It is a rare golf course where one can stand and look out over rolling waves and, if you are lucky, spot whales and dolphins.
But that is exactly what Narooma Golf Club offers – and it has recently taken the top spot in Golf Australia’s biennial ranking of public access courses in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory for 2023.
The club’s general manager Dominic Connaughton said he was off work sick with a cold when he learned the news this week, so it was a pick-me-up.
“I was at home on my own, not feeling well, and that’s when I found out,” he said.
“I remember feeling very happy, certainly, with the result.
“It gave me a boost, so I straight away started spreading the word to make sure everyone knew about it!”
Narooma wasn’t the only South Coast location to earn a place on the prestigious list of public courses.
Mollymook was ranked at No. 18, Tura Beach Country Club at 24, Club Catalina at 28, Pambula Merimbula at 32 and Moruya at 38.
As well as its golf course, Narooma Golf Club also operates the Seaside Brasserie and hosts weddings and other functions.
“If anyone’s planning any conferences or weddings, or anything like that, we can look after them,” Mr Connaughton said.
“We do over 50,000 rounds of golf here a year, and we have a lot of social players come here in groups or to play in our tournaments.
“They love the course, they love how we look after them and have set the course up.
“Doing all of this takes a team effort.”
The public had been quick to celebrate the win with the golf club, Mr Connaughton said.
“We put it on our website and Facebook page, and we’ve had many members comment or send emails,” he said.
“I’ve even had emails from other club managers in the local area and also around New South Wales with congratulations.”
Mr Connaughton said he was grateful for the support.
“This one was voted by golfers – it’s not done by the magazine,” he said.
“We’ve got the most votes, and whoever’s got the most votes gets the No. 1 spot.
“I just want to say thanks to all the golfing people who’ve voted for us.
“You’ve obviously played here and loved the course.
“But for those golfers who haven’t played here, you need to come and play on this magnificent course.”
The top ranking follows Narooma Golf Club being ranked 15th in Australia in a separate listing by Golf Australia earlier in 2023.
“That’s the best result the club’s ever had on that list,” Mr Connaughton said.
“We were actually at 18, so we’ve jumped up three spots and we’re going in the right direction there.”
Narooma Golf Club is at 1 Ballingalla Street.
The full list of ranked public access layouts is available via Golf Australia’s website.