For many years Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula sat in the shadow of its cross-bay sister peninsula, the Mornington, when it comes to golf. However, the emergence in 2001 of the first course at Thirteenth Beach drew golfers’ attentions to the south-western corner of Port Phillip Bay as the golf offerings on the Bellarine began to flourish. Tony Cashmore’s Beach course was an instant hit, adding a second high-quality golf venue to accompany the long-standing Barwon Heads course next door.
Cashmore used distinct pockets within the property to create loops that were later reconfigured for the Victorian Open. These loops give the layout subtly different settings while keeping the entire 18 seamless. Within the course are four exceptional par 3s, the most commendable being the tiny 16th, which teases and tantalises for its 113 metres. First hosting the Vic Open in 2013 shone the spotlight on Thirteenth Beach, but keen golfers knew how good it was from the beginning.
If you’re hanging around the Geelong area, be sure to take in the 18th Amendment Bar – a bar that reprises the speakeasy bars of Chicago in the 1920s and early ’30s during the Prohibition period. While those golfers seeking a spot to rest between rounds should consider Campbell Point House, which features four different accommodation styles overlooking Lake Connewarre.
Thirteenth Beach also has its own on-site accommodation, plus 16 new golf lodges opening in December.
Thirteenth Beach Golf Links
Ranking in 2018: 32nd
Prior rankings: 28th (2016), 29th (2014), 24th (2012), 29th (2010), 33rd (2008), 41st (2006), 34th (2004)
Where: Barwon Heads Rd, Barwon Heads VIC 3227
Phone: +64 3 5254 2922
• See visitmelbourne.com/golf for accommodation and regional information.
For more information on a Golfing Great head to Visit Victoria.