Home » Best Weekends Away For The Girls – Australian Golf Digest

Best Weekends Away For The Girls – Australian Golf Digest

There’s nothing better than a few days away with your golfing ‘besties’. Here’s where to take the girls on your next golf adventure. 

Hunter Valley, NSW

The Hunter Valley, a two-hour drive north of Sydney, is one of Australia’s premier wine-growing districts and the region is also spoilt for top-quality golf courses. Visit as many of the 80 wineries as you can, sample some of the finest cuisine in New South Wales outside Sydney, stay in beautiful country hotels and guesthouses or even go aloft in a hot air balloon at dawn. And for some golf? Our pick of the best layouts includes two favourites.

The Vintage Golf Club is a Top 100-ranked, Greg Norman-designed course that’s challenging, engaging and welcoming in equal parts. Playing here can be as leisurely or competitive as you like, and you’ll appreciate the meticulously manicured fairways, strategically placed bunkers and undulating greens. At the Legends Restaurant and Spike Bar in the smart clubhouse, fine cuisine is served throughout the day and into the evening where guests can surround themselves with breathtaking views over the golf course. Located on-site and overlooking the course, the award-winning Château Élan – one of our finest resorts – offers luxury accommodation along with a full-service spa. Visit thevintage.com.au

Another Top 100-ranked, must-play course is Cypress Lakes Golf & Country Club, a picturesque layout where each tee and green offers stunning panoramic views of the Hunter Valley’s famous vineyards and the surrounding Broken Back Range. Significant golf-course infrastructure investment by Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites is quickly catapulting Cypress Lakes to the top of must-play resort destinations in Australia. With its premium facilities and great dining options, including Oak & Vine Restaurant (inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine), Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort is the place to stay. Attached to the resort is Elysia Wellness Retreat, which offers spa, gym and wellness programs – perfect for unwinding from the stresses of the world. Visit cypresslakes.com.au

Gold Coast, QLD

The Gold Coast is famous for more than its Glitter Strip, theme parks and sandy white beaches. There’s also an endless supply of quality golf courses on offer all year round, making this the perfect getaway destination. You can play the Jack Nicklaus-designed Lakelands Golf Club, the Arnold Palmer-designed Pines course at Sanctuary Cove Golf & Country Club, the Greg Norman-designed Glades and many more.

At Links Hope Island, enjoy playing a meticulously planned, links-style resort course that’s the product of many disciplines – the locals say nature is generally pleased with the result! You can imagine yourself in Scotland or Ireland except that it is a whole lot warmer. While the course is there for serious play, it’s also everyone’s course. Dine in the Venetian Fountain Court or on the terrace at SOL Café and Bar. SOL is open daily for a la carte breakfast, lunch and light snacks plus open late every Friday for dinner – and live music too! Golf game over? Kick back and relax at the Champions Hair and Beauty Day Spa or indulge in tranquility at the in-house Yoga Now studio. Just across the road is the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, which features 251 newly refurbished rooms and suites. Visit linkshopeisland.com.au

Far North Coast, NSW

Known for its sensational beaches, World Heritage areas, quaint and quirky towns, and beautiful rural hinterlands, the Far North Coast of NSW is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Courses encompass everything from coastal links to parkland settings and cater to all levels of player.

Ocean Shores Country Club is a peaceful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of many coastal towns. The layout is carved through native flora, tidal lakes and rivers, with the Koonyum Ranges as a backdrop to the west and Pacific Ocean views to the east. It features a combination of large greens protected by extensive bunkering, the turf making them some of the purest and quickest around. When looking for dining options, Pacific Breeze Restaurant offers a wonderful range of Asian-inspired dishes supplemented with all the club classics. The clubhouse offers full bar facilities and welcomes functions to suit most sizes. There’s ample choice of accommodation too: Reflections Holiday Parks and Ocean Shores Motel are recommended options nearby. The club’s courtesy bus is also available (subject to operating times). Visit oceanshorescc.com.au

Riverina, NSW

From national parks to lakes and rivers, the Riverina’s natural assets are some of its most popular attractions. But the golf isn’t too shabby, either. From Wagga Wagga, Narrandera and Hay golf clubs to further south in Jerilderie and Deniliquin, picturesque courses populated with wildlife and great hospitality are sandwiched in between endless accommodation and restaurants, all awaiting the unsuspecting visitor.

