The club was founded in 1928 when local golfers identified the potential of the sandhills and lakes at Kingsford, not far from Sydney airport
Eric Apperly and Tom Howard were the architects and the course open to universal acclaim.
One of the conditions set for the club to meet if it was to use the land to build a private golf course was to also provide for a public access golfing facility on adjacent land- this facility is known as Eastlake Links and is a quality course in it's own right
In 1968 the Mascot Freeway construction required a significant redesign of the course.
The changes were overseen by American Robert Von Hagge.
In 2007 Mike Clayton was employed to re imagine the course. Clayton has built a reputation for clearing trees out, and at The Lakes he was able to widen fairways and give more emphasis on the rolling sandy terrain and bunkering
The Lakes has hosted 7 Australian Opens.
Notable winners include: Jack Nicklaus (1964), Greg Norman (1980), Steve Elkington (1992), and Geoff Ogilvy (2010)
Other tournaments held have been The Australian PGA, The Wills Masters, The Johnny Walker Classic, & more
The Lakes has always been a tale of two nines.
The front nine starts with a par 4 right on the lake, but then heads into the trees.
This is where the Clayton redesign comes to the fore
Previously this nine was a tight treelined parkland golfing adventure, but not a memorable set of holes
By taking out trees and opening up the holes, Clayton has brought the course to life and given it a more linksy feel
The sandy wastelands and bunkering are now a feature to genuinely rival the picturesque back nine
The homeward nine can get the heart rate up with many of the holes featuring the water hazards from which the club gets it’s name
There are some unique holes.
No one will forget playing over the water on the short par 5 fourteenth, or the challenges avoiding the lakes on 16 & 17.
It’s a strong test of golf, and a not for the faint hearted!
Notable holes include:
- hole 1, a short par 4 arcing around the edge of the lake
- hole 5, a short dogleg par 4 with the green tucked into the trees
- hole 11, a par 5 around the lake
- hole 14, a short par 5 that requires some decision making and courageous stroke play
- Hole 16, a unique longer par 4 with water seemingly everywhere. It’s a tough hole!
- hole 17, a short par 5 around the lake edge, but with water carries required along the way (see pic top of page)
The Lakes is one of the premier courses in Sydney.
It is both a fine championship course and a stern test of golf for members.
The membership love the course and rightly so!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Sydney to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: Australia
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