- Address82 Rollasons Rd, Thornton VIC 3712, Australia
Situated a short two-hour drive northeast of Melbourne, not far from the winding waters of the Goulburn River, the course at Cathedral Lodge was developed by investment banker and former Essendon Football Club President David Evans as a high-end private facility with an exclusive membership of fewer than two hundred golfers.
Greg Norman’s design company laid out the 18-hole course and the architect had this to say about the project: “The Cathedral Lodge property is unique in that it’s a canyon shape with a ridge running through the middle of it, where you go up the ridge on one side of the valley and back down it on the other side of the valley.”
Unlike the Great White Shark’s other ultra-exclusive design at Ellerston, when Kerry Packer asked him to construct a tough track that would challenge elite players, Cathedral Lodge has been built, according to Norman, as “a balanced golf course, catering for someone who only carries it 80 metres and those who bomb it 300 metres.”
The spectacular backdrop of Cathedral Mountain beautifully frames many of the holes, while other parts of the layout are so secluded they allow you to “quiet your mind” as you play. The signature hole that’s emerging is the 250-metre, uphill par four 5th, which astutely links the two sections of the property.
“I saw this beautiful eucalyptus tree in the middle and thought it could be a really great short hole for the big hitters,” says Norman. “Yet from ninety metres in it demands an extremely tough shot. The complexity of the hole is what will be talked about. I had to make a few tweaks but it’s what makes it a fantastic golf hole.”
The golf facility has been designed to imitate the great private clubs around the world, like Augusta National, and its owner has the intention of hosting an iconic professional championship like The Masters, as David Evans indicated when he said: “Ultimately, I’d love to have a tournament played at Cathedral Lodge on an annual basis.”
Paul Rudovsky, one of our most respected contributors (and also the only person to have played every course that has been listed in all published World Top 100 ranking lists down the years) played Cathedral Lodge in April 2018 and he commented as follows:
“First let me say the Cathedral Lodge site is nothing short of stunning. It is set in a wide canyon (surrounded by mountains) with a ridge running through the canyons. While the scope of the surrounding sights is reminiscent of Ellerston, the golf courses are very different… The flow at Cathedral is much superior to Ellerston’s, but the individual holes are not quite as good. Overall I liked the course a lot… Right now I would not put Cathedral Lodge in my own World 100, but I am confident that it will grow into a solid World 100 course, it simply has too many compelling features to miss that goal.”
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Greg Norman Golf Course Design was established in 1987 and in three decades since then, the company has worked on more than a hundred projects across thirty-four countries in six continents.