Cape Wickham links on King Island, Tasmania has held top spot on our rankings list since first opening three years ago, and with conditioning continuing to improve might seem secure. All our judges awarded top marks for visuals, but interestingly judges were evenly split between Barnbougle Dunes #2 and Cape Wickham for best design with Barnbougle narrowly taking the coveted honour in this category. Lost Farmremained at #3, so Tasmania is once again home to our top 3 public access courses. In fact, Lost Farm took over the best conditioning spot from Barnbougle Dunes, our judges continuing to enjoy the firm, fast running fescue surfaces.
(pictured above - Cape Wickham's 1st hole). The next three courses all retained their 2018 rankings - The Dunes and St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula and Kennedy Bay in WA. Barwon Heads moved up one spot overall to #7, our judges noting a significant improvement in conditioning (from #12 to #4 in this category) as new works settle in.
Ocean Dunes moved up three places to #9. We ranked this seaside links on King Island at #6 for design and #5 for visuals, but our judges felt that conditioning still has some way to go.
Other significant changes within our top 20 were Portsea #19 up from 24 and Sanctuary Cove – Pines #20 also up 5 places, each course judged more favourably for conditioning than last year. Similarly our panel noted improved grooming at Meadow Springs which made an impressive jump of 11 places to #21.
Port Fairy, a small budget course on Victoria’s coastline moved up 6 slots to #23. The course is well regarded for its design and the beautiful coastal setting.
Riverside Oaks – Bungool recorded an impressive jump to #26 this year as more of our judges were able to visit and appreciate the Bob Harrison design and improvements in course conditioning.
Links Lady Bay up 13 places to #37, Cranbourne up 9 spots to #43, Sun City jumping a mammoth 50 places to #45 and Black Bull up 17 places to #46 all benefitted from our judges taking the opportunity to evaluate and appreciate their design strengths this season.
New entrants to our Top 100 this year included Maroochy River, a new Graham Marsh design on the Sunshine Coast #74, and the Rosebud South course at #99 whilst Duntryleague #88, Mollymook Hilltop #95 and Tocumwal Presidents #96 returned after narrow misses last year.
Mona Vale, Wirrina Cove, Gardiners Run, Patterson River and Growling Frog were the unlucky courses to drop from the 2018 list.
TO SEE THE FULL LIST AND TO READ HOW THE LISTS ARE COMPILED - CLICK HERE