Our tip for the golf? Head to CluBarham, a layout penned by renowned course architect Ross Watson. It’s a beautiful course, in great condition 365 days a year, that golfers of all levels of ability can enjoy. Key holes? The 14th, which is nicknamed “Gallipoli” and has a huge bunker in front of the green, and the 10th, which features two bunkers and a water hazard for players to negotiate left of the green. The club boasts two practice ranges and a practice putting green along with extras like 14 grass tennis courts, a bar with a TAB and beautiful resort-style accommodation with two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments plus a swimming pool. RV sites accommodate those with a caravan. And, especially for the girls, the pro shop specialises in women’s golf clothing. In fact, CluBarham’s general manager takes a great deal of pride in the array. Visit clubarham.com.au

Port Stephens, NSW

The “Incredible by nature” tourism slogan says it all about this stunning region. Port Stephens, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Sydney, is home to the biggest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, idyllic beaches, pristine waterways, national parks, a vast blue bay, and dolphin and whale watching. Best of all there are great golf experiences at Pacific Dunes, Nelson Bay and Horizons golf clubs.

With natural bushland and manicured greens, Pacific Dunes Golf Club is a beautiful Top 100-ranked course set among a stunning residential community. The course meanders its way around lakes and along treelined fairways to keep players interested throughout. Surprises lurk at every corner, whether they be water hazards cutting into fairways or greens that hide super-subtle breaks. Grab a bite to eat at Pacific Dunes Greenhouse before, during or after your game and, afterwards, relax in the alfresco area in the afternoon warmth or catch the sun going down over a glass of wine. Stay at the four-star Mercure Airport Hotel, located five minutes’ drive from the course and just 300 metres from Newcastle Airport. Visit pacificdunes.com.au

Bellarine Peninsula, VIC

Boasting three of Australia’s finest golf courses right near the Great Ocean Road, the Bellarine Peninsula, south-west of Melbourne, is an amazing region to visit for the ultimate golf weekend away. With plenty of accommodation, restaurants and amazing beaches, you’ll need to mark this one on your calendar.

Curlewis Golf Club’s tag line is “Hip green fun!” Good reason for golf buddies to getaway to this renowned, incredibly dynamic club. Curlewis really has the lot. The course recently catapulted up seven places in our Top 100 Courses ranking to No.62 (one of the highest leaps of any course). A fleet of deluxe Club Car GPS carts will have you cruising the fairways in style. Aprés golf, award-winning Claribeaux Restaurant will delight with its French fusion menu and extensive beverage list. Relaxing in the Spike Bar is also a favourite pastime for guests and locals alike. When it’s time for bed, enjoy all the creature comforts in the contemporary, luxe eco-suites. Next-level thrills are on tap at The Range @ Curlewis – 18 indoor/outdoor driving bays, Toptracer range, auto tees, X Golf plus a very cool two-tier mini golf course. Great food (the best burgers in the region), cocktails and coffee are also on offer. Visit curlewisgolf.com.au

Mid-North Coast, NSW

Stretching north of the Hunter and Port Stephens regions towards Grafton, the Mid-North Coast provides a unique beachside holiday and lifestyle experience. Aside from having a hit, pristine beaches, lush national parks, beautiful waterways and plenty of leisure activities are on offer, including winery tours, deep sea and estuary fishing, dolphin and whale watching, cycling, bushwalking and more.

