Gardiners Run golf course is one of the newest additions to the Yarra Valley. Located in Lilydale off Victoria Road, this course has been built to replace the Chirnside Park course and continue to serve the local community for all of their golfing needs.
I must start by saying that I had one of my most enjoyable rounds this year. As mentioned, the course is new and only opened in May 2014. That’s just three months ago. Like all new courses in mid-winter, the lies are a bit bare, the fairways don’t quite soak up the water as well as they will and the green surroundings are a little patchy. I was surprised that these blemishes were minimal and the course is still very, very playable.
I always think that if you’re building a new course then the greens have to be right. The greens here are in amazing condition and roll perfectly and the guarding bunkers are interesting and also in good condition.
I think the course designers have done an awesome job here, creating a real members course. All too often clubs are forced to move for financial reasons and end up building an overly demanding course. Here they have created a challenging but playable course with generous fairway landing areas. This is not to say it is easy, there are some very difficult holes that play long with wind but all in all just the right balance of short and long pars fours and fives. I really enjoyed all of the par threes. They were varied and look amazing, featuring water carries and well guarded greens.
This course has quite a bit of growing-in to do but this will only help to make it a better course. I would definitely recommend a game here. Really is a refreshing and exciting experience.
Here are a few of my favourite holes.
The 1st: A 365 meter par four. What a fantastic opening hole. Long slightly dog-legging right to an elevated green. You need to hit a good drive and avoid the fairway bunkers left and right. The smart play is to leave it in the middle of the fairway and play a mid to short iron into the green. Once on the green putting is fairly straight forward as the green is quite flat.
The 3rd: A 157 meter par three. A very pretty hole which requires a water carry to a long thin green. Play for the middle and try to make your putt from there. Sure to be a favourite.
The 11th: A 166 meter par three. A tough little one that requires a good tee shot to a guarded green. The play here is to err on the long side, as you will find less trouble here.
The 18th: A 388 meter tough par four. What an amazing finishing hole. You drive the ball up the shute avoiding the fairway bunker on the right. A good drive will leave you with a mid iron to the green which is surrounded by water on three sides and a bunker short left. Go for the center or be brave and hit at the pin but miss and you will pay the price.
Gardiners Run Golf Club have got everything spot on here. The course is amazing and will only get better, the staff in the pro shop and bar were very friendly and welcoming and the clubrooms are perfect. You really must come for a game here, it will not disappoint. I personally can not wait to come back.
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia