Kingston Heath GC is one of eight wonderful courses that comprise the Melbourne Sandbelt.
The course opened in 1925 and was designed by Dan Soutar, but the bunkering was not completed until after Dr Alister McKenzie's visit to Australia in 1926. And it is McKenzie's magnificent bunkering that sets Kingston Heath apart. The routing by Soutar was inspired as the land parcel is exceptionally small for a quality golf course, but he has produced a championship course that stands the test of time. The bunkering may be the most impressive collection in the sandbelt. It really is that good!
The course has hosted many championship events including the Australian Masters and the Australia Open seven times.
It is generally rated among the best 30 golf courses in the world, and one of the best two or three in Australia.
There are many who regard KH as the premier course in Australia. Whilst I regard the course highly, I don't rate it quite that well. Nevertheless there is some magnificent golfing landscape here. The par 3's are sublime with the short uphill 15th one of the great one shotters in world golf. Apparently this was McKenzie's one major contribution to the Soutar routing- and he picked a beauty! The green complex and bunkering is spectacular and scary at the same time! Play this hole over Melbourne's summer with the greens firm and fast with a north wind blowing and you will work hard to earn your par despite hitting a short iron from the tee. The bunkering is deep and will swallow the slightest mishit. Unless you go long....good luck climbing back up on the green and stopping the ball from there!
The green surface is contoured enough with its speed to require a deft touch, and there are places on that small green where two putts would be a minor miracle! I love that hole!
The par 3 tenth hole is also a favourite with another lovely green surrounded by McKenzie Bunkers- all set in a heathland setting with long grasses and shrubbery to carry all the way from the tee. It is a pretty hole.
The fifth is another quality par 3.
Perhaps my favourite hole at KH is the short par 4, third hole. Tight off the tee, but driveable for the long hitters, the third can be an easy birdie or the hole that wipes you out....
On the tee the decision can range from driver to mid iron- but whatever you decide you must plot your way based on where the flag is positioned, and where you should approach from- there are so many options, and so many ways to come unstuck!
There are some strong par 4's and the opening hole and the sixth in particular will test anyone. I also enjoy playing the par 5's with hole 7 the standout.
In summary Kingston Heath is one of the world's best golf courses. It is known for being a remarkable and enduring championship course on a small plot of land, renowned for it's spectacular McKenzie bunkering, and for being a beautifully groomed course.
The course is not long by modern standards, and all level of golfer will enjoy the opportunity, but good golfers will need to be precise to score well here.
Kingston Heath is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'
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