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Royal Melbourne Golf Club - West Course

Cheltenham, Australia
5.0
Fabulous
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Details

Holes

18

Par

71

Built

1931

Type

n/a

Architect

Alex Russell, Mick Morcom

In the 1930s Alex Russell, often called the grandfather of Sandbelt golf, worked with greenskeeper Mick Morcom to lay out the East Course. Russell had in the 1920s collaborated with Alister MacKenzie on the Royal Melbourne's original West Course, work that helped to establish the bunkering style that is so characteristic of the region. Then, in 1959, when the club was slated to host the Canada (now World) Cup, twelve holes from the West Course were combined with six from the East to form the so-called "Composite Course," which remains in use to this day for the large events that the club continues to attract, from several Australian Opens and Johnnie Walker Classics to the 1998 Presidents Cup in which US players competed with the Internationals. Not surprisingly, the Composite Course often tops many lists of the world's best courses, and it ranks in pretty much everyone's top ten. There may be no finer eighteen holes of golf in the world than the West at Royal Melbourne. In 1926 Alister MacKenzie, at the special invitation of the citizens of Melbourne, was invited to work his magic on a perfect site. In the words of American Gene Sarazen, "It burns me up that with the billions spent on course construction in the past 50 years, all the architects together haven't been able to build another Royal Melbourne." The course's ample fairways mean that the casual player is sure to have plenty of fun, and accomplished golfers are able to go after the flag from more remote and difficult quarters. The magnificent sand bunkers are situated so as to keep players of every level thinking. For the big venues, it is the West's twelve holes that comprise the composite course for tournament play. This course is a truly unforgettable experience.

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Reviews

5.0
based on 4 reviews
Fabulous
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Thursday
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Golfclub Schlossberg e.V.
0 Hcp 2 courses played
Fabulous

The best and the fastest greens that I have ever played on. You can take your trolleys onto the greens as they have special wider tires which is very memorable. That was a bit of a shock as it’s an absolute no go in Europe and it took some getting used to! The layout is excellent and the course has a links-style character. All is all a great golfing experience and that coupled with the fact that the area around Melbourne has so many great sights and golf courses, I loved it here. Highly recommended!

25 October
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Bearwood Lakes Golf Club
12 Hcp 52 courses played
Fabulous

The West Course at Royal Melbourne was a course we wanted to play very much, given it’s rating as Australia’s number one golf course for so long.   It was so wide off the tee that I didn’t really “get it” until we talked about the course & our experience after the round. Talking it through, analysing each of the holes, we then began to understand and appreciate the fuss made about Royal Melbourne. The famous Alistair McKenzie course, in my view appears to be designed from the fairway forwards, ‘a second shot course’, with each green cleverly and well protected, but it is the undulating and firm greens that then make RM so tough. Originally in our private trip blog I wrote that I personally don’t think a course should mainly be about putting (despite it being the best part of my game), but with further hindsight I appreciate that this isn’t the case at RM, it’s a sublimely strategic test of golf where you need to be in the right place off the tee to have any chance of hitting an approach shot to the right place on the green. If you can do this then the greens will be playable, if you can’t then all sorts of fun and games, and terror await with the flat stick. At the time we played I don’t think our ridiculously high expectations were met, and we said that we preferred the Barnbougle courses in Tasmania,but the more I reflect on RM the more desperate I am to take its subtle and beguiling golfing test again. Also I’d say, not just a famous course but a very friendly and welcoming club. A brilliant experience.

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