Ocean Dunes GC, located near the airport at Currie is the second new course to open at King Island. Designed by Graeme Grant, this dramatic links course grabs your attention straight away. The first four holes along the ocean are brilliant, varied and spectacular.
On the par five first hole you stand on an elevated tee looking down over the dunesland to a green below which appears to be poking out into the sea. Your tee shot should be directed way left around a huge dune and an equally huge bunker named Bertha. And when you successfully negotiate the dune your shots to that first green are memorable. The green is framed by the ocean and rocks and rolling white surf. It is a wonderful golf hole, and an exciting way to start the round.
Hole two is a perfect complement to the first. It is a short driveable par 4 with ocean along the right side of the fairway. The green runs at right angles to the fairway and reminds me of the fourth hole at Barnbougle with different compartments of the green in bowls dictating where your tee shot should be directed. The golfer who takes a safe tee shot short of the dune protecting the front of the green is left with a very precise pitch over the dune, while the golfer who dares to be long and accurate can approach down the length of the green with ease.
Hole three is a gorgeous brute of a hole- a long par 4 uphill with a spectacular carry over the rocky beach- take on as much as you dare, and be rewarded with an achievable long approach to the skyline green. A par here is very satisfying!
Hole four will be world famous, and like the eleventh at Wickham reminds me of Cypress Point. The tee box is set on one rocky promontory, and the green on another. It is fun to play and an amazing setting..
The course turns inland on the par 5 fifth hole, but each of the inland holes has real character. They are the type of holes you want to play over and over again. The quality of the turf and finishing off is ultra professional - you can tell you are somewhere special just by the way the course is presented.
The back nine offers some amazing adventures including the driveable short par 4 thirteenth with its skyline green, the 'drop shot' short par 3 fourteenth hole, and the majestic sixteenth hole heading to the sea with a bubbling brook framing the right side of the fairway.
I expect Ocean Dunes to become known as one of the world's premier courses, and along with Cape Wickham, to become an iconic golfing destination. International golfers will want to make a more complete trip by playing the Melbourne Sandbelt, King Island & Barnbougle Dunes.