The primary purpose of my visit to Cooktown last weekend was to play a round at the Cooktown Golf Links - Walker Bay Course. While the name gives the impression that it may be one of a number of courses, but this is the only course in Cooktown. Walker Bay is on the south side of Mt Cook, on the road to the small Quarantine Bay community.
Walker Bay is a short nine hole course, with the white tees giving a 4,297 metre par 65 course. With no par fives on the course, and the longest par four at 367 metres, it's a bit lacking in length. Longer hitters will be able to drive some of the par fours, though missing the fairway can be costly. The layout is perhaps ideal for holiday makers and retirees who have lost some of their length.
I played on a Monday, and found that the clubhouse was unattended. Green fees were paid through an honesty box, and I paid $20 for nine holes plus $5 for a buggy. Hire clubs were also available, though I didn't check them out. A fridge with another honesty box housed soft drinks and water.
Hole-by-hole descriptions and photos are below the fold.
The course is cut out of the dunes behind the beach - this is what a links course looks like in the tropics. The holes undulate over and around some quite large dunes, and sandy wastes come into play in quite a few areas. Bunkers are fairly few, which is surprising as I would have thought them fairly easy to make in such terrain.
|A mishit tee shot left a nine-iron approach, which I sent onto the grassy bank behind the green|
|2nd hole from the tee|
|The third green looking back to Mt Cook|
|The 4th green|
|The fifth green|
|The sixth tee is 206 metres away behind the trees on the left. This is a par three.|
|The elevated seventh green|
|The 8th's tee|
|The 8th from the rise you have to hit over with your tee shot. A good drive should get you on the up-slope to the green|
|Looking back to the tee from the ninth green|