There's no doubt that Melbourne's sandbelt region is home to at least a dozen world-class courses. HK Golfer's Australian correspondent Paul Myers checks out a select few
Sydney has the glamour, but Melbourne has the golf. It’s true: Australia’s second largest city and acknowledged sporting capital has a golfing pedigree second to none Down Under. Some say it even beats St Andrews and the Monterey Peninsula – it certainly falls into the very highest echelon of the planet's finest golf destinations.
Six of Australia's top-ranked courses can be found here and the appeal of the city as a golf hub par excellence is further enhanced by its convenience. You can reach each of these layouts in less than thirty minutes from the central business district, while at least another dozen world-class tracks are no more than an hour's drive from downtown. It needn't be said but these are jaw-dropping facts for those of us in golf-starved Hong Kong.
This golfing nirvana is all down to physical and human influences. The sandbelt of land circling Port Phillip Bay, with Melbourne at its apex, offers the game's ideal landscape. Throw in the design skills of Dr Alister MacKenzie, the Scotsman who created Augusta National, Cypress Point and two of Melbourne's best courses and – bingo – you have the perfect mix.
When all this and a Mediterranean climate come together in a vibrant, fast-growing cosmopolitan city of four million sports-mad people, the place really has it all. Which explains why, in golfing terms, Royal Melbourne, which will host the President's Cup in November for the second time, its neighbour Kingston Heath and the city's dozen other sandbelt courses are so revered.
The great news for Hong Kong golfers is that while these are all private clubs – and proudly so – midweek tee times are available to international visitors if booked well in advance. An up-to-date handicap from a recognized body (in our case, the Hong Kong Golf Association) is normally all that's required. Not surprisingly, green fee rates are high (especially at the moment given the strength of the Australian dollar), but deals can be found. Victoria Golf Club, in harness with Kingston Heath and Metropolitan, for example, is currently offering attractive three- and five-night stay/play packages. Check the clubs' websites for details.
Written by Paul Myers
Photography by Courtesy of Commonwealth Golf Club (Commonwealth), Courtesy of Victoria Golf Club (Victoria), Courtesy of Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Royal Melbourne)
Click here to see the published article.
The eastern coast of Java, around Surabaya, doesn't automatically spring to mind quality golf. But as Duncan Forgan reveals, there are two courses, a mere hour's drive from the centre of the city that certainly reward the intrepid traveller
An inside look at the Avista Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand, a luxury retreat that’s becoming a hit with travelling golfers
The Sunshine State is home to 1,340 golf courses, so does it really need two more? Yes, they do – when one realises they're designed by the most influential and pragmatic designers in world golf today – Tom Doak and the team at Coore and Crenshaw
Home to just a handful of courses, Sri Lanka might lag behind some of the region's most popular destinations in respect of playing opportunities. But with a tradition in the Royal and Ancient game virtually unmatched in this part of the world, golf is the perfect complement to a visit to this rejuvenated nation's many off-course wonders
The Land of Smiles will become the world’s leading golf tourism destination within three years if current growth trends continue
Mission Hills Group have announced that all junior golfers under the age of 16 will benefit from free access to three of the resort operator’s golf courses in 2013.
... about nothing. There's more than nature at hand in the evolution of the Old Course, which makes the recent furore over the R&A's changes hard to fathom, writes St Andrews resident Roger McStravick
With three times as many courses as Hong Kong, Singaporeans are rather better served when it comes to choosing where to play. Duncan Forgan checks out the best of what the city-state has to offer.
Golf in Japan, but not as you know it! Charles McLaughlin sampled the delights of summer in Hokkaido, a region renowned for world-renowned skiing, but now one that has become a great golf destination in its own right
Alex Jenkins takes an early look at Laguna Lang Co, a rugged Nick Faldo design on Vietnam's Central Coast that is set to officially open in March 2013
Most Popular Items
- Insider Knowledge
- Jean Van de Velde - A Frenchman in HK
- Golf ’s Magic Move
- Jiménez makes 600th European Tour appearance
- Anchoring putters banned from 2016
- David Chu Passes Away
- Moreno closing in on first LPGA victory
- Molinari leads but Donald crashes out
- Cavalleri, Young share lead at Bahamas
- Barltrop Holds on for Maiden Win