8 is a double dog leg par 5 and 9 a longish par 4. This stretch from 3-9 is the best on the course.
10, although elevated, does not excite. The high tee shot with only a hybrid will take you to the edge of the fairway down the hill. Only a slight dogleg to the left is a green that is small but easy to read. The 11th is straight up the side of the road on the left and although it has a hard to read green, there is not much else about this hole that will keep your interest. 12 the same. Then you reach 13. A nice short par 3 that starts another good run of holes. 14, a nice little par 4 dogleg right that will see you encountering many of the kangaroos that live within this course. They seem to like the left hand rough trees here. The hole itself is a hard fairway to hit because of its side hill slope and the green will take your best shot to hold it. 15 is a dogleg par 4 that fills the gap between 14 and the beautiful 16th.
Most likely the most memorable picturesque hole there. Par 3 with large bunkers left and right as well as an elevated green. 3 different tee positions would make this fantastic looking hole play differently often. If you leave it short, the large bunker or the valley will get it, right and you may get stuck on a hill that will make par very difficult. 17 then stretches way up the hill and 18 back down and up again to the clubhouse. The plateau green of the 18th sits nicely on the hill overlooked, like most courses, by the patio of the 19th hole. On competition days, I am guessing there is plenty of noise coming from the tables as people putt out.
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Some of the tees were a little crooked and not flat, the bunkers were a little inconsistent but you will forgive this as the greens are great to putt on and the fairways are consistent with plenty of spongy grass. I guess I enjoyed the front 9 better, but there are some great holes on the back as well.
Green fees at $50 (non daylight savings time $45) for 18 holes represents great value. You may want to book a cart as this course as its elevation is tiring for some. You can even take the kids or the wife and if golf is not their thing, the club has kangaroo tours operating Mon – Fri 10-4 for $10 adults and $5 kids. It’s a closer drive than you think, so go play it!