All right, let’s admit that it is quite unfair to say that in the Nullarbor plain there is nothing at all. You have to admit, though, that the sight is impressive in its barrenness: miles and miles of sandy soil, broken only by small shrubs and yellow grass. No trees, wildlife that can kill you with a bite.
Hell on earth?
Beyond the fact that the Australian desert retains a wild beauty of its own, the Nullarbor Plain offers one of the strangest golf courses in the world. Here stands the Nullarbor Links Golf Course, the longest golf course ever built.
A field as long as the coast of Australia
The Nullarbor Links Golf Course is the longest golf course in the world and measures 1365 km, going from the town of Kalgoorlie to the town of Ceduna. Or vice versa, depending on the direction you take to travel it. In this case, it is indifferent for the purpose of the game.
The route follows the Eyre Highway, which is the road that follows the Australian coast joining the western part of the island to the southern part. Traveling along this very long road would be an adventure in itself, as it passes through areas of the desert where there is no trace of man except for the asphalt you are treading.
In the early 2000s, the Eyre Highway Operators Association decided to add golf to the equation.
The 18 holes of the golf course are seeded among the major cities crossed by the road. Each hole is a different city, with its own beauty to admire and flavors to taste. In this golf addicts around the world can:
Experience a great adventure on the road;
Experience the thrill of playing on an exceptional golf course;
Discover the wonders of Australia;
turn around the economy of the country’s lesser-known cities.
The experience is so incredible that it even attracts people who have never played golf in their lives.
7 golf courses in one
Carrying out such a project requires time and resources as well as space. It took more than three years just to find the funds and realize the complete field, not counting the preliminary design phase. To make it concrete, the Eyre Highway Operators Association involved four other government entities, tourism boards, and golf club owners. Of course, because the Nullarbor Links Golf Course was not born from scratch.
To make this possible, designers incorporated 7 pre-existing holes into the course. To these they added the other 11 potholes in the cities that line the road, interspersing them with staging areas.
The new holes were made in a way that combines the hand of man and nature. Between holes is just the Australian desert. Instead, the tees and greens are enhanced with artificial grass, when less in some strategic places. The designers did not distort the environment as in the case of Shadow Creek, but they still made an effort to make the environment a minimum more hospitable.
Although human intervention is present, wilderness remains a key ingredient within the camp. To safeguard the Australian wilderness as much as possible, driving outside the odd marked. Indeed, outside the greens it is easy to see some of the local inhabitants, such as kangaroos. Cars or, even worse, off-road vehicles might scare them.
Do you have a week to make a round?
Except in special cases, it takes about 4-5 hours to play an 18-hole round. If you want to play all the holes at Nullarbor Links, keep it free for at least 5 days. More, if you want to enjoy Australia’s wonders unhurriedly and get lost in the land where there is nothing. If not the longest golf course in the world.