Year after year, interest in a round of golf has surged worldwide, with more and more self-proclaimed “non-golfers” exploring ways of getting into this great outdoor sport. For many people, your favourite athletes included, golf is the go-to pastime to go outdoors and switch off from the unrelenting demands of the everyday schedule.
From Netflix’s newly announced live sports tournament between PGA all-stars and Formula 1’s fastest swingers to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s semi-virtual golf league set to transform the sport, it feels like golf is having its moment worldwide.
It’s always been something of an all-Australian pastime to hit a few balls with the gents down the club. With unparalleled weather and abundant green, lush space, Australia is the perfect golfing destination for fans and players alike.
And now, as Golf.com releases its annual Top 100 List of Best Golf Courses in the World, these six Australian courses have received some serious attention, with one Melbourne course among the top 10 in the world.
In this Best Golf Courses in the World article
No. 7 Royal Melbourne (West)
Black Rock, Victoria Australia
Architect: Alister MacKenzie
Officially, the best golf course in the Southern Hemisphere, The West Course of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club is a perfectly manicured 36-hole golf club in in Black Rock, Victoria, a suburb in southeastern Melbourne.
Long considered to be the traditional jewel of Australia’s golfing crown, the Club first opened its prestigious doors in 1891, and for more than 130 years, has honoured the Royal mark first bestowed upon it by Queen Victoria and maintained its status as one of the finest golf courses in the world.
Today, the Club’s West Course carries the same principles first introduced by revered architect Alister McKenzie almost 100 years ago; its signature contours and unparalleled design have allowed this Australian institution to thrive and is rightly recognised as one of the finest in the world.
No. 22 Kingston Heath
Architect: Des Soutar, 1925 /Alister Mackenzie, 1928
Nestled within the Sandbelt region in the southeast suburbs of Melbourne – an area that has become synonymous with elite golf courses – sits the Kingston Heath Golf Club, a 19-hole golf course that has consistently ranked amongst the best in Australia.
This storied green has enjoyed continued attention from designers and architects for the shared vision of Dan Soutar and Alister MacKenzie a century ago.
Kingston Heath has held a number of major tournaments throughout its rich history, hosting champion golfers such as Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Ian Baker-Finch to grace the picturesque green. In 2028, the President’s Cup is returning to Victoria for the fourth time in its history, and golf fans from all over will be able to witness one of the best courses Australia has to offer.
No. 36 Barnbougle Dunes
Architect: Tom Doak / Mike Clayton
Down south, we’ll find the best golf course in all of Tasmania; the Barnbougle Dunes.
With stunning ocean views of Tasmania’s North East Coast, this 18-hole golf course is susceptible to the unpredictable elements; changing winds, steeping dunes and a series of saddles will influence even the best golfer’s game, with only the world’s best able to use their skills and strategy to best this famous green.
For the golfer who loves the outdoors, this is a dream course to play.
No. 64 New South Wales
La Perouse, Australia
Architect: Alister Mackenzie, 1928 / Eric Apperly, 1947
Located on Australia’s iconic East Coast, the New South Wales Golf Club sits atop Botany Bay, the historic landing site of Captain James Cook when he first sailed into Australia on the SS Endeavour in 1770.
Another masterstroke in design by famed golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, the golf course boasts 18 expert holes and is the quintessential 5-star experience for any player in the Southern Hemisphere. Over the years it has hosted some of the country’s finest golfers who have travelled from all over to experience the rare and unique landscape upon which this course was built.
In 2009, it was the home of the Australian Open which was won by Australia’s own Adam Scott.
No. 92 Royal Melbourne (East)
Black Rock, Australia
Architect: Alex Russell
To feature on this prestigious list is a feat in itself, beating some of the best-presented and maintained golf courses in the world to occupy a place amongst the top 100 in the world; for a Club to feature twice is almost unheard of.
Situated in Black Rock, Victoria, in southeast Melbourne, sits the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. For players unable to make it onto the illustrious and exclusive lawn of the 7th best course in the world – and the number one spot in the country – the Club’s East Course is a worthy understudy and shares its neighbour’s heritage and history, with contemporary touches.
Designed by former Australian Open champion Alex Russell in 1932, the East Course is influenced by the unique touches implemented by Alister MacKenzie in the West, who had planned to build this course during his time in Australia but never managed to do it. Russell was joined by groundskeeper Mic Morcom to finish the job.
No. 96 Victoria
Architect: Alister Mackenzie, 1927; Ogilvy Clayton Cocking & Mead, 2019
Another one of famed architect Alister MacKenzie’s designs, the Victoria Golf Club is just a short distance from its celebrated neighbours in Black Rock, but can boast its own legacy within the world of golf.
“The bunkers and waste areas reflect a Golden Age aesthetic — green undulations and surrounds are both fun and challenging, and the overall conditions are as firm and fast as any in the Sandbelt,” panellist Pete Phipps wrote.
A restoration project led by Mike Clayton is underway to maintain this historic course’s signature green and continue its status as one of the best Clubs in the world.