Ellerston Golf Club, sculpted by Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD), has been listed 19th on Golf Digest’s biennial ‘World’s 100 Greatest’ rankings.
Ellerston jumped 12 spots from the previous list to make its first debut in the Top-20. Locked away in the secluded high country of the New South Wales Upper Hunter Valley, Ellerston is an uber-private 18-hole golf course on the estate of the late prominent businessman, Kerry Packer.
GNGCD built the course in 1999 for Packer, who instructed Norman to deliver him Australia’s toughest and most spectacular inland golf course.
“Ellerston was an extremely special project for me as Kerry Packer was my good friend and a passionate golfer. He gave us carte blanche to use any part of his 70,000 acres of land to choose our site, along with a unique design brief: to create the best golf course possible, using as few tees as possible, that penalises poor shots, makes the golfer think and work hard. He got all of that, plus more,” said Greg Norman, Chairman of GNGCD, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“At Ellerston, we were able to create a course that a golfer of my calibre would love to play every day for the rest of his life,” added Norman.
Measuring just over 8,000 yards, Ellerston’s routing is wildly dramatic and unashamedly challenging, presenting an abundance of demanding drives, heroic shots and exciting approaches. Set in a gorgeous valley among a natural Australian setting, Pages Creek meanders throughout, hugging and intersecting the majority of holes while the variety of green settings is nothing short of striking – whether dramatically pushed up against the hazard or set in natural gullies or atop small ridges.
“We are overwhelmed to be listed inside the Top-20 alongside the world-famous courses designed by the greats and are grateful to Golf Digest for the recognition,” said Norman.
Since its inception in 1987, Greg Norman Golf Course Design has been one of Norman’s true passions in both business and life. His experience playing many of the world’s great golf courses over a 25-year career served as a catalyst to develop this interest and turn it into a thriving company. Today, GNGCD’s 105 courses span the globe, covering six continents and 34 countries.
The firm has several new international designs slated for grand openings in 2020 including Rancho San Lucas Golf Club (Mexico) and St Lucia Golf Club at Cap Estates (St Lucia).