Horsham Golf Club was formed in 1898 and moved twice before securing the current site at Haven, on the outskirts of Horsham
The new course was designed by architect Sam Berriman (who also designed Cranbourne, Southern, Latrobe, and Keysborough)
In 2009 the club appointed Crafter & Mogford Golf Strategies to draw up a master plan with thoughts of seriously sprucing up a course generally regarded as one of the best in rural Victoria.
At that stage the course was heavily treed and quite tight in places
Unfortunately a major bush fire took out many of the trees and the clubhouse that same year, putting plans to renovate the course on hold.
A brand new clubhouse was built on expectation of insurance proceeds, but when the payout was less than expected the club was left with a debt which stopped all course changes proceeding and threatens the club's future.
It is a great pity because Crafter and Mogford's plan has real appeal.
The course is based in gently rolling sandy terrain and the sand was to become a feature of the renovation.
Exposed sandy tracts similar to Pinehurst were to become a feature- a look not common in Australia.
A quick peak at the Master Plan shows the extent of the exposed sand in the proposal.
To date Crafter and Mogford have only added a couple of fairway bunkers (in 2010 before the funds ran out).
Let's hope things turn around and the plan can be implemented.
It is already an important golfing facility for rural Victoria, and is beautifully maintained by a skeleton crew.
The proposed newly renovated course would add a touch of class, and bring in more visitors and members...
With only 3.5 men on the maintenance crew the course is in astoundingly good shape with all playing surfaces pristine.
The sandy base no doubt helps, and the course plays like a true links.
The bunkering is crisp and strategic and there is a nice mix of long and short holes.
Overall it is not a long course, and could be overpowered by the longer hitters- but for most it is challenging enough.
And I thought the short holes- some of the par 3's and short par 4's- were the most interesting on the course
Notable holes include:
hole 1 - the opening hole is a short dogleg par 4 with the inside of the dogleg protected by an imposing gum tree, a cluster of crisp white bunkers AND a water hazard
hole 5- a mid length par 4 where the tee shot is challenged by trees left and right, and the approach to an elevated green is protected by bunkers and water
hole 14- a short par 4 with a smallish elevated green protected by two large bunkers at the front. Your short iron needs to be accurate because anything short will roll back into a grassy hollow..
hole 15- the 'signature hole' at Horsham is the par 3 15th which requires a mid iron tee shot to fly a sandy wasteland to a green with more bunkers left and right
Horsham GC is a pleasure to play, and is a course that you will likely want to play over.
And if the Master Plan ever gets the nod, it's fame will spread
The Great Ocean Road- Grampians Loop
The majestic Grampians National Park is only a short drive from Horsham GC, and both short and long walks can engage you for a few hours or days.
It makes a nice combination with golf at Horsham.
Another option is to incorporate a drive along the world famous Great Ocean Road. Take your time and stop at the 12 Apostles, and other lookouts along the way....
You could play 9 holes at the cute links-like Peterborough course along the way.
And a game at Warrnambool GC is also a must
Port Fairy is a gorgeous links by the sea, and the town of Port Fairy is also worth a visit.
Complete the loop by visiting The Grampians and Horsham GC before heading back.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group. For suggested destinations see- Golf Destinations: The Bellarine Peninsula & The Great Ocean Road.
For further information on Horsham GC, or The Great Ocean Road Loop, or a tailored golf trip please enquire here: