The Champions Course
HOLE #1 PRO TIP
A medium length par 4 this hole requires a long iron or 3 wood off the tee into a generous fairway area. A large remnant red gum left of the tees together with a sandy waste and bunker left of the fairway guide the golfer to the right into an ideal position to play a short lofted iron into the green. An aggressive tee shot off the tee with a driver may see the golfer penalised for missing the tight narrow fairway, which lies beyond the turn point bunker. An easy start for the well planned, but a miserable beginner for the unthinking.
HOLE #2 PRO TIP
The short par 4 on the Champions Course requires the golfer to play to their strengths. Water all the way down the left side of the hole awaits any shot flying left of the target, while three bunker left and one large bunker right of the turn point lie waiting for an ill directed tee shot. The best ploy is to play a long iron or three wood, depending upon the wind direction, short of the bunkers. From here a short to mid iron into an elevated green requires great accuracy and distance control to get it close. A steep drop off on all four sides of the green present the golfer with an immediate test of courage.
HOLE #3 PRO TIP
The third hole is the longest on the Champions Course. At 506 metres off the black tee, this hole will require great strategy to avoid the pattern of bunkers, which lie beyond. The tee shot is played over a wasteland into a generous landing area guarded on the left side by two bunkers. For longer hitters trying to get home in two, a tee shot over the left hand bunker will require a the shot to fly 250 metres from the back tee. The second shot from the fairway is played into a generous landing area about 100 metres from the green with plenty of room to the left. The best shot into the green is achieved from the right side if the fairway just short of the bunkers which lie 70 metres short of the green. The third shot into this green can be played with any club in the bag from the three wood to the putter depending upon the golfer’s skill and imagination to get it close.
HOLE #4 PRO TIP
A classic little par 4, the fourth looks easy off the tee with only a bit of water carry and two lone bunkers right of the fairway some 270 metres away. The shot in however will depend largely on the skill of the golfer who can place their tee shot as close to the two bunkers on the right as they can without going in. If the pin is at the back left portion of the green, this is the only spot from where a decent view of the flag can be gained. Any shot into the middle of the fairway will be faced with a difficult shot over a large bunkered ridge which guards the front left side of the green, and a large deep swale at the back ready to catch any ball which is played too long. A difficult birdy hole despite its length.
HOLE #5 PRO TIP
Like the third hole, the fifth hole challenges the golfer to hit it long and straight. Forget trying to get home in two if the wind is from the west. The tee shot is played over a short water carry into a generous fairway guarded by three bunkers on the right. The second shot presents the golfer with an immediate decision to either lay up short of the cross bunkers and therefore leave a longer shot in, or try to power their way with a three wood over the left hand bunkers rewarding them with an easy open shot into the green. A consecutive second shot played to the right of the fairway, will leave a delicate 60-80 metre pitch shot over a deep bunker guarding the middle back portion of this small green. A real risk and reward par 5.
HOLE #6 PRO TIP
Possibly the most picturesque hole on the Champions Course, the sixth is our first par three of the day. Set amongst a cluster of ancient remnant red gum, this 195 metre par 3 over water will play a variety of different ways depending upon the wind. With a stiff westerly, this hole could prove to one of the toughest requiring a solid driver off the tee, while with a favourable easterly, perhaps a mid iron will see the golfer getting home. Lacking bunkers, the green is surrounded by many humps and hollows ready to deflect and catch the ill directed golf ball, while the expansive apron offers the golfer a putt from nearly any position.
HOLE #7 PRO TIP
A straightaway par 4, what you see is what you get. A tee shot short of the left hand bunkers, which lie in wait some 200 metres off the back tee, will present the player with a mid iron into the green. Otherwise an aggressive tee shot either over or to the left of the right hand bunker which lies some 235 metres from the back tee, will reward the golfer with a short pitch into the green. The green itself is open and relatively flat with two mounds at the left and rear providing a variety of shot making alternatives. One bunker on the right side of the green awaits anything going short and right, while a deep sandy waste awaits anything going left.
HOLE #8 PRO TIP
The second of the par 3’s, the eighth hole offers views to the Dandenong’s, and brings the golfer back in amongst the red gums. A strong par 3 by anyone’s standards, the tee shot is played from a slightly elevated tee over a bunkered sandy wasteland into the green guarded by humps and hollows ready to deflect any errant golf ball. A large ridge, which runs across the hole some 40 metres short of the green partially hides the foreground to the green, making the shot appear shorter than it actually is – the ultimate architectural defence. Par here is a great score.
HOLE #9 PRO TIP
Completing the front nine with the clubhouse in view, the ninth is the hardest par 4, and possibly the toughest on the course. With this in mind, a carefully guided tee shot aiming for the left hand side of the clubhouse is required to obtain the best line in for the second. Two bunkers on the right hand side some 240-260 metres from the tee await an errant shot by the beginner hitters. Assuming a correctly positioned tee shot, the second must be played with a long iron or wood between two sets of remnant red gums some 30 metres apart which flank the fairway right and left. These red gums lie some 60 metres short of the green and so must be confronted at some stage. Perhaps a low bump and run shot under the canopy of the trees for those who have a shot on the hole, presents the best opportunity for a good score. Play for a five and get your four is the motto for this long monster!
