Located among the windswept sandhills of Port Kennedy, south of Perth, the unheralded links of Kennedy Bay was shaped by principal designer Michael Coate, with help from PGA professionals Ian Baker-Finch and Roger Mackay and is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most authentic links creations.
From a central clubhouse the course is arranged in two loops, each running along a series of small dune ridges and shallow natural valleys. The fast running fairways and large undulating greens are lined by thick coastal scrub and protected by more than one hundred revetted pot bunkers. Though a solid test from start to finish, the highlight holes tend to come later on, the heroic par four 15th and gorgeous short ‘Wee Tap’ 16th, which plays into a shallow ledge sandwiched between traps, particularly worthy of mention. There is also a fine set of short fours, from the drivable 7th with an enormous raised target contoured to catch those who get ‘too cute’ with their pitch, to the Split Decision 11th with its fairway strategically divided and green then appropriately angled to favor those taking the tighter, bunkered side.
Like any true links the region’s coastal breeze, known as the Fremantle Doctor, is the course’s greatest defense as it swings around and strengthens in the afternoons totally altering the nature of the holes. Although Kennedy Bay lacks real dirty weather, its design, dunes, tight surfaces and constant battering from the ‘Doctor’ give it an authentic Scottish feel, with only the temperate climate to remind you this is, in fact, Western Australia.