Royal Melbourne Golf Club is continually rated as the number 1 golf course in Australia and has been as high as number 5 in the world. The golf club boasts 36 holes comprising of the East and West courses.
East - Architect: Alex Russell
The East Course starts and finishes on the main site alongside its more famous sibling, with these seven ‘home paddock’ holes the highlight. The bunkering is superb while the greens, though smaller than the West’s, are as beautifully constructed and intricately sloped.
Incorporating the most dramatic undulation on the course, the short four, long four, mid four start is brilliant with clear risk/reward options from the tee and birdie to double bogey possibilities. The closing stretch is equally memorable starting with the short par 4 15th and the heavily bunkered 16th, which is the flattest ‘home paddock’ hole of either course but one of the best and most underrated par 3s in Melbourne. The final two holes, famously used as the climax to the world-renowned Composite Course, are also exceptional. The 18th is one of the most awesome finishing holes in golf.
West - Architect: Alister Mackenzie
The West Course forms the majority of holes contained within the main boundaries of the golf course aside from 4 holes (13 to 16) which are played across the road in an adjoining property. The par 5 holes are not long and all are reachable in two for the longer hitters. The difficulty of these holes is not so much in the length of the holes but rather the harsh penalties which exists for a less than perfectly struck shot.
The style of the holes is similar to the East course, and MacKenzie has used the peaks and troughs in the slope of the land to maximum benefit. The course is not hilly by any stretch of the imagination however additional challenges are created on selected uphill approach shots. Both courses at Royal Melbourne consists of the full gamut of golf holes - strategic short par 4 holes measuring less than 300 metres (similar to another MacKenzie masterpiece - Cypress Point), classic par 3 holes with undulating putting surfaces, surrounding bunkers and local wind and reachable par 5 holes which reward precise shotmaking.
East (par 72)
West (par 72)
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Course Photography © Gary Lisbon, www.golfphotos.com.au