Ross Watson – with over a dozen Australian new designs and renovations in a growing portfolio – was the architect who laid out the links-like resort course at Magenta Shores Golf & Country Club, just south of the Wyrrabalong National Park on the New South Wales central coastline.
Located within a narrow spit of land between Lake Tuggerah and the Pacific Ocean, the fairways first saw golfing action in 2006 but Magenta Shores has quickly been recognized as one of the top tracks in the country, reflected in its current high ranking position in the Australian golf course listings.
Holes 1 to 7 were actually built on land that was formerly used as a rubbish dump so a fair amount of sandy soil was shifted during construction to cap that portion of the site, raising the profile of the fairways by over twenty feet.
Featuring a number of enormous, intimidating fairway and greenside bunkers, Magenta Shores is routed in two returning loops of nine. The outward half heads south from the clubhouse, returning at the toughest hole on the card, the monster 479-yard, par four 9th.
The challenge on the back nine continues in unrelenting fashion until the signature 15th hole is reached – a 135-yard par three, played to a tightly bunkered green. The turn for home then begins, culminating in a long par five finishing hole beside the clubhouse.
As Magenta Shores is a private course, visiting golfers must stay at the resort in order to play here.
Perennially rated in Australia’s Top50 courses Magenta Shores is a must play when on the Central Coast of NSW. Magenta Shores is probably Ross Watson’s best design in his portfolio.
The golf course has gone through a transformation over time. When Magenta Shores first opened back in 2006 deep fescue grass surrounded a lot of its bunkers. Many golf balls either were lost or caught in the long grass and the windswept site made golfing very difficult.
Thankfully common sense prevailed and a lot of the fescue grass has been cut-back and/or removed completely making Magenta Shores immensurable more playable.
The F9 has been built on the top of an old tip site and plenty of sand was moved to create the dunes and “links like” feel too many of the holes. The first few holes provide some great ocean views before the 8th through 10th are cramped on a small parcel of land near the housing estate.
The B9 transitions into some very undulating property with the 13th through 15th being my favourite holes on the course adjacent to the National Park. The 16th through 18th are designed on open terrain and are routed in the same direction back towards the clubhouse.
The ownership of the resort has passed through different hands over the years but I can recommend the villa style accommodation for any travelling golfer and their family.