The National Golf club, which is situated on the Mornington Peninsula, features three courses, and of these, the Moonah is the top. Greg Norman, a Melbourne favorite even though he hails from Queensland, laid out the course in 2001. The Moonah is perhaps tougher than the National's other course, the Ocean, which was designed by Norman's fellow Open champion Peter Thomson. The shifting wind dictates how players will approach the course, which after a straightforward 1st hole presents some real challenges. Thus the signature 2nd, a par 5, can easily be reached in in two strokes when the wind is favorable, but will require three when the wind is against you just to make par, while the green itself brings to mind St Andrews' Red Hole bunker. Since a number of other courses in addition to the National's have recently been constructed, the area is well worth an extended visit.
The tip of Mornington Peninsula has long had its share of courses, but the wide open space in the middle of the peninsula has only come into use in the past few decades. As expected, Peter Thomson, darling of Melbourne golf, has played a role in a number of the new courses, including the Ocean. At more than 6500 meters, it is clear that this course was designed to attract tournaments. Thomson was however sensitive to the enormous difference between tournament champs and even good amateurs, so the course can also be played at around 6000 meters from the men's back tees. The nearby ocean makes for some breezy play, but a good links is designed with these conditions in mind, so even when the wind blows there is still good golf to be played. The National now boasts three courses, and the contemporary clubhouse has the capacity to handle the traffic.