Sandhusrt Golf Club is the home of the PGA Australia. It is located in the prestigious sand belt of Melbourne. As you would expect, the golfing complex is amazing, with fantastic practice and teaching areas, and boasts two 18 hole championship courses (Champions and North).
When I was presented with the opportunity to play, I didn’t hesitate! Very fortunately, teaching comes with a wonderful perk – school holidays! One of my former colleagues had recently turned professional and started a traineeship. He plays tournaments regularly and often has the chance to bring along a friend. Finally it was my chance.
With a 7:30 meet, for an 8:00 shotgun start, it was early as I made my way to the course. It was one of those drives through the mist that seemed to promise a magical day. As I got there (way too early – very excited!) the sun was starting to come up over the 9th green. Amazing view, coffee in hand, life is just awesome, right?
The course has a great layout with a real mix of holes. Long and short par fours, threes and fives. There are some holes that do present with great scoring opportunities if you want to be aggressive. But all are well guarded and the price will be paid if you miss in the wrong spots. The fairways are wide in places but demanding in others. All holes feature well placed fairway and green side bunkers. The greens were a real highlight; firm, fast and true.
The course was in immaculate condition. Tees, fairways, greens and bunkers could not be faulted. Well done to the green staff here, what a job.
I really enjoyed the experience. The following would have to be my favourite holes on the day…
The 3rd: A 181 meter par three titled “Wall”. This hole has a fairly straight forward tee shot with plenty of room to miss on the right hand side. The green is large and features gentle undulations that run off the green in some parts. The green is guarded left and also long by a 4 foot stone wall. Missing either direction would be very damaging to your scorecard!
The 9th: A long par five at 512 meters. This hole has water running all the way up the left hand side, fairway bunkers that sit right in the middle and a moat that crosses in front of the green. Danger lurks everywhere here! The smart play is to drive well away from the water and fairway bunkers. Consider hitting a shorter club because going at this green for 2 is almost unthinkable (didn’t stop me from trying!). Layup to a comfortable shot and shoot for the center of the green from there.
The 18th: A longish length par 4 at 392 meters. What a finishing hole. It is again guarded by water down the left. Well positioned bunkers in the fairway make for a demanding drive. The play here is to go long center right to avoid the shorter bunkers. This will leave a tricky approach over the fairway bunkers to a long narrow green. Putting is difficult as the green has some large undulations. A magnificent finishing hole which again rewards the brave. I could just imagine trying to finish a tournament on this demanding hole with the club rooms in the background.
All in all, a very tough course with some challenging holes which require power, precision and a good short game. What an amazing day and great company. After all, that’s what I love about this great game; the camaraderie amongst the group – the applause of good shots and the slurs for the bad ones. It’s not everyday you get to have a potential pro helping look for your lost ball in the water, rough, trees, moat…!
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia