- +61 (0)3 9551 1955
20 km S of Melbourne
Contact in advance - handicap certificate required
|Australian Open winners at Kingston Heath Golf Club:
Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 2000,
Greg Norman (Aus) 1995,
Peter Senior (Aus) 1989,
Peter Fowler (Aus) 1983,
Gary Player (SA) 1970,
Frank Phillips (Aus) 1957,
Ossie Pickworth (Aus) 1948.
Kingston Heath Golf Club pushes Royal Melbourne – and in some opinions exceeds it – as the premier course in Australian golf. The West course at Royal Melbourne gets all the accolades, but Kingston Heath's pure 18-hole layout could be even better than its neighbour. We'll leave that debate to you.
Dan Soutar designed Kingston Heath in 1925 and the course is located in the famous sand belt region of Melbourne. The famed Dr Alister MacKenzie was also brought in to offer bunker advice and guidance. In the view of many, he created the best natural bunkering one would ever wish to encounter. MacKenzie also suggested some minor alterations to the original Soutar layout, including turning the 15th from a short par four into a medium par three – and what a par three it is! The deep bunkers tend to overwhelm the small target and you should definitely try and avoid them by hitting the green at all costs.
The challenge begins with a demanding long par four, which is soon followed by Kingston Heath's shortest par four and the variation in length is compelling to say the least. Both can be equally damaging to the scorecard and the latter proves that a dual combination of tight bunkering and slick greens can be just as lethal as length. Modern course designers tend to forget about the strength of a tactical short par four, believing that length is necessary to combat modern day equipment. When we encounter the 3rd at Kingston Heath, we realise that nothing can be further from the truth. It is the ultimate risk and reward hole and always leaves an indelible impression on those who try and overpower it – either successfully or unsuccessfully.
The same can be said for the rest of the course, as Kingston Heath is an ultimate example of strategic golf. The long par four 6th, which runs parallel to the 1st and heads back towards the clubhouse, is one of the best par fours in the country.
The last five finishing holes are probably, as a collection, the best in all Australian championship golf. The strategic par five 14th is followed by the mercurial par three 15th. You’re then faced with three long par fours, all around the 400-metre mark. The dogleg right par four 16th is followed by a blind par four 17th with no bunkers surrounding the green. A tough and long par four finishes off your round. These holes will ask questions of you and they require all facets of your game combined into three words: pinpoint accurate golf.
Kingston Heath is a classic design that has stood the test of time and it certainly rates among the best courses in Australia and the world. With nearby neighbours such as Royal Melbourne (West and East), Metropolitan, Victoria and Commonwealth to name a few, we think that you will find no better place in Australia to play golf than here on Melbourne's sand belt.
For 30 years, the Australian Masters was held at Huntingdale Golf Club in Victoria, but in 2009 the event was switched to Kingston Heath. The 2009 event saw world No.1, Tiger Woods, aiming to win his first ever stroke play title in Australia. After a final round 68, Woods lifted the 2009 Australian Masters title, and joked, “now I've won on every continent, except for Antarctica”. Woods went on to say: “All the guys have raved about this golf course and I understand why. I really enjoy playing on sandbelt courses because it brings back shot-making and we don't see enough of that.”
The World Cup of golf visited Kingston Heath in 2016 and the Danish duo, Søren Kjeldsen and Thorbjørn Olesen, dominated the event to claim Denmark’s first World Cup triumph. The Danes carded an astonishing 12-under par 60 in strong southwesterly winds on Friday, by which time Kjeldsen had fallen under Kingston Heath’s spell: “This is my favorite type of golf. You've got to control the ball and look at the angles. You don't just get up and whack it, you've got to think your way around.”
This course is rated no 2 in Australia and 17 in the world and it has been my privilege to play the course 7 times over the last 4 years, and from start to finish it is a severe test not of brawn but of brain. The first tee shot is the easiest that you are going to get, a good wack over the ridge left of the bunker on the right will set you up, from then on direction on a target line is what is all about, the third is one of the best short par 4 that you will ever play and the 6th back to the clubhouse is the best hole on the course, treat the course as a severe examination paper, be conservative off the tee, keep the ball in play, enjoy the short 15th (6/7 iron from the tee), and if you get a 3, just run and get out of there, I have had 7 goes at it and haven't hit the green yet. For those of you that read this you have one problem, it is a private club and you must find a member to take you but be assured it will be a visit that you will always remember and the clubhouse and general ambiance is one of the best that you will ever encounter and the food is not bad either!
Robin McCall, The Berkshire.
To quote directly from KH website..."Kingston Heath extends a warm welcome to international visitors ....".
If living in Aust you need to be a member of a reciprocal club..
Kingston Heath gets its well-deserved high ranking due to superior design variety with short and long par fours and a wonderful collection of globally celebrated par threes (although a lot more should have been done to the 19th hole as opposed to creating useless bunkers half way up the hole). The most memorable and photographed holes are the epic short par four 3rd hole, and the iconic par three 10th and 15th holes. Despite all three par fives going in the same direction, this does not at all take away from the enjoyment of the round. Kingston Heath is living proof that the second shot on a par five is not the most boring shot in golf. The par five 14th hole may have the most strategic second shot on any par five I’ve ever played. The enormous MacKenzie bunker complex that wrestles the land between the 14th and 15th holes will strangle your attention and guards the high point in the land that blocks your view of the green. Precision is your only option – which is a common theme at “The Heath”. Overall, this property is a sanctuary for studying a classic layout that is regarded as the best course in the country.
KH doesn’t have the jaw dropping cliff top location like NSW or is not blessed with the natural undulations of Royal Melbourne, but it’s the subtleties that make this course just as good (…or better).
Its renowned bunkering receives praise from all who play, but it’s the unassuming run-off areas around the greens that can hurt your score most. Take the steep fronts on 3 and 7 or over the back of 10 and 11 as examples, a less than perfect approach could be punished by a 20m pitch to a raised green in order to get up and down for par. As far as best holes, the 15th is legendary. Personally I’m a huge fan of two short par 4’s (3rd and 9th), both have relatively tight tee shots but it’s on and around the green that things get interesting. As you would expect from a course of this stature there is not a weak hole on the layout and a tough finishing stretch emphasises this point; from the tee box on the par 5 14th hole right through to the 18th green this course demands good golf, there is no limping home.
KH has been recognised as Australia’s top course in 2010 and 2011 and I have no doubt its push past NSW and RM is due to the immaculate condition of the course, leading up to and following, the hosting of the Australian Masters in November 2009. I walked the course the morning of Tigers first practice round and again on the Sunday and I have never seen fairways (or grass anywhere for that matter) as perfect. The positive attitude of staff and members also contributes to a memorable round; I get the impression that they all recognise they’re part of something special in the golfing world but are proud to be and are very grateful for privilege. The new clubhouse is now complete and is a beautiful addition to a beautiful course. KH is as good as it gets and undoubtedly one of the best in the world!