Minutes from suburbia but a world away from modern life, Long Reef achieves the near impossible...While you see the houses from the fairways, in reality you couldn't feel further removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Subtlety is the name of the game at Long Reef. Rare is the long water carry, more likely a babbling brook waiting patiently to catch the errant ball. And with fairways as expansive as the views, the course punishes the wayward golfer not so much with penal lies but awkard angles.
Working its way gently up and down the headland, the course offers plenty of elevation change without ever feeling like a slog. In fact given the surrounding vista, you barely even notice the walk.
From a purely golf perspective, the holes at Long Reef offer plenty of challenge for every level of player. There is room for the less skilled to play but the more adept golfer hoping to post a score will need to exercise the brain as well as the body.
Water doesn't feature a lot at Long Reef but when it does it's REALLY in play. The approach to the difficult par-4 5th has little room to bail out - either from the tee or on the approach.
The finishing touches are often overlooked at a golf course but as the beautiful rock work shows at Long Reef, it adds a subtle something.
For centuries the world's best courses have been those that abutt the sea and in Sydney, Long Reef is one of a handful of layouts that ticks this box.
Like the great seaside courses of the UK, the golf at Long Reef fits in with the tumbling nature of the landscape rather than trying to fight it. The downhill 16th is a perfect example, it's putting surface simply the natural ending to the journey down the slope.
The lack of trees means from most parts of the course you can see all other parts, a view at least equal to the ocean vistas for the pure golf fan.
Because of its exposed nature light plays a big role in creating the atmosphere at Long Reef. As the shadows lengthen and shorten with the path of the passing sun, the course shows off a range of different moods…
Spectacular doesn't really do justice in describing the setting at Long Reef, the ever present ocean and beach can be both seen and heard from almost all points of the course….and clubhouse.
Given its location it's no surprise to find Long Reef a haven not only for golfers but other creatures as well. From local bird life to nearby residents whose dogs love nothing more than a run around, and sometimes across, the open hillside in the early morning sun, Long Reef is very much a part of its surrounding community.
Not only grounds for golf, Long Reef is doing its bit to help threatened local plant life. Contrary to popular opinion, golf courses can have a very positive impact on the environment when managed.