Kingston Heath - Victoria - Australia

Kingston Heath Golf Club,
Kingston Road,
Cheltenham,
Victoria 3192,
Australia


  • +61 (0)3 9551 1955

  • Golf Club Website

  • 20 km S of Melbourne

  • Contact in advance - handicap certificate required


Australian Open Golf TrophyAustralian 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.”

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Kingston Heath

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Kingston Heath Golf Club pushes Royal Melbourne – and in some opinions exceeds it – as the premier course in Australian golf. Rating: 9.4 out of 10 Reviews: 20
TaylorMade
Robin McCall

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.

September 03, 2016
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Warren
September 04, 2016

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..

paulofchester
I first played Kingston Heath in the 70's. Then it was a tea tree infested piece of land with narrow fairways. If you missed a fairway you were in the tea trees which were impenetrable. Lost balls and broken clubs abounded. It lived on reputation alone, and that was fast fading. Then, in the late 70's. after being awarded the Australian Open, the committee unearthed the old plans, cleared the tee tree away, found s many MacKenzie bunkers no one had seen in a generation, and a masterpiece was reborn. Whilst I will always prefer Victoria, Kingston Heath is a superior championship course and is a true expression of what sandbelt golf is all about. The par three are sublime, the fours are monsters - even the short ones can rack up a six without trying - and the fives give you every chance of a 4, and yet, before you know it you are walking off the green with bogey and wondering why. The fairways are perfect, crisp and the ball begs to be hit. The greens are as good as they get, and like the best sandbelt courses, full of fast borrows and interesting pin positions, whilst the bunkers will challenge the very best. For mortals like the rest of us, centre of the green is a good result from most greenside traps. The only quibble I have is the 17th which is blind and uninteresting. If you go to Melbourne, you must play this course and Victoria. You will never want to leave.
December 07, 2015
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Steve MacQuarrie
A common principle of golf course design is that the opening hole should not face east. I arrived at Kingston Heath for my 7:10 tee time on a cloudless March morning, just in time to hit my drive directly into the rising sun. Neither my playing companion nor I had any idea where our tee balls had gone. We eventually found them, though only after scouring both the 1st and 6th fairways………….and annoying the group waiting behind us on the tee.This was just one reason that makes me one of the few who was less impressed with the Heath than with its neighbor—Metropolitan—or with other Australian courses such as New South Wales and the two at Barnbougle Dunes. (Of course, I also found Royal Melbourne superior, but that will cause no controversy.) Many fairways are sprinkled with bunkers in the tee shot landing area and avoiding them is quite a challenge, often preventing one’s driver an opportunity to escape from the confines of the bag. Moreover, since the driving objective seems to be little more than avoiding the bunkers, the player does not focus on the landing area which provides the best angle to the green. Even where a wider fairway is present, there’s not always a line of charm. The par 4 16th is a sharp dogleg right with a series of bunkers protecting the corner. But the greenside bunkering is also on the right, giving little advantage to the player taking on the fairway bunkers. The greatest strength of the Kingston Heath lies in its bunkering, the result of Alister Mackenzie’s brief visit to Australia in 1926. My favorite is on #3, which appears from the fairway to be right next to the green, but, in fact, gives the player 20 yards of runway short of the green. There are plenty of opportunities to play running approaches to the greens and the conditioning was excellent—firm and fast—when I played in March of 2015.The course occupies little more than 100 acres, so the routing presented quite a challenge. The result is that most holes run on a north-south axis, making for repetition and less memorability. Having 12 par 4 holes also contributes to this problem. Nonetheless, fitting 19 holes—there are 2 par 3s that can be used as either #2 or #10—and over 7000 yards into the site was no small accomplishment. (My apologies to readers from OZ, hoping they’ll forgive my inability to employ hectares and meters.)
July 03, 2015
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Fergal O'Leary

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). Kingston Heath 5th hole - photo by FergalThe 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.

