Sydney Australia golf has a rich and venerable history dating to the nineteenth century, making it more than 100 years old. Obviously, the game as we know it is much older, dating to the fifteenth century in Scotland. But one must remember that Australia itself, like the United States, is one of the youngest developed countries, and more than 100 years is a long time in that context. The history of the country's exploration and settlement mirrors that of the United States. However, it remained a British colony until well into the late 1800s, and it has only been an independent member of the Commonwealth since 1900.
In fact, it was emigrants from Scotland, the accepted birthplace of the sport, who first brought Sydney golf courses to these shores. A feud between the Royal Melbourne Golf Club (founded in 1891) and the Australian Golf Club (formed in 1882) in Sydney as to which is the oldest continues to rage. Technically, the Royal Melbourne wins since the Australian was closed from 1888 to 1895. Nonetheless, the real winner is the Bothwell Golf Club in Tasmania, founded in 1839. Officials from this club claim it was the first in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Australian is not one of the Sydney public golf courses as it is restricted to members only, and the membership numbers are strictly limited. Non-members may only play as the guest of an accompanying member. The club is located in the suburb of Rosebery, quite near the airport. The first Australian Amateur Championship was held here in 1901, and the first Australian Open in 1904.
Many of the Sydney public golf courses have full membership options granting certain privileges and numbers of rounds, but also allow members of the public on "pay as you play" rates. Among these are Eastlake Golf Club and Kogarah Golf Club (both near the airport). Also in this area are the spectacularly located St. Michaels and New South Wales Golf Courses. These are set on the northern point of Botany Bay, across the mouth of the bay from Botany Bay National Park. The New South Wales Golf Course is rated one of the top 50 courses in the world, and has availability for members of the public during weekdays. St. Michaels is one of the Sydney golf courses with very liberal tee times for non-members throughout the week. Playing golf on these two courses can be distracting, as the coastal scenery is beautiful. During the whale watching season, players just might be distracted by breaching whales.
There is also Sydney Australia golf right in the metropolitan area, less than ten minutes from the Central Business District (CBD) and right in the Bondi Beach area. Here, there is the prestigious Royal Sydney Golf Club, strictly for members and their guests only. This venerable club is the second oldest in New South Wales, founded in 1893. One of the Sydney public golf courses here is the neighboring Moore Park Golf Course. As a member of the public, you must register, but once you do you are entitled to discounts on fees. There are numerous Sydney golf courses along the coastline north of Bondi Beach, including the suburb of Manly and all the way to Palm Beach and the Hawkesbury River.
If you want your Sydney Australia golf a little further afield, head west for the beautiful Blue Mountains. Here there are a number of courses along the main highway Route 32 that separates the Blue Mountains National Park from the Wild Dog Mountains.
Image: Tourism NSW