Originally formed on what is now the famous Esplanade, the Portarlington Golf Club was formalised in 1909.
Having had several “homes”, a move to the current site was sealed in 1937 and within months, largely on the back of members’ labour, nine holes with sand greens were opened for play.
Later, within a couple of years of building the greens, Eric Horne became the club’s first formal architect in 1959 as the club expanded its footprint.
Its modern appearance began to take shape when the club appointed Tony Cashmore in 1996, laying the guidelines for several sweeping changes.
These included hole realignments and the modern-day bunkering for which the course is now famous.
In 2020 Neil Crafter & Paul Mogford were appointed as course consultants.
The course occupies a relatively flat parcel of land, close to the beach.
But there is just enough movement in the sandy terrain to make it interesting for golf.
Each hole is framed by mature gum trees demanding accuracy off the tee.
Water hazards on holes 2, 15, 16, 17 & 18 add a little variety to the round.
The fairways are a beautifully maintained carpet, and the greens are as true as I have played.
But it is the bunkering that defines Portarlington.
Tony Cashmore is well known for his designs (The Dunes, The Henley at The Heritage, 13th Beach- both courses).
He prepared the Master Plan and then implemented the bunkering that sets this course apart.
The course has three par 5's and three par 3's in it's par 72.
The par 3's in particular are strong holes.
Notable holes include:
- hole 2, a mid length par 3 with water & gum tree left and a nicely bunkered green
- hole 5, a classically bunkered mid length par 3
- hole 8, a 300 metre par 4 with a beautfully bunkered green complex
- hole 12, a 315 metre dogleg par 4 defined by impresssive bunkering on the inside of the dogleg and defending the green
- hole 13, at 231 metres this par 4's green is tantalisingly close.. but the cost of a miss is almost certainly a visit to the acres of bunkers around the green.
- hole 17, a picturesque par 3 over water with alternate tees. The longer option through the trees is a beast!
The members at Portarlington are blessed!
They have an interesting, but very playable course which is eminently walkable and beautifully conditioned.
It is a lovely relaxing place by the sea to play golf.
Visitors to the Bellarine Peninsula should include a game at Portarlington in all itineraries.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see The Bellarine Peninsula & The Great Ocean Road.
For further information on Port Fairy or a tailored golf trip please enquire here: