Catalina Country Club
Catalina Country Club, also known as Club Catalina, is a premier 27-hole golf course located in Batemans Bay, a 4-hour drive south of Sydney.
It is one of the original golf courses established on NSW’s south coast and like a fine wine it keeps getting better with age.
Ranked in Australia’s top 100 public-access golf courses, the conditioning of the fairways and greens make it some of the finest in the state. It is also one of the easiest walking courses in the country with very few elevation changes.
THE STORY BEHIND CATALINA COUNTRY CLUB
Catalina Country Club was founded by 25 members in 1956. It was named after the WWII seaplanes that were kept nearby. Back then it was a 5-hole course laid out on sand greens. The foundation players recall having to “rake the gravel” as they played.
In 1961, the course was upgraded to a 9-hole grass green and six years later it expanded to 18 holes. In the 70s, Catalina boomed boasting a new clubhouse and hosting professional competitions attracting the likes of Kel Nagle, Bruce Devlin and Greg Norman.
In 1990, to meet increasing visitor traffic, the club built a further nine holes to become a 27-hole course. The last significant changes were made by Wayne Grady in the 2000s who improved a few holes and introduced a new irrigation system.
THE CATALINA GOLF COURSE
Catalina Country Club has kikuyu fairways and bentgrass greens that are always in fantastic condition. The layout is flat, and most holes are lined with trees, 400 of which were only planted this century.
The front nine has a fun mix of narrow and wide landing areas where a golfer’s accuracy and length will be challenged. The par-5 6th that plays to a slim fairway doglegging right and the tricky par-3 7th over water are some of the standouts.
Meanwhile, the back nine is spectacular, particularly the stretch from the 14th to 16th. Here you will play the best par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes on the course.
The signature 14th is a memorable par-3 that you can find out more about below. The 15th is the newest developed hole with tough bunkering and a larger green added to make the fairly straight par-4 more interesting.
Then there is the 16th which could be at the top of the pile in terms of par-5s on the south coast. It is one of the few holes with an elevated green, and while the right side is OOB, playing to the right half of the fairway is the preferred line.
THE SIGNATURE HOLE
If there is one hole at Catalina Country Club that golfers won’t forget, it is the signature par-3 14th. It spans 140 metres from the back tees and has a large water feature running down the right that juts out halfway across the fairway.
For those who want to take on the flag, you will have to carry the water, while the more cautious golfer will aim left out of the water’s way to either lay-up or face a lengthy putt.
DID YOU KNOW
Greg Norman earned his first professional paycheque at Catalina Country Club playing the South Coast Open in 1976. He came third to other Aussie golfing legends Rodger Davis and Terry Gale.
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