HOLE #10 PRO TIP
Three well played shots is the answer to this long par 5 back up the hill. The tee shot needs to negotiate the lone remnant red gum strategically located in the middle of the fairway some 200 metres from the back tee. From the lone red gum to the green, the hole offers a golfing experience is akin to the dramatic land forms found only on the Peninsula links courses. From the fairway level, the adjoining residential area rises vertically some 5 to 6 metres, giving both golfer and resident a unique feeling. The feeling of grandeur soon gives way to the short decision to either lay up 100 metres short of the green leaving the best visual approach, or bombing it as long as possible being careful to avoid the cross bunkers which lie some 40 metres short of the green, from where an up and down is almost impossible, A strong start to the back nine.
Norman Von Nida
HOLE #11 PRO TIP
The shortest hole on the Champions Course, the 11th plays only 137 metres from the back tee and will require only short iron into the green. Wind, like it does on the 13th of the North Course, will play a vital part in the defence of this little beauty. The green is framed by a large sandy waste which stretches across the hole in the foreground, while deep bunkers left and right await the errant tee shot. The green itself is long and narrow akin to the famous 10th hole at Kingston Health. A deep swale at the rear will catch those who are too aggressive off the tee.
HOLE #12 PRO TIP
The second of the par 5’s on the back nine, the 12th hole fires its way between two remnant red gums which flank the hole left and right. Bunkers located left and right of the first turn point some 210-250 metres from the back tee lie in waiting for the ill directed tee shot. The second shot ask the golfer to either have a go at the green in two, or lay up short and to the right of the middle carry bunker some 60 metres short of the green. If attacking the hole in two is decided, a right to left shaped shot will be required to find the middle of the green, as a deep bunker protecting the left of the green lies ready to catch a wayward shot.
HOLE #13 PRO TIP
Travelling across the road, this strong par 4, is played from a tee set adjacent to an old river gum. The tee shot is played downhill, sometimes into the south east prevailing wind, to a landing area lined with two large fairway bunkers on the left and right hand side. A tricky second shot is played to a large green which is guarded by a pot bunker on the left. A sandy waste and lateral water hazard on the right lies ready to catch the sliced shot. Take a four here anytime.
HOLE #14 PRO TIP
An uphill par 4, silhouetted in the background by three magnificent river red gums, the tee shot is narrow with two fairway bunkers on the right 225 metres and one on the left at about 200 metres. Players will have to be careful playing their second shots to an elevated green, with bunkering strategically positioned short and right of the green, making the green look closer than it is. A big green will provide a welcome respite from what lies ahead.
HOLE #15 PRO TIP
A strong dogleg left par 4, this hole requires length and accuracy off the tee. Two bunkers approximately 210-245 metres from the back tee guard the left hand side of the fairway, and need to be avoided at all costs. A tee shot down the right side of the fairway will give the golfer a mid iron into the green that is guarded by two bunkers short and right, and one protecting the middle left. Two deep swales lie to the back left and back right ready to catch the over hit ball. A shot played to the front right half of the green is the best approach to avoid disaster here. Take a four anytime.
HOLE #16 PRO TIP
The final par 3 in the Champions Course requires the golfer to play a carefully considered golf shot requiring both length and accuracy. A shot played short will find either the bunker or sandy wasteland, making a par almost impossible. A more considered shot to the front left of the green is the percentage play, allowing for a relatively easy two putt par.
HOLE #17 PRO TIP
A slight dogleg par 4, the 330 metre 17th plays uphill with one large bunker left at 225 metres and the sea of bunkers to the right. This relatively easy hole gets more difficult the closer one gets to the green. A prudent way to tame this hole is to play a three wood out to the right, from where a skilfully controlled length shot with a short iron can be played to the back left portion of this table toped green. The green itself is surrounded by steep swales at the front right and rear, ready to catch any misjudged shot. A sleeper which can ruin a good scorecard.
HOLE #18 PRO TIP
A fitting end to the Champions Course, this final hole is the longest of the par 4’s and at 420+ metres it will surely test even the most skilful players. A spectacular view of the development framed by the distant views of the Dandenongs beyond lies ahead from the tees. Appearing to have ample room, the fairway below offers the bigger hitters a chance to show their stuff. A collection of bunkers 220-265 metres from the back tee await for anything going right, while one bunker at 270 metres protects the left side. A shot as close to the right hand bunkers without going in offers the best line into this green. A generous flat open-fronted green, allowing for run on shots is guarded by bunkers both short left and short right. The green itself is one of the largest on course, and in addition to the bunkers is protected by swales to the left and right sides. A real grandstand finish.