How quickly time has passed, being a couple of months since what can only be described as a spectacular journey, completing the Australian top 100 golf courses. Hard to believe this started out a bit over 8 years ago, initially as an effort to play better courses, progressing to play the Melbourne Sandbelt, eventuating into an effort to play the Australian Top 100, ranked by Golf Digest.
Not only did was the chief goal achieved completing the active list in November, Australian Golf Digest 2016. That same week the 2014 list was also completed.
With any large task, there are usually so many people to thank for all their support and assistance over the years. Firstly my wife Annette. The rock behind my effort and without her blessing, this would never have been contemplated. There has been one great advantage for her in this, finding some great day spas around the country, with her always mentioning Barnbougle Dunes being one of the best in Australia.
The final round was played at Cape Wickham Golf Links, along with a group of nine fellow golf enthusiasts. That in itself had some dramas, with plane delays, but did provide some spectacular scenery and a magnificent layout to complete the journey.
The last couple of putts to complete the journey at Cape Wickham Golf Links
A multitude of playing partners encountered over the course of the journey, but two in particular are worth a special mention. Joe, who became one of my regular playing partners in Sydney visiting some of the top 100 courses, then James when I moved to Melbourne. Combined they would have easily covered a third of the courses played.
Some of the other friends to share a round or two during the journey were Rob, Michael, John, Daniel, Chris, Steve, Tony and the three Marks. Always great to play with friends, so sharing the experience was a joy. There was also the North Ryde GC Touring group, which I tagged along with to the Gold Coast. Murray, Rob, Steve, Peter, Clem, Steve, Ian, Bob, Darryl, Walter and Barry all shared in some good courses within the region.
A few members who have provided invitations, Aaron, Brendan, John, Harry, Glenn, Gordon, Steve, Joanne and Michael. You have gone out of your way and opened the doors to your respective clubs. With some of the local knowledge gained during these visits, some great insights were shared enhancing the experience.
Special mentions to Phil, Gary, Kirsten and Paschal. You have really helped with some of the trickier courses. I feel deeply indebted, without your assistance the dream would never have been achieved.
Along the way I have managed to meet another couple of enthusiastic guys trying to play the Top 100. It has been a pleasure to share some of the journey with Tyson (Slicey Tysie), who has managed to reach 76 courses played, assisting me in Canberra. Also Tony who is also with 76 played, it was an enjoyable few days towards the end of the journey. Lastly James, who has managed around 80, but also hosted at Brisbane GC, getting us through the chaos with an overturned truck almost preventing my last Queensland course from being played.
To the clubs themselves, I have come across some tremendous staff along the journey, whether they be serving in the proshop, clubhouse, or the grounds staff on the course. Without you this country would not have so many great courses to play. It has been a joy and I hope one day to return to most. Always believe a course should be played twice.
Lastly, to you, my readers. Thank you for following the journey, whether it be on my blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Hopefully I have shared some valuable information which will either assist you in playing some of the Australian courses, or maybe just inspire you to take the plunge and complete the Australian Top 100 golf courses.
So where to next? I will continue to play the Australian Top 100 course lists, from both of our major publications. There are 3 remaining from Golf Digest 2012, whilst a concerted effort will be made to finish the Australian Golf Magazine Top 100 for 2018, with only 10 to go. From there, maybe taking on the World.
That’s a wrap on the 2016 list. Keep on golfing.