Terrey Hills Golf & Country Club

Ripples, bumps and hollows on the 18th, Terrey Hills, Brendan James

A golf course, by its very nature, is a living and constantly changing thing. A fine example of the way a course can grow and the effect this can have on its original design lies at Terrey Hills, about 40 minutes north of Sydney’s CBD. Since opening for play in 1994, the most significant change has been the maturing of trees and other flora on the back nine.

During the eight years from 1995 that Terrey Hills hosted the Canon Challenge, as well as the 2003 women’s Australian Open, many people unfairly criticised the course as ‘unfinished’ – because of the barren nature of that back nine. Today, the maturation of trees planted in the late ’90s is lifting the quality of both the course presentation and Graham Marsh’s design. The front nine, which has always been heavily tree-lined, now feels more connected with the inward half. Course staff have worked hard to regenerate native bush. Lining the fairways and edges of the inward nine are turpentine, tallowwoods and scribbly gums, trees found predominantly in the adjoining Ku-ringgai Chase National Park.

Meanwhile the playing surfaces – 1020 bent-grass greens and wintergreen couch fairways – have aged well. The consistently high standards of the tees, fairways and greens have made Terrey Hills one of the most popular corporate golf venues in Sydney, and they work hand in hand with Marsh’s outstanding design. Good driving and accurate shot-making from the fairways is rewarded. Missing any of the large undulating greens leaves you with a challenge – be it a shot from sand, or from down a deep hollow, or up the side-slope of a mound.

Terrey Hills boasts some memorable holes where good strategy is required if you are to equal or better par. The opening hole – a 472-metre par-five – is a fine example of a well-placed drive setting up an easy shot at birdie. This hole can be shortened significantly by hitting your drive just left of centre to take advantage of a smalldown-slope, which will propel your ball further along the fairway and put you within range of reaching the green in two shots. Any approach, though, must carry a creek that cuts across the fairway 15 metres short of the massive putting surface.

Accuracy from the tee is also advantageous on the 385-metre, par-four 10th, which doglegs left around deep bunkers lying between the fairway and a lake. A drive skirting the edge of those bunkers and hitting a down-slope in the rippled fairway can leave a relatively short iron in your hand for your approach to the green.

It is only when you see the course early or late in the day that many of the ripples, bumps and hollows built into Terrey Hills’s fairways expose themselves. The best example is the surroundings of the 18th green. Its intricate details are clearly evident even from back down the fairway, yet it is only when you are standing deep down in a hollow, and you are attempting a deft, spinning chip to save par, that you fully appreciate the artistry of Marsh’s work.

Terrey Hills is a private members’ course but access is available for interstate and overseas visitors by prior arrangement with club management.

Memorable holes

1st, 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th and 17th

Where to go

116 Booralie Rd, Terrey Hills, NSW 2084

Book a round

(02) 9486 4115


Where to stay

A wide range of accommodation, to suit all budgets and tastes, can be found at Manly, a 25-minute drive from the course.  

Before/after your round

Manly Beach is the most famous of Sydney’s northern beaches and a good starting point from which to explore all 18 beaches, coves and inlets in the immediate area. After that jump on a ferry and enjoy some time on Sydney Harbour.

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