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One of the more exotic opening holes in world golf, the 1st at Cape Wickham is a short par four that appears more difficult than it really is. Provided you don’t slice your opening tee shot into Bass Strait a simple par should await.
Constructed along a lower ledge of the Cape Farewell headland, the 2nd is a mid-length par four with a wide fairway that heads toward the site’s western tip. A small central bunker forces golfers to choose their preferred line carefully. One of the first holes built, the 2nd is maturing well and has a healthy cover of fescue.
The 3rd is a strong par 3 that heads straight toward a pair of distant offshore islands. Plays into the prevailing south-west winds, and longer than its yardage suggests.
The first hole away from the coastline, the 4th is a long par 4 that turns back inland toward the imposing Cape Wickham lighthouse. Those who aim their drive at the lighthouse are rewarded with a simpler approach into a partly obscured green site (below).
Pre-Construction – Tee Shot
Drivable with the summer easterlies at your back, the short par four 5th is an unheralded but dangerous hole with a tight fairway and smallish green that leans away toward the rear.
The short par five 6th plays around a sizeable dune ridge, toward an elevated dell green site. Pin position is crucial here in order to determine your best playing strategy.
During Construction – May 2014
Post-Construction – July 2014
To prove Cape Wickham is not all ocean and crashing waves, the short par three 7th is played across a diagonal valley with the lighthouse looming large in the distance.
Initially blind across sandy scrub, the 8th is a beautifully natural inland hole set down in a valley.
A shortish par 5, 460 metres due west into the prevailing wind. The hole is down a valley and dunes, through convoluted land forms.
A genuine talking point, the 11th is a short-iron par 3 set right down onto the rocks.
There are a number of short par fours at Cape Wickham, but none better than the drivable 12th. The rewards for those who attack the green site are enormous, but so too are the very obvious risks.
Future 12th green on right. Owner Duncan Andrews (left) & Course Architect Mike DeVries.
A strong par five heading east through sand dunes and linking the western coastline with the northern (lighthouse) section of the course.
Owner – Duncan Andrews
A charming right-to-left bending par four, the 14th plays from an elevated tee toward a natural punchbowl green site.
A long, downhill par five, the 15th is the closest hole to the Cape Wickham Lighthouse. The first part of the hole heads semi-blind across a bunkered crest while the final part is played along a broad split level fairway. Those able to hug the more dangerous left side with their second shots are rewarded with a far simpler approach.
One of the last holes built at Cape Wickham, and perhaps the most dramatic, the 16th is a mid-length par four that runs right along the rocky coastline. The scenery from tee to green here is magnificent.
Pre-Construction – looking back down hole.
A glorious par 3 of 170 metres. The first photo below is taken from behind the green, with the three others taken from the tee, which is elevated several metres above the green.
Post-Construction – February 2015
Destined to become an icon, for the simple reason that the beach on the right is in play (and in bounds) for both the tee shot and the approach. Those able to hug the beach with their drive are rewarded with a shorter and simpler second shot. The green here is narrow and guarded by one of the world’s largest bunkers.