Huntingdale Golf Club was officially established in 1941 but it has a history that goes as far back as 1896 when Surrey Hills Golf Club was formed.
That club broke up in 1914 then some of the original members got together and founded the Box Hill Golf Club. In 1924, the club moved to a different site and became the Eastern Golf Club. When land became available to some of their members in 1938 at the old Melbourne Hunt Club grounds, Charles Hugh Alison – a partner of the legendary Harry S. Colt – was engaged to design a new 18-hole layout and so the Huntingdale Golf Club finally came into existence three years later.
Alison, incidentally, was a fascinating character who spent some time in the 1920s designing golf courses in Japan – but that’s another story for another country. He never actually walked the site here and the layout was planned in his study back in England with construction carried out by Sam Berriman, the club curator for many years.
American architect Dick Wilson advised the club (on cutting back trees and modifying some bunkers) during his visit to Australia in 1959.
Where Huntingdale Golf Club has really made its mark on the Australian golf scene is its annual hosting of the Australian Masters. Most of the winners of the gold jacket since 1979 have been home grown but notable overseas winners include Bernhard Langer (1985), Mark O’Meara (1986), Michael Campbell (2000) and Colin Montgomerie (2001).
Huntingdale plays long and fast with greens maintained in “Masters” condition all year round. Back- to-back par fives at the 6th and 7th holes are particularly demanding on the front nine and the closing par fours at holes 16 to 18 are some of the toughest finishing holes in competitive golf.