The Coast Golf Club: The public version of New South Wales in Australia
NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia - Don't use these pictures as your barometer of The Coast Golf Club.
Look past the brown, crispy fairways - scorched by a terrible drought - and the hazy, dark skies - choked by smoke from the catastrophic wildfires that raged during the New Year's holiday and shook the country to the core.
Instead, imagine lush fairways with sunny, summer skies. That is the vision of The Coast that makes the public course just south of Sydney so popular. The site is spectacular. With five holes directly perched upon cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, it offers more interaction with the coastline than the world-ranked New South Wales Golf Club less than two miles to the south in La Perouse.
The Coast dates to the mid-1960s when the Prince Henry Hospital offered up the land and later expanded to 18 holes in the 1970s. The current clubhouse was the old hospital laundry facility. The introduction of homes in the 2000s altered the layout again (specifically holes 7 and 10) to create a par-70 routing of 5,807 meters (roughly 6,350 yards). A major irrigation system upgrade finished last December should help improve conditions moving forward.
The Coast might look and play like a links, but there are too many ponds and creeks as cross hazards to truly be called one. The front nine sports the only three par 5s on the layout (including back-to-back at holes 2 and 3) and ends on back-to-back par 3s. The par-3 fourth is one of Sydney's signature par 3s, a heroic tee shot over a coastal chasm to reach the green. Rolling elevations on the back nine climax at the 14th tee overlooking Little Bay, the southern-most beach in Sydney. Perhaps the two most awkward holes - the clifftop 17th with a severely sloping fairway and short par-4 18th with a pond in the landing area - end the day. How you finish shouldn't sour the walk on such memorable land for golf.
International green fees are $100 Australian anytime (roughly $70 American with the current exchange).
The par-4 third hole at The Coast Golf Club introduces the scenery of the surrounding cliffs. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
No. 17 at The Coast Golf Club is a tricky par 4 with a green hugging the coastline and protected by a hazard in front. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
A rocky trench guards the 16th green at The Coast Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Don't go left on the tee shot of the 14th hole of The Coast Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
A lone fisherman sits below the dramatic fourth green at The Coast Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The 14th green of The Coast Golf Club overlooks Little Bay, Sydney's southernmost beach. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
The finishing hole at The Coast Golf Club is a perplexing short par 4 with a pond in play. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor