Just over a decade after Sam Berriman laid out a course for the members at Huntingdale in 1941, he was appointed to design the 18-hole layout at Cranbourne. The course took over two years to build, finally opening in April 1954.
The club itself was founded in 1951 when Sydney Kaufman and a few of his Jewish friends met to form a golfing society and Cranbourne Golf Club is still to this day the official home for Jewish golfers in the Melbourne area.
The first club professional was Sydney-born Ossie Pickworth, winner of three successive Australian Opens between 1946 and 1948. Ossie would claim a fourth Open title in 1954 and he was also a three-time winner of the Australian PGA Championship.
The par three 12th measures over 220 yards from the back markers and it’s a really tough hole played uphill to a green surrounded by sand. The club hosted the Victorian Open in 2000 and 2001 and it was during the final round of the latter event that Adam Scott double bogeyed this hole to lose the lead and ultimately the tournament.
The short par fours at 4, 7, 11, and 15 all appear to be potential birdie holes here but the sand traps that surround each of the greens can easily turn a tasty three into a forgettable five, or worse.Holes at Cranbourne are laid out in two returning nines, each of which has a par rating of 36. Interestingly, there are two different stroke indexes on the scorecard; one for stroke play and one for match play – now, why can’t more clubs adopt such an eminently sensible approach to handicapping?
Just a really pleasant parkland course that was challenging but if played well, very fair. The bunkering and sandy base were standouts, with fairway and greenside bunkers in the line of play on most holes. Excellent conditions, especially the greens, which were true, fast and a pleasure to putt on. Nice mix of holes too. Other golfers were friendly and the club didn't appear to be 'trying on airs' as other sandbelt clubs can.
Cranbourne is a private club but you can play here for as little as $50! The front 9 is typical of the courses found on the Melbourne Sandbelt whereby the fairways are wide enough even though it's tree lined and plenty of bunkers are around the greens and fairways themselves.
But the point in difference with Cranbourne is that a lot of water comes into play on the front 9 where as the Sandbelt doesn't really include/have too much water at all.
I found this contrasting to the back 9 where the course is typical of the Sandbelt layouts with plenty of fairway bunkers seen.
The course was in great condition greens and fairways ran very true.
Some tree clearing could help here as well as concrete paths.
I played really well on the back 9 here and almost knocked off my best score of 83 which occurred at Lake Karrinyup in W.A.
Overall I really enjoyed the day here it's well worth the visit.