Tom Doak had plenty of options when he was commissioned to redesign the Ocean course at The National Golf Club. That he chose to focus on the putting surfaces is to the layout’s benefit. All 18 greens were either reshaped or built in new locations to make use of natural hollows and the contours of the site on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
The revised version also makes far better use of its waterside location – you can actually see the ocean now from what was a somewhat erroneously named Ocean course – although being a brand new layout, it is now known as the Gunnamatta course after the neighbouring beach. It is most definitely a new course. Sixteen of the holes (all except the first and last) were re-routed to at least some degree even if several fairways occupy the same playing corridors as before. The new design changes direction more frequently with several holes pointing directly at Bass Strait in a set of stern challenges.
The result since its re-opening in November 2019 is a course that’s more user-friendly without diluting the test, offering up the promised artistic contouring so savvy golfers of all abilities can use the shapes to their advantage with just an ounce of imagination. There are now fewer bunkers but a focus on appropriate positioning for the ones that remain and large, flowing teeing grounds that allow for far greater set-up flexibility than individual tee pads.
FEATURED IMAGE: Nick Wall (Airswing Media)