The West course at Royal Melbourne is clearly the best
in Australia. MacKenzie’s design features great
strategic width from the tee, severely fast greens and
some of the world’s most beautifully bunkered greens.
With an ingenious routing that makes wonderful use of
its limited property, MacKenzie contributed the entire
bunkering scheme which was carried out by the brilliant
but unheralded Royal Melbourne greenskeeper, Mick Morcom.
Mackenzie called him the best he had ever worked with.
New South Wales:
The most spectacular course in the country. Built on the
cliffs high above Botany Bay, it winds up and over huge
dunes and features many blind shots—the finest holes
are truly exhilarating to play.
Another course altered significantly by Alister MacKenzie.
Its best holes play around a high dune in the middle of
the course. It is probably the only club with a functioning
railway line that not only crisscrosses the course but
runs within 20 meters of the clubhouse and the 1st and
Full of holes that are great fun, Portsea plays over a
spectacular dunescape with great strategic interest.
Across the street from Royal Melbourne, MacKenzie devised
a dramatic bunkering plan. It has been altered significantly
over the years—to its detriment. Fortunately, in
the mid 1990s the club embarked on a restoration project
that reclaimed much of what was lost.
One of the hidden gems of Australian golf, it rolls across
tumbling land and plays through some beautiful indigenous
bush that gives it a unique feel.
Though never visited by MacKenzie, the course features
all the principles he executed so brilliantly with Morcom
on its nearby neighbors. It may be a relatively short
layout, but the tiny greens are surrounded by fearsome
The National (Moonah):
A big, long, serious course. Located on the Mornington
Peninsula, the land—which proved perfectly suited
for golf—was not really discovered until an old
pro, Colin Campbell, built a good, but low budget, course
nearby in the mid 1970s.
Not scheduled to open until November 2004, Barnbougle
Dunes is Tasmania’s answer to Bandon, Oregon. Built
on some awesome beachfront dune land, it features holes
destined to become among the best in the country. To have
achieved anything less on such a perfect piece of land
would have been seen as a failure.
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