Set around an hour south of Perth, Western Australia's Secret Harbour Golf Links resembles California's Spyglass Hill for the manner in which some of its holes are among pristine rugged sand dunes and others through foliage and within a residential development. The course was designed by Graham Marsh and opened its Links nine, now the back nine, in 1994 with developers selling housing sites around these holes at the same time as planning the second nine. In 1998 with the Links nine development complete, the Dunes nine was opened. Whilst there are some good holes on either nine, the front is better regarded because of its ocean glimpses and the use of raw sand dunes. Back to back long par four’s at the 4th and 5th, for example, are very effective as one climbs into a dune and the other tumbles back in the opposite direction. The falling 5th is the feature hole, with its views of the sea and an exciting downhill tee shot played to a narrowing and undulating fairway lined by bunkers that encroach the further one drives. This green is one of the smallest on the course and protected by additional sand traps. The short and shapely par four 9th is another exciting front nine prospect.
The older established back nine is encased by housing but holes here are more consistent and feature the more believable shaping. Straight away holes like the 11th and 12th are well bunkered and naturalistic, while the mid-length 15th features an appealing tee shot played through thick coastal shrub to a unique fairway dissected by a large bush covered knoll. The options here are to drive around the knoll or lay-up and leave a longer approach into an narrow green benched into a sandy mound.
As was feared from our first visit to Secret Harbour, the course hasn't aged as well as one would have hoped due to the increased housing around the course and the fact the Kikuyu roughs have really flourished. That said, Marsh did a reasonable job here and most who play the course will enjoy the challenge.