Australians love to hear what Americans think of our home shores. And this one was a glowing endorsement of one of our most spectacular golf courses.
About a month ago now, two well-known American golf writers spent a few weeks travelling around Australia and New Zealand. And they were smitten.
The opinion of Matt Ginella and Alan Shipnuck holds no more weight than your own, but they have played plenty of golf courses in their time. And Shipnuck penned his initial thoughts on Cape Wickham upon returning to the US.
Ranking golf courses is inherently arbitrary; if Kevin, Tom and Matt and I went to the Louvre and had to order our 11 favorite paintings I’m sure the lists would be very different. Remarkably, all four of us had Cape Wickham No. 1. Yes, it’s that good. I’m a well-known Pebble Beach honk but Cape Wickham is the most visually spectacular course I’ve ever seen. Beyond that, it presents a seemingly endless series of great holes and heroic shots.
Shipnuck has now written a lengthier account of the whole trip at GOLF.com and it’s a fun read.
Let's cut to the chase – here's my ranking of the courses we played:
2. New South Wales
3. Royal Melbourne (West)
4. Lost Farm @Barnbougle
6. @Barnbougle Dunes
7. Tara Iti
10. Kingston Heath
— Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) November 4, 2019
As Aussies, we always love to hear what outsiders think of the place – provided it’s a glowing endorsement of course.
And this one is. And worth the read.
We spent months discussing versions of the trip: visiting Melbourne and other Sand Belt classics was a must. From there it’s an easy flight to Tasmania, where the Barnbougle resort is home to two of the most buzzed-about courses built this century. But if you’re flying from Melbourne to Tazzie you pass directly over King Island, with its cult favorites Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes. That right there is a helluva trip, but how can you fly all the way to Australia and not play Alister MacKenzie’s Sydney classic, New South Wales Golf Club? Turns out, you can’t. And if you’re schlepping to Oz, aren’t you compelled to stop in New Zealand, too?