Golf clubs with 36 holes are rarities in Australia, and rarer still are clubs with multiple courses in different locations. One such setup is Forster Tuncurry Golf Club – a twin-course entity where the two courses are about seven kilometres apart by road (and connected via a courtesy bus). With its newly regained Top 100 Courses rating, Tuncurry is clearly the superior layout, yet the 18 holes at Forster, set in the heart of town, see roughly equal golfer traffic. The beauty lies in the difference. While the Tuncurry course is a strong test of a good golfer’s game (wayward shots are penalised), its layout means it is a good and fair challenge for female golfers. It is a preferred location of the two for many women, not just because of its beautiful, natural setting, but because a round can be enjoyed by female golfers of all ages and abilities. The Forster course, on the other hand, is short, largely open and more user-friendly. For fab food, check out Bukos Bistro and Sinny’s Café @ The 19th Hole. Stay and play packages are available for everything from cabins and motel rooms to five-star luxury. Visit forstertuncurrygolf.com.au

Further along the coast is Tallwoods Country Club, the only Australian course designed by the award-winning Dr Michael Hurdzan. Tallwoods is an arborist’s delight, featuring a mixture of majestic, high-canopy eucalypts with prolific native vegetation and extensive water features. Once you scale the side of a mountain on a meandering path, you are gifted with spectacular views above the treetops to the ocean. You can stay right onsite in one of the 15 beautifully furnished bungalows, all situated with great views across the course. In addition, Tallwoods is home to The Bunker Bar. With a relaxed, informal atmosphere and peaceful alfresco dining areas overlooking the course, make the most of the delicious food. Visit tallwoods.com.au

One of the most picturesque public courses in Australia, Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club is uniquely situated on Stuart Island and surrounded by the Nambucca River, making for a magnificent setting for a game of golf. The women’s layout is a challenge for the experienced player but enjoyable for an average golfer – and it’s a flat, easy walk. Boasting a delicious menu with lots of choices, The Island Restaurant at the clubhouse is open daily for lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday. Don’t miss relaxing in the main bar, lounge area or outside deck. The views across the Nambucca River are sensational. Where to stay? The club’s recommendations include Cubana Resort with its spacious rooms dotted around the lily pond and gardens, the peaceful Motel Miramar sitting above the Nambucca River, the luxurious Beach Rooms, also perched overlooking the Nambucca waterways, Ingenia White Albatross, a caravan park at the river’s entrance, and Marcel Towers, with outstanding views. Visit namgolf.com

Just 10 minutes south of Coffs Harbour and sitting halfway between Sydney and Brisbane lies one of the great play-and-stay destinations in Australian golf: Bonville Golf Resort. In fact, this idyllic, championship course has been referred to as Australia’s answer to Augusta National almost from the day it opened in 1992. And the Top 100-ranked layout has it all: exceptional, award-winning food and wine, and super-comfortable accommodation. Cabins flank the first fairway, providing sensational views and easy access to play, the restaurant, swimming pool and other facilities. Available to in-house guests every day and social golfers on Mondays. Visit bonvillegolf.com.au

Sunshine Coast, QLD

Highlighted by Noosa Springs, Maroochy River, Pelican Waters and Pacific Harbour, here is a destination that well and truly fits the bill for anyone chasing sunshine, waves and birdies. With endless beaches, spa and health retreats, markets, restaurants and nightlife, it’s easy to see why the Sunshine Coast is one of the country’s leading holiday destinations.

Situated between Noosa National Park and picturesque Lake Weyba, Noosa Springs is just three kilometres from cosmopolitan Hastings St and Noosa’s famous beaches. With a spectacular golf course, renowned day spa, superb dining, fitness centre, tennis courts, heated lap pool, driving range and spacious self-contained accommodation, Noosa Springs Golf & Spa Resort is the perfect place for a golf getaway with the girls. The layout is set among tropical bushland and water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, making it an enjoyable yet challenging round. Afterwards, relax in the beautiful day spa, which features unique hydro-massage and flotation pools, infrared sauna, steam room, blitz shower, thermal capsule and treatment suites, as well as relaxation lounges. The self-contained luxury apartments overlook the first fairway and are spacious, well-appointed and just a short stroll to the resort’s clubhouse, golf shop and restaurant. Visit noosasprings.com.au/accommodation/packages-and-specials

Central Coast, NSW

Only a 90-minute drive from Sydney and an hour from Newcastle, the Central Coast is fringed by 40 beautiful beaches, and features a lush hinterland and extensive lagoons and waterways. It’s a haven for camping, boating, fishing, picnicking and swimming, along with being a foodie heaven with top-class restaurants and bars. There is also a vibrant art scene along with fascinating art trails. For golfers, Magenta Shores and Kooindah Waters are essential to play.

