Mandurah Country Club is situated within the coastal suburb of Halls Head, which is an island that lies immediately west of Mandurah's central area. It’s a largely residential district, containing several canal estates that were developed since the golf club opened in the early 1960s.
The course was built on a 100-acre tract, with the “outside nine” ready for play on 13th August 1961. The “inside nine” was finished three years later. Murray Dawson, a retired farmer who designed a few other courses in the region, laid out the eighteen holes.
Within a couple of years of the course opening, the original sand greens were replaced with Seaside Bent grass then a practice fairway was established in 1972. Between 1995 and 2001, Greg Simmonds oversaw the conversion of all fairways from a mix of oats, New Zealand clover and Bermuda couch to Santa Ana couch.
During that same period, more than forty fairway and greenside bunkers were added and most of the greens replaced. The only significant course modification in recent times is the 1st hole changing from a par four to a par three.
Position is key to success at Mandurah Country Club; as fairways can be narrow and intelligent course management will lead to a round to remember. Get to the course early and take advantage of the practice green, this extra practice and knowledge will shave a few shots off the card later in the round.
There are plenty of holes where the driver can stay in the bag as length off the tee isn't always advantageous here, sometimes losing 20/30 metres may put you into prime position for that second shot into the green or further along the fairway. The course has bunkers well placed to catch the balls of all levels of golfer, as a whole, they're well maintained, full of sand and in good condition.
The greens are famous for being quick, always pure and, well looked after. The time put in on the practice green will help control your ball as it is easy to overhit a ball and in doing so, over or underestimate the break in front of you. Having no three-putts during a round is an achievement even for the low handicappers.
Through design the par-three 1st is a testing way to start, with a well-defended green, plenty of bunkers and accuracy required from the get-go, it is easy to misjudge and then end up using shots to get onto the green.
You work you way around the course playing pleasurable golf on well-presented holes. Errant balls are easy to find though it is also easy to find the boundary fence for the golf holes that flank the perimeter. Both the 9th and 18th are the stand out holes for me. Both golf holes have elevated greens that require accuracy to get on and be putting in regulation.
It is worth the hour drive south of Perth to head to Mandurah Country Club, make sure you pack your industrial-strength insect repellent as the mosquitos can be a bit troublesome. They also have some value for money specials, so phone up the pro-shop and get booked on!