The Illawarra is poised to have a championship course capable of hosting "prestigious tournaments" once the Huntley layout is finished, golf great and designer Greg Norman said yesterday.
Wollongong Golf Club hosted the NSW PGA for three years, before Southern Highlands venue Mt Broughton took over in 2012 after issues over funding.
The Huntley course is in the early stages of development, with some design work currently being carried out on the first two holes of the old mine site.
Former world No 1 Norman made a visit to inspect the course yesterday, including a discussion on how to make the first two holes easier, after the early earthwork was considered too difficult for even seasoned campaigners.
Norman said once completed, the course would be a showpiece for golf on the South Coast.
"Absolutely," he said.
"It's totally up to the developer [about attracting top Australian tournaments] but we build it with that in mind.
"If someone wanted to put a golf tournament on here, you make sure it's done properly the first time and that's the responsibility of the architect and the builder here.
"The vision is there and it's going to have the capability of hosting a prestigious event, but it's not up to me to make those decisions."
Wollongong Golf Club previously hosted the $100,000 NSW PGA tournament, with fellow Australian legend Craig Parry recruited to host a star-studded cast which included US Tour professionals Andre Stolz and Steven Bowditch, in the lead-up to the national major events.
Norman has recently been involved in design work at a course in Adelaide, as the industry begins to claw its way back amid the difficult economic climate.
There is currently no completion date set for the Wollongong course, but is likely to be in 2015.
The two-time British Open winner said the Huntley course was a special project to be involved in, given its location nestled in the escarpment south of Dapto.
"It's unique in a lot of ways," he said. "It's a very diverse site as you play the front nine in the hills and the elevation changes and then you move down in the lower areas and the flat pasture areas.
"You've got some good creeks through here and you want to capture it with our design and we've done that. You get some really crappy sites to tell you the truth around the world and you're lucky when you get hold of a piece of land like this."