Situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, just over an hour’s drive from downtown Melbourne, the sandy soiled fairways at Curlewis Golf Club overlook the sparkling waters of Corio Bay. It’s a splendid place to play golf, with uninterrupted views north to the You Yang mountain range.
Opened for play in 1970, the course was fashioned by Vern Morcom but, a mere six years later, Kevin Hartley was called in to make improvements and this modified layout lasted until the start of the new millennium, when Michael Clayton drew up a new Master Plan for the club.
Measuring 6,150 metres from the championship markers, this links-style course is laid out with two returning nines that are characterised by a minimum number of trees, the strategic positioning of bunkers and naturally undulating couch fairways that play to firm and fast greens.
Feature holes include the short par four 3rd, where out of bounds threatens on the left and the green slopes both from back to front and left to right, the boomerang-shaped par five 6th, with a green that’s severely tilted from back to front, and the tough par four 15th, which has water lurking to the left of the fairway as it veers left towards the green.
Curlewis is a fairly rural members course set 20 minutes south of Geelong, or probably just over an hour from central Melbourne. Although rural, it is better than average in terms of design and conditioning. The course is based on sand and has small undulations, but makes best use its routing with plenty of dog-legs and strategy required to score well. The course is interesting enough without having a wow factor and without having to be tricked up in any way. Clubhouse is also understated but had a solid group in after a competition round and everyone seemed in good spirits. Also interesting was the live music coming across the road from a nearby winery, where there was a decent crowd enjoying their lunch; it just added to the atmosphere of an enjoyable round.