Cape Wickham Links
Located on King Island’s rugged north-west coast, where many sea journeys have been shipwrecked, lies Cape Wickham Links. A true links golf course, eight holes play directly along the shoreline with spectacular views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean visible from every hole.
About the Club
This course is a glorious collection of holes on a breathtaking site along Bass Strait, a notorious stretch of Australian seacoast. Its routing is heart-pounding, starting along rocks and crashing surf, moving inland but not out of the wind, returning to ocean edge at the downhill 10th, pitch-shot 11th and drivable par-4 12th, then wandering into dunes before a crescendo closing hole curving along Victoria Cove beach.
Australian golf at its finest, the course at Cape Wickham, designed by Mike DeVries and Darius Oliver, is a masterclass in links golf design. The playing corridors at Cape Wickham are rather generous in width – and they need to be given the Roaring Forties (strong westerly trade winds) reach 30 kilometres per hour on most days.
The wide fairways bring strategy into play as the holes change in character depending on the line of approach and position of the flagstick. The first three holes play around Cape Farewell and the rocky outcrops on the foreshore are quite mesmerising. The routing moves inland as holes six to nine take on a different character through coastal dunes.
The ripping downhill par-4 10th returns to the ocean and more spacious settings. The par-3 11th is a delightful pitch alongside the ocean and the 12th is a driveable par 4 on the clifftop with the Roaring Forties screaming off the left. The 13th turns back towards the clubhouse, accentuating the sensible design feature of making the downwind holes measure longer than those playing upwind into the westerly sea breezes.
The five closing holes reach out and back to Cape Wickham Lighthouse. The devilish par-4 16th plays back into the prevailing wind towards a smallish green concealed beautifully like a pocket square into a blazer. The short 17th is simply wonderful. And the par-4 18th features the most glorious natural setting of any finishing hole in Australia. The tee shot calls for a drive across Victoria Cove as the hole doglegs right to a green perched on a plateau.
The first tee is at the doorstep of the onsite cabins and golfers can take advantage of longer daylight hours in summer months when the sun sets closer to 9pm.
With barely a soul within several kilometres, the solitude is rather therapeutic – apart from the odd wallaby hopping past the windowpane or an occasional screech from a mutton bird returning to its burrow after a daily flight over the Southern Ocean.