The Sorrento Golf Club was formed on March 30 in 1907 and was originally known as ‘The Sorrento and Portsea Golf Club’.
In 1909, the Club decided to drop the ‘Portsea’ part and adopted the name ‘Sorrento Golf Club’. (In 2021 Sorrento and Portsea Golf Clubs are considering a merger!)
The original nine hole course was designed by Royal Park club professional Wally Spicer, and modified by Royal Melbourne professional Jack McLaren.
Although the first competitions were held in 1909, the official opening was not until January 1912
The club purchased adjacent land in 1919 and again in 1924 with a view to extending the course to 18 holes
In 1925 the club appointed J.D.A. Scott as the club professional and he subsequently went on to design the new 18 holes which were completed in 1929.
In the early 1970’s Sorrento was one of the first Australian projects for the fledgling firm of Harris, Thomson & Wolveridge
Peter Thomson and Michael Wolveridge prepared a new master plan for the course which saw large scale changes to several holes, addressing a number of difficult ‘walks’.
This comprehensive overhaul set the course up well for many years..
More recently the Club engaged Crafter and Mogford Golf Strategies in 2012 to develop a ‘Bunker Master Plan’, and this evolved into a Course Concept Master Plan by 2015
The first project undertaken was the remodelling of the 9th hole bunkering followed by lengthening and a new green site for the 10th hole
A new 19th hole was added in March 2019.
The 1st hole is due to be revised this year (2021)
The Club is firm in its view that Sorrento is a Members course, and all improvements made are with the members in mind, rather than having any desire to create a ’championship’ style golf course.
Sorrento is a beautifully conditioned course in undulating sandy terrain just a few hundred metres from Port Philip Bay
The course has 6 par 3’s including the 'spare' 19th hole.
Each of those par 3’s is a challenge with raised greens and small targets being the order of the day
As a general rule anything short is punished retreating back toward the tee.
The greens are also amply bunkered and feature slick contoured greens that take some getting used to
It is quite a simple thing to putt right off the green in some cases!
The course starts quietly with some shorter par 4’s and 5’s and a devilish par 3 at the 2nd
But then late in the front nine the course bares it’s teeth with consecutive long par 4’sat holes 8 & 9 that sort the shorter hitters out properly..
Only better players, or long hitters on a streak will find these greens in regulation
Sorrento is not a long course, but with constant and significant elevation change throughout it certainly plays longer than it’s yardage
Players with length and carry have a distinct advantage.
Notable holes include:
- the short downhill dogleg par 4 first hole
- the devilish short uphill par 3 second hole is a well earned par- it is a tough target to hit and the contoured green will test your putting (see pic mid page)
- the short dogleg par 4 fourth hole is a birdie hole if you play to position
- the long dogleg par 4 eighth hole is the hardest hole on the course and takes two long shots to get home
- the beautifully bunkered par 5 eleventh hole (see pic top of page)
- the par 3 thirteenth hole is all carry and long is usually a good option
- the pretty par 3 fifteenth hole is surrounded by trees. You have to be up!
- the dramatic final hole features diagonal fairway bunkering and a high green- all overseen by the majestic clubhouse
Sorrento does not aspire to be a championship course, but rather a quality members course.
And although the course is not overly long it is a challenge for even the best of club golfers
It is a beautful spot for a golf course and the rolling links links terrain is perfect for golf.
The clubhouse and facilities rival that of the best private clubs in the land, and the course is immaculately presented.
No wonder the membership is full with a five year wait list!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- The Mornington PeninsulaThe Mornington Peninsula
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