Magenta Shores Golf & Country Club, a Top 100-ranked, Ross Watson-designed links-style course, is set among some of the most inspiring and unspoilt surroundings, on a pristine peninsula between Tuggerah Lake and the Pacific Ocean. Playable under all conditions, the sand-based course provides a unique golf and lifestyle experience. For a quick bite, try Shallows Bar, a casual, family-friendly bar that features an indoor fireplace and alfresco dining. Barretts Restaurant, on the other hand, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy fine food and the stunning vistas of the course. All restaurant areas ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. And then there’s the stunning, on-site accommodation at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort. Located on the beachfront, the resort features direct beach access, outdoor pools, spa facilities and much more. Visit magentagolf.com.au

South Coast, NSW

The coastline south of Sydney and Wollongong, and down as far as Eden, is lined on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by the striking Illawarra Escarpment and, further south, by multiple national parks plus the Snowy Mountains. The region offers a plethora of golf courses in gorgeous settings, including Mollymook, Callala, Narooma, Club Catalina, Shell Cove, Bermagui, Moruya, Tura Beach, Bega, Kiama, Nowra… the list goes on!

Mollymook Golf Club is situated at one of Australia’s iconic tourist destinations on the South Coast. The club features two courses with the 18-hole Hilltop course set in a natural bushland environment, with each hole providing its own amphitheatre with heavily treelined fairways. The nine-hole Beachside course cut along the ocean provides breathtaking views and interesting challenges. Another unique feature of Mollymook Golf Club is that it has two separate clubhouses, with the Beachside clubhouse open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, featuring magnificent views overlooking Mollymook Beach. You can enjoy a quality meal in luxurious surroundings with full TAB and gaming facilities available. Both courses are available for the public to play every day with bookings essential for the Hilltop course. Mollymook is the perfect destination for couples or large groups, beginners to the accomplished player, with the choice of different courses and multiple tee options. Visit mollymookgolf.com.au

Bermagui Country Club is a beguiling golf experience that delivers postcard-worthy scenery while applying the squeeze to whatever golf game you happen to bring on the day. With views of the seaside town, Horseshoe Bay and Gulaga Mountain rising beyond the course’s western fringe, the setting for golf could hardly be more idyllic – yet the challenge it poses is compelling. Scoring opportunities are on offer at the par 5s, and the par-4 14th and 17th holes are gettable if your long game stands up to the test. The food is delicious at the Terrace Restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, while stay-and-play packages are available at either Seaview Beach Houses or Harbourview House. Brochures can be downloaded from bermaguicountryclub.com

Our picks for accommodation are Albacore Apartments and Bannisters Mollymook. Nestled in the picturesque coastal town of Merimbula and close to Pambula Merimbula Golf Club, Albacore Apartments offer an idyllic retreat for golfers seeking a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Boasting a stunning lakeside location, the property presents breathtaking views from private balconies, where guests can savour the tranquil atmosphere. Each of the 20 well-appointed apartments and two studios are thoughtfully designed to provide modern comfort and convenience, making it an ideal choice for golf groups as large as 50. After golf, visitors can explore the pristine beaches, indulge in water sports or discover the vibrant local shops and restaurants nearby. Visit albacore.com.au

Another top pick is Bannisters, a luxurious coastal oasis in Mollymook. This exquisite boutique hotel offers a quintessential beachside retreat with ocean views and sophisticated ambience. The property boasts a range of elegantly designed rooms and suites, each providing a perfect blend of comfort and style. Guests can indulge in delectable culinary experiences at the award-winning Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant, renowned for its sumptuous seafood. Relaxation takes centre stage at Bannisters, with a serene day spa, sparkling infinity pool and access to beautiful Mollymook Beach. Visit bannisters.com.au/mollymook