Nelson Bay Golf Club
For 60 years, Nelson Bay Golf Club has been the beating heart of the local community and is well-recognised as a “must-experience” golfing venue for many visitors.
The 27-hole championship course is the perfect escape to nature, with kangaroos, koalas, and native birds in abundance throughout your round of golf.
STORY BEHIND NELSON BAY GOLF CLUB
In 1961, the first nine holes at the then called Tomaree Golf Links. Ray McKinlay designed the sand-based course which was described as “pretty rough, but the greens are good” with golfers needing to us coloured balls to find them on the fairway.
By the end of its first decade of existence, Tomaree Golf Links had changed its name to Nelson Bay Golf Club, renovated its sandy fairways to grass, and added 9 more holes. The club was thriving, so much so that in 1998 it became one of the few courses in the state with 27 holes.
On Father’s Day 2015, a devastating electrical fire reduced the long-standing clubhouse to rubble. In 2017, the $10 million project to rebuild the clubhouse was completed. Since it’s reopening, the club has soared once more hosting its first Pro-Am in 30 years.
THE NELSON BAY COURSE
Nelson Bay holds the reputation for being one of the most public access-friendly courses in the state. All-in-all, you will find a variety of fun and exciting challenges in a pristine, natural setting.
The first nine begins with a straight-forward par-4, a certain confidence booster for the higher handicappers. However this is quickly followed by the longest par 4 on the course on the 2nd. Then you got the spectacular, but difficult 6th. Keeping the ball in play is key on this demanding uphill par-5.
The next nine consists of the some of the club’s visually stunning holes. There are the serene lakes and deceiving bunkers of the 13th and 14th, topped off with the most picturesque hole at Nelson Bay the 18th where a crowd of kangaroos – and club golfers, watch you close your round.
If you just can’t get enough of this course, you’ll love the newest nine. It starts with the local’s favourite hole, the 20th, a stunning downhill par-3. Then there’s “the most talked about par-5 in Port Stephens”, the 22nd which spans 539 metres in distance.
If you make it through all the 27 holes you will be rewarded with a great finishing par-5. It’s a hole you can really attack and even reach in 2 shots. It’s always a good feeling ending on a birdie – or even eagle.
THE SIGNATURE HOLE
The 12th hole at Nelson Bay is a memorable par-5. Uniquely shaped in a reverse C, it bends up a long hill that is completely bordered by bushland.
As you can imagine, accuracy is key. 195 metres from the back tee will have you safely around the corner. Your second shot will have to be just right of centre to open up the green and – wait is not over yet – you’ll need an extra club to approach the uphill green.
DID YOU KNOW
If you ever need to gain club members, take a leaf out of Nelson Bay’s book. In the 70s, the club was struggling to attract players. How did they go about fixing that problem? Running Seafood Days!
Each week the Sproule and Diemer families would supply locally caught lobsters, prawns, fish and oysters as prizes. They would run this for nearly 25 years, and remarkably the membership numbers would grow!
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