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Golf Course Reviews - Australia


Royal Melbourne Golf Club (East Course)

Name: Royal Melbourne Golf Club (East Course)
Location: Black Rock, VIC, Australia
Par: 72
Length: 6030m
Holes: 18

Royal Melbourne Golf Club east Course

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.

The 18 hole composite course comprises 6 holes from the East Course and 12 holes from the West Course all contained within the one boundary. The East Course crosses the road on 2 separate occasions and the "paddocks" across the road from the main part of the course are generally less hilly.

The style of holes are similar-the gaping bunkers, lightning fast greens, combination of short and long par 4 holes however the tree species features a number of eucalyptus trees which give the course a sort of country flavour in addition to the more populous tea tree which flanks most fairways.


There are a number of key features of Royal Melbourne - tea tree scrub lining the fairways and catching any errant shots, cavernous bunkers surrounding most greens and also placed strategically on most fairways to catch a slightly wayward drive and lightning fast greens that give up their fair share of 3 putts.

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.

1st hole is ranked at the easiest hole on the course and a good chance at birdie...the trick is that you stand on the tee and your brain instantly turns to mush. You can see the flag, you can see some monster bunkers between you and the flag and not much else. If you buy the guide, it shows that you should drive left of the bunkers...but it looks so wrong, but that's where I hit it putting my faith in the printed matter. My 3 playing partners ended up way right (on a different fairway). My shot ended up nicely positioned on a right-to-left sloping fairway with a simple 9 iron to the pin. 2 putts later I was in for par and a great start to my morning.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club east Course
Needless to say, the rest of the round plays out in a very similar fashion. There are plenty of lures and traps to catch the unwary and putting blind faith in the course map really does pay off.

One thing can definitely be said of Royal Melbourne...Stay out of the rough. I'm sure missing persons would clear up a few cases if they only concentrated on the rough here! One hole where I flirted with danger was trying to chop the corner off at 11. The rough here is quite clear and you may get a good lie in there, but drive long on the fairway and the rough will get you if you go long.

Finally, marching up the 18th. The fairway is super wide and you can really smash the ball for all it's worth without too much worry as to where it ends up - it's all good. If you find yourself a little further away than you like from the hole, take a shorter iron and lay up between the bunkers leading up to the green for a short, accurate pitch to the flag and an easy putt in. Looking forward to playing the West Course! You really do feel priveleged playing here.


Visit the Royal Melbourne Golf Club's website: Royal Melbourne Golf Club

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