January 15, 2015
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

grantphelps
One of the 4 genuinely great courses in Australia - always a pleasure to play at "the Heath", even with recently sanded greens and in a 3 club wind. This must be one of the greatest designs on a small parcel of land in the world. Perhaps the fairest test of golf in Australia - no tricks / no funkiness, just genuinely classy golf with not a weak hole in sight. Like all great courses, it puts a premium on position off the tee. Smart golf wins around here.You must be prepared to use every club in your bag and if your short game's not on song then good luck. Finish it off with a meal and a drink in perhaps the best club house in the country. A day not to be missed.
July 27, 2014
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Hugh
July 28, 2014
Which other three Australian courses do you consider to be "genuinely great"?
grant p
July 29, 2014
personal perspective, but for mine Kingston Heath, Royal Melbourne West, Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm stand above everything else. I havent played Ellerston but i've played just about everything else in the top 30 and for mine none come close to the big 4. I'm sure others will have different views but that's the way i see it.
T2Green
Kingston Heath has the one important quality that separates a great course from a good one…it just gets better and better each time you play it. I have been fortunate enough to play here a number of times now and it never gets any easier and it never gets any less special.

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!
May 11, 2011
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

alan ritchie
this is a very...very good course and I will have to agree that I thought this was better then its more illustrious neighbour Royal Melbourne, It is not however the best in Australia. Each hole is varied and the bunkering is majestorial at times, it isnt especially long and with the rough currently short I feel that it will be at the mercy of tiger and co next month. My golf on the day was akin to that of a blind monkey but I still enjoyed the experience and the various challenges. On the downside, I just feel the condition of the course would have been a touch better in view of the upcoming Masters and the clubhouse is still in the midst of some reconstructive surgery ... comparable to the sort of major work that my own swing requires. The closing holes are excellent, as is the rest of the course but new south wales trumps it by the sheer fact that a world class links, in my opinion will always trump an inland course due to some of the shot making, at times ball breaking decisions that have to be made!
October 05, 2009
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Hugh
November 16, 2009
Which course in Aus do you reckon is better than Kingston Heath and Royal Melbourne? NSW perhaps?
alan ritchie
November 30, 2009
yes if i had to play one of them, it would always be NSW
John
February 19, 2010
But NSW isn't a links course. Does that change your opinion?
alan ritchie
March 29, 2010
John I'm confused by your comment. I would say that NSW is definitely a links course.
Hugh
March 29, 2010
I’d say NSW is definitely NOT a links course. In a similar vein to Cypress Point, NSW is a cliff top seaside course. Links land was left after the ice age when the seas receded and is pretty much pure sand. While NSW and Cypress may well have sand capped fairways, the substrata is rocky which is by definition not links land.
alanritchie
March 30, 2010
I'm going to have to disagree with you Hugh. If it looks like a links and plays like a links then its probably a links. In fact this place reminded me so much of the great Scottish courses that for a brief moment I thought I was back there. Yes, the coastline is a bit different from the likes of Dornoch, Muirfield or Turnerry but the fairways, greens and bunkering are very, very similar..and it demands links style golf. I've managed to avoid playing any shots from the substrata there as yet and the definition of a golf links does not have any mention of the ground underlying the course, other than it should be on undulating land near the coast. The definition of links land that you speak of is not a prerequisite of a links golf course.
Harry
April 03, 2010
@alanritchie: NSW neither looks like alinks, nor does it play as one, nor does it sit on linksland: It is NOT a links course by any correct definition
Cameron
What a magnificent course. Not a week hole and some real crackers. I recounted the great string of finishing holes in my head, and worked all the way back to the first. The only reason this course is not higher on the world ranking is that in my opinion is does not have the WOW factor off the course (which shouldn't matter but does)
September 22, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

David Davis
I've just returned from Australia and was fortunate enough to play Kingston Heath. I joined into their men's day competition as an overseas guest and honestly was flattered by the warm welcome and friendliness of everyone there. The course even inspite of the drought is fenomenal. The have well water so it's in perfect shape. It's a very challenging course and indeed the bunkering is majestic to say the least. On this day which I will never forget I played great golf, hit 14 greens in regulation and realized I don't know how to put yet on hilly marble....I would attempt to save myself the embarrassment of adding the number of puts I had but after watching the Masters the last few days I realize that 47 puts for a first timer be it not good is acceptable. I average about 32. Still one of the top golf experiences I've ever had and right now hands down the best course in Australia.
April 08, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Andy Newmarch
What a course this is! A true favourite and I am not sure if Royal Melbourne gets the nod over this or not…it is very very close. Great design and the bunkers are as good as anywhere that I have played (worldwide). Brilliant holes all of the way around – Par 3 15th probably my favourite but what a collection of holes here. Never turn down an invite to play here, if you have to please pass it on to me ...
December 29, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Bala
November 15, 2009
Hey Buddy, You can take my place for 2010 Masters . ThanksTiger W.