Situated in the famous wine-growing region of the Swan Valley and framed by the foothills of the Darling Ranges lies the highly rated and golf driven Vines Resort. The resort’s original developer allowed course designers Ross Watson and Graham Marsh to select the best available land from the sites 1000 acres with the resort, residential and country club facilities then built around the golf courses.
The Vines first opened as a 27 hole facility, with two of the nines forming a composite course, which has been regularly used as a professional tournament venue. When the fourth nine was added, in 1997, the current courses, Ellenbrook and Lakes were created.
The latest nine forms part of the Ellenbrook course which touches the Ellenbrook Creek and has some major elevation changes, particularly on the older and more interesting back nine. As the name suggests, the Lakes course incorporates several man-made water hazards, which feature most prominently on the famous finishing holes. Though many visit the Vines hoping to play the composite course, the Lakes is an exciting test and alone is still worth playing. Ellenbrook, on the other hand, is a more pedestrian test with the front nine playing through housing areas and offering unremarkable golf. The back does have some interest, specifically the strong valley par three 13th and the shorter 17th. The rest here is spoiled by having too many mid-length par fours with wide, open fairways and a distinct lack of strategic appeal. The course is reasonably well built, but the apparently random nature of the putting and periphery shapes and contours distracts from what is a fairly pleasant environment for golf.