The Champions Course 9th Hole, named after one of Australia’s golfing legends, Craig Parry, is considered one of the hardest par 4s, on either of Sandhurst’s two championship courses, both located in Melbourne’s Sandbelt region. This long par 4, at the turn on the Champs Course, can be a make – or – break moment for many golfers playing these beautiful 18 holes which are inspired by past greats of the game.
Teeing off with the Clubhouse in view, a carefully aimed shot down the left is required to be able to take the best line for the second. 240-260 metres from the tee, on the right, two bunkers stand ready to catch any wayward drive, potentially spoiling what could have been a strong front 9 score. Assuming no mis-shot from the tee, the second requires a long iron, or wood, to drive the remaining distance to the green. The shot must be guided between two ancient gumtrees, standing sentinel 30 metres apart, either side of the fairway, just short of the green. A bump and run approach is often favoured to minimise the risk these two giants can pose; however, it is likely that any tactic such could leave the player short of the putting surface.
The green itself should pose little risk for the skilled player, with the sand on the left not coming into play for all but the most errant of chips and putts. “Play for a five and get your four” is the motto for many players on this beast, and one which we feel is only suitable for one of Sandhurst’s toughest challenges.