As I mentioned in a previous post I would set aside two posts to write in detail about the longest golf course in the world, Nullarbor Links.
Well the first requirement for any game of golf is to actually check in at the pro shop. For this unique golf game you check in at the Tourist Information Centre found at Kalgoorlie Town Hall. If you are coming from the east you can do the Nullarbor Links in reverse and you check in at the Tourist Information Centre in Ceduna. It isn’t cheap but it isn’t expensive either and when you consider that half your green fees go the Royal Flying Doctor Service it’s quite a bargain and you’re helping a unique and valuable health service.
Green fees paid you receive your scorecard and off you go to Kalgoorlie Golf Course, one of the world’s best desert golf courses. The first two holes of the Nullarbor Links are here. Here is a description of these holes and the rest of the first nine holes.
The first hole is the CY O’Connor and is a par 4 of 319m. (CY O’Connor was a famous pioneer of Kalgoorlie who oversaw the pipeline project that brought water from the Perth hills to Kalgoorlie.) As you can see the hole is beautifully manicured but the rough is very rough!I played a couple of good hits to be on the very expansive green for two but sadly took three putts and had to settle for a bogey 5.
The next hole is the Golden Mile and is a longish par 5 of 450m.Even though my tee shot was good I managed to end up with a couple of shots near trees so it took me six to actually make the green but this time only one putt for a double bogey seven.The next day we hooked up the caravan and began our journey east. The first stop was the little golf course at Kambalda. The first hole there is the 3rd of the Nullarbor Links and is named Silver Lake after the nearby Lake Lefroy.You can see why it is strongly suggested that you tee up on all hits except putts whilst playing the Nullarbor Links. Let’s just say that it took me a while to adjust to the conditions as I took five shots to reach the ‘green’ which was actually tarred sand.You use the rake to create a straight path for your putt then hit it straight and firmly.Sadly I took 3 putts and finished with an eight.
From there we drove south for just over an hour and a half and came to the town of Norseman. This course had the next two holes. The first was a par 4 of 354m named after the local Ngadju people.The tees were artificial grass.However the fairways presented me with a few challenges and it took me four shots to reach the green.Karen was there to take care of the flag whilst I took two putts to end up with a double bogey 6.The next hole was another par 4 of 436m named Golden Horse.Again I found the conditions difficult and took five shots to make the greenand two putts to end up with seven. My scorecard wasn’t looking good.’Back in the Hilux we headed east again to Fraser Range Station. We decided to stay there that night and set up the caravan and ate lunch before heading into the station property further to find the next hole. Unsurprisingly it’s named Sheep’s Back.What was surprising was the fact that I actually had to wait for another group of golfers to finish the hole before I could hit off. Up until now we hadn’t seen another golfer at any of the other holes.Once they were clear I teed off.Even though it was a cross wind not a head wind I found myself short of the green after my tee shot.This shot made it onto the green but my first putt just veered off path so I ended up with a bogey 4. At least that looked better on my scorecard.
The next morning after breakfast we hooked up the caravan and continued our journey. The next stop was balladonia, which has very comprehensive roadhouse and motel. It’s also where the next hole of the Nullarbor Links is located next to the motel. The hole is named Skylab, after the satellite which safely crash landed near here back in 1979.It’s a longish par 3 but as you can see the hole is well protected by trees.My first shot landed in scrub which made the next hit tricky.It just fell short of the green but I decided to putt anyway. Once on the green it took me one more putt for a bogey 4.
Back in the Hilux we continued driving east to Caiguna. This part of the trip has a straight stretch that is 146 kms (90 miles) without a bend, although the road does rise and fall along the way.Once in Caiguna we made our way to the next golf hole. Of course it’s name will be obvious.The way from tee to green looked pretty obvious too. My tee shot landed in the scrub so I teed up and played my next hit.Unfortunately it went a little bit to the left and I was in a tricky position.Needless to say I wasn’t happy when it took me three shots from there to make it onto the green. Just as well I putted straight. Score – another six.
Back into the car we drove onto Cocklebiddy, which was less than an hour away. It’s not much more than a roadhouse motel and a golf hole.The golf hole is called the Eagle’s Nest. There’s even an eagle there.I teed off.As you can see there’s not a lot of protection from the elements and I played porrly to take five shots to reach the very expansive artificial grass green.Two putts later I had scored an inglorious seven. So after nine holes I had finished with 54. Hopefully I would adapt to the conditions better on the next nine holes. So we farewelled Cocklebiddyand headed off down the road to Madura. More about Madura and the next nine holes of the Nullarbor Links in my next post.
Note : I completed this game pre covid19.