Golf storm erupts over plans around iconic course loved by Aussie sporting greats

A who's who of Aussie sporting greats have an attachment to the course.

Australia's most unique golf course in a small town frequented by sporting royalty is under threat due to a controversial proposal to put a loop road through it. The Crescent Head Golf Club, situated on the mid-north coast of NSW, features a picturesque six-hole course unlike any other in the country.

It wraps around the rugged Crescent Head coastline and down to one of the best surfing points in Australia, offering golfers one of the most scenic rounds in Australia. It is the only six-hole course granted full Golf Australia accreditation.

Pictured left is Crescent Head Golf Course and NRL legend Andrew Johns on the right.
NRL legend Andrew Johns is among those Aussie sporting greats who've spent time at Crescent Head and have an affinity with the golf course. Pic: Supplied/Getty

A who's who of NRL players and coaches, including Andrew Johns, Craig Bellamy Paul Harragon, Paul Vautin and Noel Cleal, have spent time in Crescent Head and love the town's natural attractions and laidback vibes. Ex-Wallaby and Manly and Roosters first grade league player Matt Burke is a member of the golf club and former world champion surfers Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson are believed to have played the course when visiting.

Now Kempsey Shire Council, which controls the golf course lease, risks shattering the peaceful existence by going to war with the current tenant – Crescent Head Country Club (CHCC) – over a proposal to build a ring road through part of the course. A report being compiled for council will investigate whether traffic movement, parking and pedestrian safety would be improved by the construction of the ring road as part of a "modified" golf course.

These images show the Crescent Head Golf Club on the NSW mid-north coast.
The Crescent Head Golf Club is under threat amid plans to build a ring road that runs through it. Pics: Supplied

Iconic golf course under threat amid plans to build ring road

CHCC, which is seeking a new 21-year lease for the course, was blindsided by the council's proposal and fears the unique six-hole layout will be ruined if the plan goes ahead. "Nobody supports it, nobody wants it – it's just a ridiculous situation," CHCC secretary-manager Colan Ryan told Yahoo Sport Australia.

"The club wants a new lease for the golf course, the community wants us to have a new lease and council has gone against that. I think we've got 860,000km of road in Australia but only one golf course like this.

"It's extremely popular with locals and visitors and any major changes to the layout could see us lose our accreditation, lose visitors and lose local jobs. It could be the death knell for the golf club. It would just resemble a park."


PGA tour member Andrew Campbell is firmly in the club's corner. He said: "I love the layout, atmosphere and challenges of Australia’s only PGA-accredited six-hole golf course.

"Crescent Head golf course provides a social hub, recreation space, community inclusion, sustainable stewardship, physical activity, sport and quality of life. (CHCC) must be entrusted to continue caring for this iconic course."

Five hundred community and golf members voted against the ring road proposal at a passionate public meeting last weekend. A recission motion will go before the council later this month in the hope of having the loop road proposal stopped.