Originally the golf club was formed in 1898 in Melbourne’s north eastern suburbs and was known as Eaglemont Golf Club.
The club moved in 1911 to Rosanna and changed it’s name to Rosanna GC.
But it wasn’t long before some club members noted the success of the new clubs in the Melbourne Sandbelt and arranged to acquire land on Warrigal Rd that was sand based...
By 1929 Rosanna GC had split into the newsand based Yarra Yarra Club, and the clay based Rosanna GC for those that stayed in the north east suburbs. (Rosanna GC later moved to it’s current site in Lower Plenty where it continues to flourish on the river flats (clay).)
Yarra Yarra appointed Alex Russell to design the new sandbelt course…
Russell has left a golfing legacy which also includes designing Paraparaumu Beach, Riversdale & Royal Melbourne- where he partnered with Dr Alister MacKenzie
Alex Russell was also an outstanding golfer and winner of the 1924 Australian Open
Yarra Yarra GC is a proven tournament venue and has hosted a number of championships over the years including the Ampol Tournament in 1956 (one of the biggest purses in the world at the time), The Dunlop Tournament in 1969, The Victorian Open 6 times and The Womens Australian Open 7 times
The list of winners reads like a who's who of golf and includes Gary Player, Peter Thomson & Karrie Webb
Yarra Yarra is an impressive property!
As you turn off Warrigal Rd, through the gates and along the entrance road it becomes clear that you have entered a world class facility.
The presentation resembles the old classics around the world. The Spanish style clubhouse adds to the drama.
Yarra Yarra is a 'sandbelt course' and is built on rolling sandy terrain ideal for golf.
It does not have the elevation changes of Royal Melbourne or Victoria but the quieter movement enabled Alex Russell to build a different style of sandbelt course.
Over the years inevitably changes were made by well meaning officials, and more recently the club appointed Martin Hawtree to oversee changes to the course- but it didn't work out, and Tom Doak's Renaissance men were asked to assist instead.
One of Doak's most experienced men- Brian Slawnik- became the man on the ground- and the changes were welcomed
The recent work by Brian Slawnik has returned the course to the look and feel Russell espoused.
The course had become a little overgrown, so trees and undergrowth have been cut back, allowing the spectacular bunkering to dominate.
The green complexes are the key to the course, and they have once again become the focus.
The greens themselves are pure poa annua, but have always played firm and true. The bunkering is clean and crisp, and now Slawnik has added more turf around the greens as run offs and to provide a turf connection to the next tee. The combination is impressive
From tee to green the cleanout has the benefit of clusters of attractive trees becoming a feature, rather than a wall of vegetation- Dr MacKenzie would approve!
And with less vegetation Slawnik has been able to add mowed turf to connect fairways as a theme throughout the course.
The overall effect is a course that oozes class, and is a pleasure to play
From the forward tees
Yarra Yarra was a torchbearer when it introduced equality for women members from the outset.
The course has always appealed as a venue for womens golf because it is a relatively easy walk, is not overly long, and is challenging but quite playable for players of different abilities.
Brian Slawnik's restotation work has met with the club's focus on improving the quality of the course for member play rather than tourrnment set ups.
Integrating tees with greens has helped with the flow of play, and with reduced carry off the tees, and a new set of forward tees Yarra Yarra will cater for children, elders, those with slow swing speeds- as well as the stronger golfers
Notable holes include:
hole 2, a mid length par 4 with very impressive clusters of bunkers short and surrounding the green
hole 6, a short beautifully bunkered par 3
hole 11, a truly world class par 3
hole 15, another short beautifully bunkered par 3, and my personal favourite (see pic top of page)
Yarra Yarra is one of 8 clubs in The Melbourne Sandbelt- one of the great golfing destinations in the world.
It is not a long course, but it is a championship course, and is a nice complement to Royal Melbourne & Kingston Heath…
As such it should be on every golfers wish list!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to The Melbourne Sandbelt to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: The Melbourne Sandbelt
For further information please enquire here: