King Island and Cape Wickham could be about as remote a golfing destination as you could hope to seek out. But let me a assure you, its a journey worth every minute.
I come away from Cape Wickham thinking that it might be the most dramatic course I have played, and one of the best.
Generous would be the word I would use to describe the fairways, it's a windy site so you need room to move - smart design.
Varied would be a good word for the routing, with holes hitting what seem like all points of the compass. Designers Mike DeVries & Darius Oliver have composed a masterpiece.
Hole 1: One of the more intimidating tee shots you will face in your lifetime, like Pebble Beach or St Andrews, except you literally tee off the practice putting green! See below, tee is just to left. The hole is actually far wider than it seems, and shorter, its a gentle opener if you can banish thoughts of the Bass Strait from your mind.
Hole 2: Keep left here form the tee, the center bunker is a directional one, keep left of it. The second shot hits out to the sea, its hard to judge as the only backdrop is the horizon.
Hole 3: The first of a stunning set of short holes, this is a long shot over a sandy valley, the green is large and lays across the player.
Hole 4: A drive over a brow makes you uncertain, the green runs away, thus a front pin is very difficult, keep right off the tee for a look at the green.
Hole 5: A valley between two dunes is your path to the green, which is raised and difficult to hit.
Hole 6: A reachable 5 shot hole, which bends left and right, the green is flanked by huge grassed dunes and deep bunkers, attacking is for the brave.
Hole 7: A huge bank to the left of the green, and an equally deep fall away to the right dominate this hole, its only a short iron but with accuracy and distance control you can get close.
Hole 8: A drive between two large dunes to an unseen landing area is not as bad as it seems from the tee, as the fairway funnels into the centre. The approach is sharply uphill but not long.
Hole 9: A stunner of a par 5, a downhill drive down the left gives you a glimpse of the green, it may be possible to reach in 2 shots but you would need the power of Rory and the nerves of Thomson. Even the 3rd shot is hair raising (below).
Hole 10: Is a one of a kind, a steep downhill tee shot runs out to a driveable green, trouble awaits with a back pin and a back drop to die for.
Hole 11: An impossibly pretty 3, just a short drop shot, but its hard to keep your mind on the task with scenery like this (below).
Hole 12: A short 4 that defines risk & reward, like 2 holes previous you need the courage of your convictions here.
Hole 13: This long par 5 is roomy off the tee, but beware of the green, its steep and drops away on all sides, miss right and pay the price.
Hole 14. A wide curving fairway is guarded by 3 directional bunkers, the big feature here is a punchbowl green, this hole is great fun.
Hole 15: A reachable Par 5, the approach is landing on a steep downhill/right to left slope, some creativity is required here - not just power.
Hole 16: Where to begin, this roller-coaster of a par 4 starts with an uphill drive, with water guarding the right, then its a long downhill shot to a green which seems to rise up out of the ocean WOW.
Hole 17: The last and most difficult par 3, this holes sits at around 200m (220y), for the author its a 4 iron across an inlet, the green sits left to right, bunkers guard the green, but there is room to play short (smart) or even use the contours to run the ball into the opening.
Hole 18: An epic finishing hole on a grand scale, could be the best last hole I have played, think Pebble Beach 18 and that's the sort of dramatic finale this hole provides.
Conclusion: In my top 5 anywhere/anytime.