Kew - Victoria - Australia

Kew Golf Club,
120 Belford Road,
Kew East,
Victoria 3102,

  • +61 (0) 3 9859 2039

  • Golf Club Website

  • 10 km NE of Melbourne city centre

  • Interstate, overseas and members of reciprocal clubs welcome

  • Mathew Loughnane

  • Kevin Hartley, Graeme Grant

  • Simon Angliss

Founded in 1894, Kew Golf Club is Melbourne’s third oldest golf club. Its first course was laid out on leased land about a kilometre south of where the club is currently located. A move was made to a new site in 1922 when 92 acres became available nearby and all was well for around forty years.

The construction of a major road in the early 1970s saw the club lose part of its course but additional land was acquired then architect Kevin Hartley was asked to redesign the layout. He then made great use of the natural lakes and billabongs on site by bringing Glass Creek and the Yarra River into his plans.

Drainage has always been a problem on the property so in 2012 the club commissioned Graeme Grant to address this issue and suggest improvements to the overall layout. He redesigned and built eight new holes – three on the front nine and five on the back – while overseeing the conversion of all the fairways different types of grass.

Kew’s new holes have not added much length to the course, which at 6,179 metres is more than enough for general member play, but the addition of fairway bunkers, greenside swales and angled putting surfaces now ask questions of a player’s course management skills.

Graeme Grant was kind enough to provide this information in January 2021:

“In the early 1970s the course was modified by Kevin Hartley’s company, Golf & Recreation Planners, to accommodate the Eastern freeway.

My work at Kew was to redesign and build all greens, green surrounds and bunkering, including fairway bunkers, and to re-contour fairways to ensure effective surface and subsurface drainage.

Questionable turf quality was the catalyst for all the work. Poor drainage was the primary reason for the turf problems and to overcome that major re-contouring of all the playing surfaces was required.

The fairways now consist of pure Santa Ana couch, the greens are bent, having been converted from Poa Annua and the green surrounds are fine fescue.”

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Reviews for Kew

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Description: Due to the development of the Eastern Freeway during the 1960s, the course at Kew Golf Club underwent a couple of major revisions so that the Yarra River and Glass Creek now come into play at a number of the holes. Rating: 6 out of 10 Reviews: 2
Anthony Munter

Kew is one of the oldest, most historic golf clubs in Melbourne, established in 1894. Unlike the more renowned sandbelt courses, this one is tucked away just ten minutes drive from the CBD. As a private club, you'll normally need to have reciprocal playing rights or know a member to be able to access the course (in off-peak times). The club is very friendly and welcoming, though, so it's worth a call (assuming you have a recognised handicap).

It's a challenging course to rack up greens in regulation, but it still offers average golfers a very enjoyable day - almost every hole has greenside areas to allow a straightforward up-and-down attempt. With a few billabongs and a creek winding through the course, wayward balls will typically incur a penalty drop, but there is plenty of leeway for a draw or fade. Every fairway is lined with gums or native grasses - it's a very peaceful environment, especially in the late afternoon when the wildlife come out to forage. There are several doglegs, requiring the correct club and the right shape of tee shot to set up an approach to the green. All of the par 5s are well protected; none offer an easy two-shot option, except for the exceptionally long hitters.

The 1st hole is the "easiest" - a well struck five iron to the left sets up a simple wedge to the green, but like most greens on the course, it is highly contoured - there are few "gimme" two-putts if you aren't close to the pin.

The signature hole is the 18th - an uphill par 3 of around 160m up to the clubhouse, often into a prevailing southwesterly wind. The "bail out" area is short or right of the green - only a high iron or hybrid is likely to hold, with members enjoying the balcony spaces able to celebrate or commiserate as is appropriate.

Due to extensive drainage works, the course remains playable all year round, except during extended periods of heavy rain, so membership subs are great value. Highly recommended.

December 21, 2021
6 / 10
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Andrew Leonard

There is a lot of competition in Melbourne for quality courses, but for its location (along the banks of the Yarra River) it is the best in class.

February 12, 2021
6 / 10
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