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Bonnie Doon

Bonnie Doon

Pagewood, New South Wales
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Gary Lisbon
Gary Lisbon
Pagewood, New South Wales
  • AddressBanks Ave, Pagewood NSW 2035, Australia
  • Championships hosted

The third oldest club in Sydney, Bonnie Doon began life as Marrickville Golf Club in 1897 when members played on a 12-hole course laid out in the Sydney suburb of Tempe.

Ten years later, the club moved to an 18-hole course at Arncliffe, changing its name in the process of decamping to a new location. Finally, in 1947, the expansion of the Sydney airport caused the club to move to its current sandy site at Pagewood.

GalleryGary Lisbon
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Gary Lisbon

Prosper Ellis originally designed the Pagewood course, which opened in 1949, then Ross Watson carried out an upgrade in 1995 when he built on the strength of the demanding par fours on the scorecard to fashion a formidable test of golf.

In 2011, the new design partners of Mike Clayton and Geoff Ogilvy began work on stage one of a four-phase extensive redesign that involved the removal of exotic trees, the introduction of two new holes, the reworking of the current first to fourth and eighth holes and the construction of a new practice facility.

The design company Ogilvy Clayton Cocking and Mead had this to say about the project: “Our design at Bonnie Doon looks to mimic the work of nature, with a mix of irregular undulations, wispy roughs and rugged bunker lips that appear to have been formed from years of wind and rain. There is an abundance of undulating sandy ground and some marvellous vegetation and both encourage the feeling of playing a very natural golf course.

The ridge between the practice fairway and right edge of the 14th fairway draws inspiration from the intimidating tee shot at Hoylake’s opening hole. The undulating and largely blind 13th green uses the principle of Kingston Heath’s 17th green. The ‘horseshoe’ green at the 14th replicated the 1st green at Riviera and MacKenzie’s original 9th green at Augusta.

Players are afforded an easier shot from the top of the hill on the new 10th hole. The shot is longer but they see more of the green from up there and the lie is more likely to be flatter. The shot into the 18th is easier from the left than the right. The new 8th will be best approached from high on the right side of the split fairway.”


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Course Architect

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Mike Clayton

Playing on Melbourne’s sand belt courses as a young man sparked an early interest in golf course architecture for Mike Clayton so it was a natural progression for him to form his own design practice.

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