WHERE do you go when you want to play the best collection of par 3s in the country?
Ask anyone who has experienced Yarra Yarra Golf Club and they will tell you to look no further than this historic Melbourne Sandbelt layout.
Established in 1898, Yarra Yarra is one of Melbourne’s oldest and most prestigious golf clubs, boasting an immaculately presented sandbelt layout designed by Alex Russell in partnership with the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie.
In Tom Doak’s Confidential Guide, a review of the architecture of the best courses in the world, the four par 3s at Yarra Yarra are rated seventh (the only course in this category in the Southern Hemisphere).
All four are absolute gems, but the 11th [pictured] – described by five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson as a “national treasure” – is invariably in the experts’ collections of the best 18 holes in Australia.
Superb greens and bunkers are the highlight at Yarra Yarra, ranked No.50 in Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses, and are as good as many of MacKenzie’s own creations. Typically large, fast and undulating, the putting surfaces feature some of the most extreme slopes in Melbourne, while the bunkers are constructed to blend naturally with their surrounds and are intrinsic to the strategy of each hole.
Yarra Yarra has been the scene of many major tournaments over the journey. And with a course restoration in planning (the club has begun its search for a course architect) it could be the scene for many more – along with big climb in the Top 100 Courses ranking.