Joondalup Country Club & Resort

Joondalup Country Club & Resort, Brendan James

Few inland courses in Australia boast such visually sensational holes as you will encounter at Joondalup. This 27-hole layout, a 25-minute drive north of Perth’s CBD, is a unique golfing experience and the creation of talented American course architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr. His imagination and skill in creating three distinct ninehole loops, crossing within and around the confines of sand dunes and a quarry, ranks as some of his finest work in more than 50 years of designing golf courses. Upon completing the job in 1985, Jones Jnr said: ‘The key was to maximise the features of the spectacular landscape, as well as the dramatic elements of the quarries. These areas provided visual contrasts of light and shadow . . . There are three different natural landscapes throughout the golf course – bush vegetation, dunescape and quarry – and together they create an incredible, diverse combination of holes.’

Of the three nine-hole loops – the Quarry, Lake and Dunes nines – it is the Quarry/Dunes combination that will electrify your senses. This 18-hole combination was ranked the nation’s best public access layout for five consecutive years, starting in 2003. And it is on the Quarry nine that the most striking of all Joondalup’s holes present themselves.

Gazing out at the view from the 2nd tee, it is hard to imagine such a golf hole existing anywhere else on the planet. Dominating the landscape between you and the green are two bunkers. The first stretches diagonally across the fairway, leaving a narrow corridor to the left for the longest of drivers to thread their tee shot. The second is incredible – for its shape, size and position. Shaped like a crater on the moon’s surface, the diameter of this circular bunker – which cuts into the fairway as it rises towards the plateau green – easily measures 20 metres. The flat, sandy base at the end of its steep-sloping walls covers half that distance. So distracting are these two traps that you might not notice five additional bunkers – four of them around the green’s edge. This hole will take your breath away, and any score of par or better must be fought for.

Don’t expect to catch your breath back on the 3rd tee. This is a wonderful short hole, only 136 metres long, with Jones Jnr using the landscape to turn what should be a straightforward six, seven or eightiron into a test of nerve and skill. Your tee shot must carry an abandoned quarry gorge to find the green, which is perched precariously at the edge of the gorge on the other side. Any mishit here is punished with a penalty shot

. On the Dunes nine, two holes will linger in your mind long after your round is over. Both the 372-metre 3rd and the 224-metre 4th are laid out at the base of what used to be a limestone quarry. Upon hitting your tee shot on the 3rd, you walk to meet your ball and enter an amazing golfing amphitheatre in which three 25-metre-high limestone cliffs encase both holes.

The design aside, Joondalup’s greens, fairways and tees are always in pristine condition. Nothing has been left to chance. The surrounds are also superb, from the well-groomed gardens near the 1st tees of each nine to the colourful flower show outside the clubhouse.

Memorable holes

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th (Quarry nine); 3rd, 4th and 9th (Dunes nine); 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th (Lake nine)

Where to go

Country Club Blvd, Connolly, WA 6027

Book a round

(08) 9400 8888,

Where to stay

Joondalup’s on-site resort has 70 luxuriously appointed rooms, some of them with views over the golf course or swimming pool. Play-and stay packages are available.

Before/after your round

Take a look at Wanneroo Botanical Gardens, home of Australia’s largest mini-golf course. This garden oasis, 15 minutes’ drive north of Joondalup, covers five acres and has more than 500 species of exotic plants.

comments powered by Disqus