The residential golf resort of Heritage lies within a 300-acre estate to the north east of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley and it features two excellent 18-hole championship layouts. The St John course – the third Nicklaus course in Australia after Lakelands and the Australian – opened in 2000 with Tony Cashmore’s Henley course following in 2006.
The Henley course at Heritage Golf & Country Club is laid out around wetlands on the floodplain of the Yarra River, featuring deep and menacing flash-faced bunkers and contoured greens designed to test even the best of putters. Like its sister course, fairways were sand-capped during construction to provide an optimum medium for grass growth and water drainage.
Architect Tony Cashmore describes the course as follows: “Henley will examine strongly the very best players from its back tees – to try to overpower it will require great skill, and failure will be absolute. But a quieter, more thoughtful approach to its strategic values from the regular tees will reward all golfers seeking a beautiful and stimulating course to play.”
There had been a significant burst of rain on and around this course the afternoon and evening before I played, but the course was only showing minor effects and the ground staff had done a great job early in the morning. The water hazards were certainly still full to overflowing, but the fairways and greens were fine. Overall conditioning at both courses of the 36-hole club were a little below expected, likely due to ongoing potential financial issues I had heard about the club owners.
The Henley course is a big, bold and brash course compared to the St. John course next door and a solid game off the tee is essential. I especially liked the stretch of holes from 11-16 which worked their way up, around and down a hill. I'm not sure if a cart is mandatory at this course but the first tee and 18th green are over a kilometre from the clubhouse and the course doesn't return back there after 9, so it's all quite a ways from anything not already being carried.
I played as a visitor staying at the on site hotel which is all very nice, but not sure either of the courses are great value for money, compared to other options in and around Melbourne.
Just played my 74th course from the Australian Golf Digest magazine top 100 listing of 2014 with Carl Murphy aka aussiegolfquest, Mark Ryan and our member host who is one of my good golfing buddies Michael Hodgson.
Having missed out on playing this course when I played here at the sister course in 2015, it was time to see which course is better!
The Henley course is just that, more elevation / directional change than the St. John course.
Great bunkering and water at the Henley course as will be illustrated through my photos.
Really enjoyed the round here with the boys!