Golf Vacations (Malaysia)
OTHER COURSES OF THE SANDBELT
A classic layout that is an example of how to extract the most out of a relatively small tract of land, Kingston Heath is famed for its magnificent bunkering and astoundingly beautiful putting surfaces, as well as short par threes and fours.
The club and its membership are committed to excellence in all things at Kingston Heath. As a long-time member once told me, ‘they get all the small things right’ regarding course presentation, playing surfaces, practice areas.
In the eyes of many prominent judges, Kingston Heath is their personal favourite sandbelt layout.
Host of the 2018 World Cup of Golf and dozens of other major events over a long history, ‘Metro’ is another with sublime bunkering and green complexes in a layout that winds between tall stands of eucalypts and heathland vegetation.
It is often regarded as the best conditioned course all year round on the Melbourne Sandbelt, although the standard is exceptionally high at every club.
VICTORIA GOLF CLUB
Sitting adjacent to Royal Melbourne, Victoria has hosted many national championships and events over time.
Some of the short holes in particular are absorbing challenges, examples of which are highlighted by the opening hole, a driveable Par 4 ringed with deep bunkers, as well as a number of medium length Par 3s and one of the more exceptional short fours (No.15) in all of golf.
The club has recently renovated their bent grass putting surfaces under the guidance of course architects Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead and by all accounts, are in magnificent order.
An unsung but thoroughly deserving member of the upper echelon of courses, Woodlands is a delightful walk - as the name implies - with any number of outstanding holes.
The short Par 4 third and fourth holes are classic examples of strategic design and no lesser judge that international architect Tom Doak regards the par-5 fifteenth as one of the best par-5s in golf.
Another that has recently undergone course restoration work at the hands of Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead, Commonwealth is good enough to have hosted both the Australian Men’s and Women’s Opens and other state championships.
The course boasts an array of par 3s and 4s that would not be out of place on any of the sandbelt layouts.
The long-time host course to the Australian Masters tournament that has seen the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Greg Norman (a six-time Masters winner) grace its fairways over 30 years of the event.
In the heyday of the tournament, Huntingdale was known for being a test of power and accuracy, given the heavily tree-lined layout however, parogressive course renovations have restored some width to a course that again, boasts many fine examples of sandbelt styled holes, bunkering and slick putting surfaces.
Some of the best Par 3s in Melbourne exist at Yarra Yarra which has recently engaged Tom Doak to undergo a full course renovation to restore elements of its original design and open up playing corridors that had been compromised by tree growth.
Gary Player’s £5,000 winner’s cheque in the 1956 Ampol Tournament at Yarra provided a financial boost to not only kick start his young career but to go home and propose to his wife Vivienne.
All of the Sandbelt clubs are private but accessible to international guests. Advance bookings are essential.