Situated just an hour outside of Melbourne the golf here is simply awesome. There is a tremendous variety of golf courses available including links and resort style courses, all are in excellent condition year round and extremely affordable.
In fact the Mornington Peninsula has become Australia's home of golf, with a spate of new golf courses built including Moonah Links which not only houses the Australian Golf Union headquarters and Australian Golf Museum, but also the newly completed Open Course which has already hosted two Australian Opens with more planned for the future. The aim of teh Moonah Links project is to create for Australian golf an official headquarters, similar to the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews.
These are not the only new golf courses on the Peninsula. The National Golf Club at Cape Schanck started the ball rolling, back in 1997, when it acquired extra land adjacent to the existing National course and commissioned Greg Norman and Peter Thomson to design and build two spectacular links style courses. Both courses were opened in 2000 and won rave reviews almost immediately.
The National is the only golf club in Australia that offers its members 54 holes on which to play, and the stunning variety of golf available makes the membership one of the most envied throughout the country.
There are also other golf course developments on the Mornington Peninsula including St Andrews Beach which features thirty six holes designed by Tom Doak near the Rye Back Beach. The first course, Gunnamatta, is open and now available as part of ausgolf's travel packages.
Also back in 1997, Duncan Andrews opened The Dunes Golf Links which won almost immediate acclaim and has become Australia's best public golf course and is already ranked amongst Australia's Top 25 courses. In many ways his great vision for the Peninsula to become a great golfing destination, has helped see the area flourish to a point where it can now be compared favourably to any golf region in the world.
The DUNES GOLF LINKS
The Dunes - pic by David Scaletti
The Dunes in Rye is a piece of pure Scottish/Irish linksland – created by God, and merely requiring man to mow a little grass. True, the fairways have been sown in the latest fashionable strain of couch – Santa Ana – and the greens are bent grass, the whole lot fully irrigated, but the rough is natural, and more importantly, so is most of the topography. The Dunes has one solitary tree upon it, so man must battle with wind and the other elements in the true traditions of the game.
The course winds through rolling valleys, hollows, hillocks and swales, and although there are just a few gentle hills, most greens and tees are in elevated positions so that a stout constitution is desirable.
There’s not a weak hole on the course, but a couple define what it’s all about. The 354m par four 14th, if played from the true tee position, confronts the golfer with a tee shot played through a narrow chute beneath two monstrous dunes to a distant dogleg beyond. Judging distances is always part of the challenge on a treeless links course, so play the course a couple of times to truly appreciate it.
The 17th is a longish par three, described as "an exquisite golf hole" by none other than 5 times British Open champion Tom Watson, who should know a thing or two about Links golf.
The NATIONAL Golf Club
The National was originally home to one of Australia's most dramatic golf courses and now there are three great courses for the exclusive membership to choose from. Robert Trent Jones Jnr, designed the original National golf course which opened back in 1988 and is currently ranked within Australia's Top 20.
The good judges will tell you that the two new courses designed by Greg Norman and Thomson, Wolveridge, Perrett are even better. The new land is a completely different landscape with a pure links feel to it, and has been described by both Greg Norman and Peter Thomson as the best golf land they have ever seen. Mike Wolveridge even went so far as to proclaim the Ocean course at The National as the best course they have ever designed.
Both The Norman designed Moonah course, and the Ocean course opened for play in 2000.
The National Old Course - pic by David Scaletti
PENINSULA Country Golf Club Inc
Peninsula is situated at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula and is home to two of Australia's most decorated golf courses.
The South course is the more famous of the two, generally rated in the Top 30 in Australia, while the North course offers great variety being slightly shorter and tighter than the South course.
The club has excellent facilities including a luxurious clubhouse with on course accommodation, conference and corporate facilities, swimming pool, tennis courts and bowling greens. The club also welcomes house guests, who have full access to all of the clubs excellent facilities.
PORTSEA Golf Club
Portsea is one of the older courses on the Peninsula experiencing somewhat of a rebirth in recent times with the explosion of golf on the Peninsula. The course is now ranked 28 in Australia and was rated Victoria's 2nd best public access course.
The rolling hills provide spectacular views across the bay and also give you a good aerobic work out along the way.
The superb couch fairways will never leave you with a bad lie, while the greens are fast and true - as good as any on the famed sandbelt courses.
One of the country's best and most famous Pro Ams is held there on the second of January each year. Visitors will be welcome to play the famous course at most times, but always check before playing.
Click here for more information on the Portsea Golf Club
MORNINGTON Country Golf Club Inc
Mornington Country Golf Club is in the heart of Victoria's famed Mornington Peninsula. Whilst not as well known as some of its neighbours when standing on most tees, the view across the bay to the city is breathtaking.
The fairways are lush Santa Anna Couch grass, offering near perfect lines, while greens are fast with subtle breaks, so get your line right.
Whether you're enjoying the ultra-modern club house or shopping in the trendy streets of Mornington, sampling superb Peninsula wines, relaxing on the beach or putting for par, this place has it all!
ROSEBUD Country Club
ROSEBUD Country Club - Rosebud Country Club is a charming 36 hole golf club, with plenty of native flora throughout both courses. There is a creek that runs through both courses, which are well treed and play more like traditional sand-belt courses than the links style so popular on the Peninsula. Rosebud CC is well worth a visit when playing on the Peninsula.
EAGLE RIDGE Golf Course
Eagle Ridge Golf Course has recently upgraded their facilities with a stunning $6 million clubhouse completed in 1999 and continued course improvements increasing what was already a fine golf experience. The course is very undulating and features 3 lakes, plenty of bunkers, excellent bent grass greens and reticulated fairways. The course itself is a sand-belt links style with several holes tree lined, whilst other played out in the open, more links style. Eagle Ridge is an excellent wet weather course.
CAPE SCHANCK Golf Course
Cape Schanck Golf Course is situated right next door to the existing National golf course and enjoys much of the breathtaking surroundings of its more famous neighbour. The course is a resort style, public access course that is immaculately presented and one of Victoria's most popular public courses. It was recently rated the 10th best public access course in Victoria.
Cape Schanck offers so much more than great golf including Luxury on course accommodation in the resorts villas that provide amazing ocean and bay views. The resort also houses a state of the art conference facility and convention centre.
SORRENTO Golf Club
Sorrento Golf Club was recently rated the 5th best public access course in Victoria and is one of the Mornington Peninsula's established golf clubs that is experiencing greater popularity with the increase exposure of the region. The course is well groomed and undulating with all year playability set on a sand and limestone base. The generous fairways and roughs are surrounded by heavily wooded plantations, and the course features quick greens and excellent bunkering. Sorrento is certainly one Peninsula course not to be missed.
FLINDERS Golf Club
Flinders Golf Club is one of the most scenic in all of Australia, with several holes running towards or alongside the ocean and featuring superb views of Bass Strait. The short Par 4 fourth hole, known as the Coffin, is one of the most famous on the Peninsula. The hole runs along a cliff top, with breathtaking views of the ocean to your left and deep gullies and gorges guarding the small green. The course was recently rated the 11th best public access course in Victoria.
If these local courses are insufficient to satisfy all golfing cravings on an extended holiday, there’s even the opportunity to cross the bay via car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff, and indulge in the great Bellarine Peninsula courses!
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