Alex Russell

Full Name
Alex Russell
Year of Birth
Year of Death
1961 (aged 69)
Place Born
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Place Died
Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia

“Alex Russell was the first home-grown Australian golf architect to achieve fame. It is a pity he was not able to create more. Whether his work was really MacKenzie by another name is debateable. For mine, he was his own man and indeed who knows – MacKenzie may have picked up a thing or two from Alex." Peter Thomson

Alex Russell was descended from the Russell family, who were farmers in the Kingdom of Fife during the 18th century, and he was the first child of Philip Russell and Mary Gray (“Cissie”) Guthrie. Both his parents were golfers at Geelong and Royal Melbourne golf clubs.

The family moved to the United Kingdom in 1903 as his father felt for some reason he might have a better chance of recovering from his tuberculosis over there. Alex attended school at Hindhead in Surrey then Trinity College, Glenalmond in Perthshire before the Russell’s returned home in 1907.

After attending Geelong Grammar School for four years, Alex found himself back in England in 1912, having enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge to study engineering. When World War I broke out, he abandoned his course to enlist with the British Army.

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Land Forces, joining the Royal Garrison Artillery in the British Expeditionary Force to serve in some of the bloodiest battles in France and Belgium, receiving the Military Cross for his efforts in June of 1919.

It’s believed that Russell played golf while he was at Cambridge University – he never played in the Cambridge team against Oxford – though his golfing proficiency was sufficient for him to win the first medal played at Royal Melbourne after the Great War in July 1919.

Alex won the club championship at Royal Melbourne in 1921 – the first of three that he would win during the 1920s – then he went on to claim the Australian Open Championship at his home club in 1924. He also won a number of amateur state titles and twice reached the national amateur final.

Russell served as a member on the Royal ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Alex Russell


58th Victoria - Best in Area

Formed in 1895, Ballarat Golf Club acquired additional land to construct new holes in 2009. As some of the original layout remains in use, the club claims to still play on the site of the oldest 18-hole course in Australia.


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79th New South Wales - Best in Area

The small town of Narrendera lies close to the Murrumbridgee River, in the Riverina region of New South Wales. The golf course is located in very pleasant surroundings inside a cypress pine plantation on the northern outskirts of the town.


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52nd Victoria - Best in Area

Alex Russell designed the course at Riversdale Golf Club and the club organized a match in 1930 to celebrate the official opening.


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Royal Melbourne (East)

5th Victoria - Best in Area 11th Australia Ranking 14th Oceania Ranking

While it does not quite offer the grand theatre of the West, Royal Melbourne's East is still a fantastic golfing experience and holds its own versus all other courses in the Melbourne area.


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Alex Russell Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Brendan James Courses Played 9
= Kevin P Courses Played 9
= Wayne Moriarty Courses Played 9
4 Geoffrey Steer Courses Played 8
5 Ian Greenwood Courses Played 7
= Paul T Armstrong Courses Played 7
= Heather wood Courses Played 7
= Peter Wood Courses Played 7
9 John Cornish Courses Played 6
= Tyson Flynn Courses Played 6