American course architect Tom Doak has the knack of providing golfers with an abundance of room in which to work but somehow simultaneously uses these vast open spaces to force players to handcuff themselves. St Andrews Beach is full of opportunities to score, with openings so wide that the bold play almost has to be taken for it would feel too timid not to. And therein lies the genius in Doak’s addition to Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula; he arms you with the weaponry to fire away but in most instances the ammunition will explode in your hands.
Part of an ambitious project that was initially intended to include 36 holes, St Andrews Beach today remains at 18 – but they are 18 tremendous holes. The layout is a diminutive 6,074 metres and the par figure on several holes feels half a shot out, luring golfers into a potentially foolish play one minute then sitting them on their backsides the next. The bunkering dotted across the huge expanses of fairway is exceptional. Numerous blowout bunkers litter the landscape, these huge pits creating difficult recoveries as the unending thrust and parry between golf course and golfer goes on.
St Andrews Beach Golf Course
Ranking in 2020: 26th
Prior rankings: 23rd (2018), 20th (2016), 21st (2014), 28th (2012), 32nd (2010), 30th (2008)
Where: Sandy Rd, Fingal VIC 3941
Phone: (03) 5988 6000