Originally located in Fishermans Bend in 1903 by Bill Meader, Victoria GC moved to its current location in Cheltenham in 1927. The new course was designed by Oscar Damman and Bill Meader with some input from Dr Alister McKenzie whose bunkering recommendations were a key ingredient in making the course a Melbourne Sandbelt classic.
The club has a wonderful history of championship golf having hosted Australian Opens, Ladies Australian Opens, and Australian Masters events, and is generally regarded one of the top 100 courses in the world.
Separated from Royal Melbourne only by a road, Victoria naturally displays some of the same characteristics as it's famous neighbour, although the land has less movement in part, and is not set on such a grand scale. Victoria sets its own standards, however, with wonderful firm greens, and a design dominated by the artful and strategic bunkering that defines the Melbourne Sandbelt.
The course is beautfully routed, getting the most out of the predominantly flatter terrain encountered in holes two through six with some gorgeous greens settings, and beautiful bunkering. Somewhat unusually both nines finish with consecutive par 5's, although it must be said that land dictated such an outcome.
The par 3's at Victoria are the strength of the course- each of them uphill and heavily bunkered- but there the resemablance ends. The fourth hole has a skinny plateaud green which requires a straight hit.
The seventh hole has a wide green which requires flight and distance control.
The fourteenth hole is shorter, but is severely uphill requiring a partially blind shot to a difficult green, and the sixteenth is longer and requires a well struck long iron or wood with trouble on all sides.
Perhaps the most interesting holes are the two short par 4's at Victoria. The opening hole is a 234 metre downhill par 4 that is driveable by the longer hitters, but enticingly in range for many. The vista on the first tee is dominated by the bunkering which is strategic and very much 'in your face'...
It is not often that a golfer jumps on the first tee and has to make a decision on line, length and flight of the initial shot with so many options available. Having done so, he must now back up with precise execution, or a bunker will snare his ball...
Hole 15 also asks questions on the tee, and realistic options include anything from a mid iron to a driver off the tee. With trees right and a line of gaping bunkers along the left of the tight right to left sloping fairway - hitting the short grass is a necessity. The fairway runs down the spine of a ridge and the promontory green dangles out on the end of the ridge with abrupt fall off for shots left or long, and bunkers short and right. The green is very firm and only a very well struck shot will 'stick'.
There are may top class holes at Victoria, but perhaps my favourite is the shorter par four, tenth hole with its dipping turning fairway and short iron approach to an elevated green. Great fun!
Play Victoria GC in Melbourne's summer months, and you will gain an appreciation for real championship standard golf. With the greens firm and fast, and a hot north wind blowing, posting a decent score will require a steely nerve, clear decision making, and a very tidy short game.
Dont miss any opportuntity to play Victoria....
The wonderful old clubhouse at Victoria abounds in history, but is also a popular place to stay for travelling golfers as the place is steeped in history, provides quality dining, and is centrally located to all the sandbelt courses. The rooms are not 5 star but clean and comfortable.
Victoria Golf Club is a Travelling Golfer 'must play'.
Other Courses in the area
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