The Links at Port Douglas is a gorgeous semi links course in the tropics. Michael Wolveridge of Thomson Wolveridge fame is the man responsible for this most interesting design. The course opened for play in 2001, and is routed around and through some tropical rainforest only a few iron shots from the famous four mile beach at Port Douglas. This is a small site, and the course is tight- all the more credit to Wolveridge for coming up with such a fascinating layout. It is a course that I can play over and over- perhaps partly due to the wonderful climate...
In a different setting this would be a bona fide links course as each of the holes has a classic look and feel - from the bunkering to the shaping of the greens- all of which is reminscent of the great links of the UK. The bunkering is both strategic and photogenic, and with a mix of long par 4's ( holes 1, 4, 14, 17 ), short thinking man's par 4's ( 2, 9, 10, 13, 18 ), and a variety of heavily bunkered par 5's and striking par 3's there is never a dull moment.
There is plenty of water in play as well as the rainforest so it is a different type of links course.
My favourite holes are the stretch from 10 to 13 with two ripper short 4's at 10 & 13 , a picture perfect par 3 at 11 and the short bunker strewn par 5 12th in between.
The Links has had a number of name changes over the years becoming Sea Temple , and more recently Palmer Sea Reef.
To me it will always be The Links at Port Douglas, and my favourite of Michael Wolveridge's many designs.
Below find Michael's own course summary written in the early days when the course first opened