2022 12 news awardThe Portarlington Golf Club has received “incredible” national recognition of its ongoing improvements.

Golf Australia Magazine this week published its biennial rankings of the nation’s top 100 public-access courses, with Portarlington making its debut at No.63.

Portarlington chief executive Michael Phillips said to receive such positive news was a great fillip for the hard work everyone at the club had contributed.

“It’s an incredible result – a massive reward for all involved, but particularly as recognition for superintendent Steve Burchett and his team,” Phillips said.

“You occasionally see clubs make high-ranking debuts on lists such as these, but almost always those rewards are given to new clubs and not to long-standing ones.

“So to make our debut at No.63 is phenomenal, really.

“I think members and their guests have known of the sensational condition in which our course is routinely turned out, but we’re starting to get that wider recognition now, too.

“Steve and his grounds crew have been first class, especially in overcoming the challenges we’ve all experienced in the past couple of years.

“And we should also acknowledge the works of the course enhancement committee, plus Matt Milne and his staff in our pro shop who have all played their part in us achieving this recognition.”

Golf Australia Magazine editor and rankings panel boss Brendan James was effusive in his praise of the course’s condition.

“Once you have picked your jaw off the floor over the quality of the fairways and greens, take a closer look at the design as there are some seriously good holes here,” James wrote.

It was great news all round for Golf The Bellarine, with four of Port’s neighbouring courses in the top 25.

Newly elected Golf The Bellarine president Mark Hayes said to have five local courses – Barwon Heads was ineligible as a private club – was a huge result for the fledgling group that’s aiming to bolster tourism in the region.

“There is no greater advertisement than independent rankings like these and to have our group of courses not only recognised, but for all to be trending even higher is phenomenal,” Hayes said.

“It’s a great result for our new group and will hopefully make our pitch to make the Bellarine a must-visit destination for golf trips an even more attractive proposition.”

Thirteenth Beach’s Creek Course rose three places to 23, Curlewis was up four to No.21 and remarkably, two Bellarine courses are now in the top 10.

The newly developed Lonsdale Links made its debut at No.8, while Thirteenth Beach’s Beach Course moved up a spot to No.6.

The top three might prove hard to crack, all remaining unchanged with a Tasmanian stranglehold on the podium with Cape Wickham No.1, Barnbougle Dunes No.2 and Barnbougle Lost Farm No.3.