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Golf Course Reviews - Australia

The National Golf Club (Moonah Course)

Name: The National Golf Club (Moonah Course)
Location: Cape Schanck, VIC, Australia
Par: 72
Length: 6576m
Holes: 18

The National Golf Club (Moonah Course)

The National Golf Club is a 54 hole private members' golf club, providing three distinct golfing challenges (Old Course, Moonah Course and Ocean Course). The three courses have been designed by 3 of the world's leading golf architects - Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Jr and Peter Thomson. As such the 3 courses, although located very closely to one another, offer the golfer a range of golfing experiences.

The Moonah Course was open for play in October 2000 and is a design by Greg Norman. It has a well deserved Australian course ranking of 8 and is set amongst rolling paddocks formerly part of the Gundabah pastoral property. Norman has done a great job with the Moonah course and the combination of the 4 challenging par 3 holes, 14 par 4's ranging in length from 280 metres to over 420 metres and the four par 5 holes which meander through high valleys offer an enjoyable, if not challenging golf experience.

The Moonah Course is perfectly manicured and boasts some of the best fairways in Australia. The greens are also very true (and quick if you are putting from above the hole). The style of bunkering is what really defines the course. The bunkers are generally unkempt with long, wispy grass framing the edges. They provide a style which is very suited to the general terrain that the Moonah Course is located in.

Plenty of good birdie opportunities exist in the first 13 holes however the finishing 5 holes can easily ruin an otherwise good score. Starting from the 14th hole (a long par 4 of over 420 metres) followed by the 15th (deceptively tricky par 5) and the monster 16th (again over 420 metres playing downhill and then uphill) the course has a slight breather with the 190 metre par 3 17th! but then provides a very tough finishing hole (par 4 of around 400 metres) where par is a good score.

But do not let the last 5 holes scare you too much. The course is scenic in its own way (no ocean views as it is laid out in the paddocks lower than the Old course) and is very cleverly laid out taking full advantage of the rolling "Cups" country that is perfect for golf courses and unique to this part of Australia.

What a playground this part of the world is for golf. I've been lucky enough to play the Moonah course twice, and it's as good as any links course in Australia. It's as good as Moonah Links, as good as New South Wales, probably better than Hope Island, and rates well against Royal Birkdale and other links types in the UK.

The National Golf Club (Moonah Course)
It's aesthetically invigorating, the quality of the tees, fairways and greens are superb, and the layout is just superb.

The 16th would be close to thte toughest par 4 I've ever played. 400m off the blue tees (440 from the blacks...), from an elevated tee you must cross the valley to the next hill if you want any chance at all of reaching the green. If a southerly is blowing this 200m carry needs a monster drive, which if off line ends in typical links bunkers and leaves you with little option but to lay up. The second again needs to carry a valley to a two-tiered green set against a steep hill, with bunkers in front. The bale out area is back and right, but unless you have a northerly wind there's little chance of using those options.

A great challenge and one you'll relish if you're playing well.

There are many great holes and I recommend you grab a chance to play this magnificent course.

Visit The National Golf Club's website: The National Golf Club

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