Bondi Golf and Diggers Club
Located in Sydney, it seems unthinkable to call Bondi Golf and Diggers Club a hidden gem. After all, how could a golf course that is located just a pitching wedge from one of the most famous beaches in the world be hidden? It didn’t seem possible to us, but we were surprised to find out how many of the Aussie golfers that we met have never heard of the golf course.
Bondi Golf and Diggers Club, or BGDG, is a nine-hole par 28 golf course. It plays 1470-yards from the Blue tees and 1459-yards from the Red tees. With views of Bondi Beach below, as well as unobstructed views of the Tasman Sea, Bondi Golf Club is home to 8 par threes and a single par four.
If you are curious to the Diggers Club part of the name, the local RSL joined with the golf club years ago in order to save expenses. The Returned and Services League of Australia is an organization that advocates for “the best possible conditions for our serving men and women and for those who have served the Nation in the past”.
Being in Bondi, the golf course has a laid-back surf town feel to it, and we felt slightly overdressed in golf shirts and golf shoes! But it was a hot day and we were keen to play. We slip slap slopped on the sunscreen, filled our buckets with sand, and made our way to the first tee.
Let’s Go Play Golf!
The opening hole at Bondi is a 159-yard par 3 that plays uphill to a small green that is guarded by a bunker short. Menekse pushed her first shot of the day right, and we anxiously watched it roll down the hill to the second tee. It was summer, and the grass was “drier than a dead dingo’s donger”! Hoping not to do the same, I pulled my 8 iron into that lone bunker short. With a decent escape, I blasted out short of the pin on my way to the first of many bogies of the day.
Standing on the tee of the 164-yard fourth hole, we could have sworn that Menekse had her first-ever hole in one! With our eyes glued on the ball, we watched it fall onto the saucer-shaped green, and seemingly disappear into the cup! Running up to the green, we gasped with anticipation when we didn’t see her ball on the green. We rushed up and looked into the hole and couldn’t believe our eyes! Shockingly, it wasn’t there ☹ Quite disappointed we looked behind the green and found it in a gulley long of the green. Looking back at the tee though, her line was absolutely perfect!
One of the Greatest Golf Holes in the World!
The 306-yard fifth is the only par 4 on the golf course and presents a very distinct target. With the Tasman Sea raging far below the cliffs that line the entire right side of the hole, there is a tall lonesome water supply tower standing about two thirds down the fairway. Being the obvious target, it is clear the only way to stay dry is to remain left of the tower. With the sound of the waves below, I took direct aim at the tower. Immediately upon impact, I could feel my tee shot was blocked out to the right. But with luck that was unintentional, it started right of the tower and slowly began to draw back. We could see it land but weren’t sure if it was safe or if it was out to sea somewhere.
After hitting a provisional safely left of the tower, I thankfully found my first ball a mere 2 metres inland from the cliff and the ocean below. I picked a wedge cleanly then rolled a 20-footer in for my only birdie of the day! So much fun to play, the fifth has been added to our list of greatest golf holes in the world!
With only the pin visible from the tee, there are absolutely no distractions on the uphill 140-yard eighth hole. Not until you get to the green that is! Looking down from the green, there is an incredible view of the entire length of Bondi Beach.
The best target on the 147-yard ninth is slightly right of the Harbour Bridge. There is a pair of impressively deep bunkers short of the green, one of which Menekse unfortunately found. But with a great bunker shot, she was able to make it out with ease.
A Not So Hidden, Hidden Gem
After our round, we made our way into the Pro Shop where we were greeted by Ty, who was a really cool guy. Outfitting us in a more appropriate Bondi look, logoed t-shirts and trucker hats, he told us that he grew up in the area. He said that as a kid he used to jump the fence and play the golf holes in random order. Starting from the first tee, he would play to the sixth green. Then maybe play from the seventh tee to the fourth green. Basically, he played anywhere he felt like. He also mentioned that kids still do the same now!
With most of the country suffering from bushfires, it was no surprise that the course was in extremely dry conditions. Those dry conditions also meant that the ball ran forever! The course has tiny greens, many of which are surrounded by bunkers. The bunkers were filled with beach sand that made a deep thud sound but played surprisingly better than we expected!
The ocean, the city skyline, and even the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance, Bondi Golf has some of the most incredible views that we have ever seen. Just steps away from Bondi Beach, it really is inconceivable to classify of Bondi Golf Club as hidden. But a gem it truly is! It was one of the most fun rounds of golf that we have had and has to be one of the greatest golf courses that you have never heard of!