Metropolitan - Victoria - Australia

The Metropolitan Golf Club,
Golf Road,
South Oakleigh,
Victoria,
3167,
Australia


  • +61 395 703 774

  • Golf Club Website

  • 5 miles SE of Melbourne

  • Limited to Monday and Thursday mornings or Fridays, contact in advance

Australian Open Golf TrophyAustralian Open winners at The Metropolitan Golf Club:


Lee Westwood (Eng) 1997,
Brad Faxon (USA) 1993,
Rodger Davis (Aus) 1986,
Jack Newton (Aus) 1979,
Peter Thomson (Aus) 1951,
Gene Sarazen (USA) 1936,
Frank Eyre (Aus) 1930.

All the Sandbelt courses are celebrated for the rugged beauty and challenge of their bunkering, many from the sketching pad of the itinerant Alister MacKenzie, Metropolitan has common features to the other benchmark courses. Whereas you marvel at the expanse of sand at Royal Melbourne and the rugged edges of Kingston Heath, many of Metropolitan’s bunkers are cut into the greens’ edges in the most stunning way. There is simply no better hand finishing of a golf course to be found anywhere else in the world.

Indeed, Metropolitan and the Melbourne Golf Club (before the Royal was attached) were one in the same before the loss of land to the encroaching city necessitated Melbourne’s move to Port Philip Bay. The remaining members authorised the purchase of land and a two-storey farmhouse and formed Caulfield Golf Club in 1908, playing on a course designed by club member J.B. MacKenzie, an engineer. Tournament play began here in 1930 following a series of modifications suggested by Alister MacKenzie in 1926.

Much of the back nine was reconstructed by American architect Dick Wilson on adjacent market garden land during a visit he made to Australia in 1959. As a consequence the 7th and the back nine between the 10th and 17th are markedly different holes to the original layout.

Seven Australian Opens, five Australian PGAs and ten other professional tournaments have been hosted at Metropolitan. The World Golf Championships Match Play Championship was held here in 2001 where Steve Stricker prevailed over an illustrious field to beat Pierre Fulke in the final. The world’s finest arrived and heaped praise on the course. Memorable comments included Ernie Els who said: “I’ve checked my schedule (for the year) and I’d say this is the best course I’m going to play for the whole year.” Stuart Appleby risked the ire of the committee at Augusta National when he made the following comments: “I think it’s a whole set of clubs ahead of Augusta in condition. This is a natural golf course where the grass is playable twelve months of the year.”

Metropolitan is a fine members’ club with a tremendous course and a just reputation for excellent all-year-round conditioning.

The above passage is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.

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Reviews for Metropolitan

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Description: Seven Australian Opens, five Australian PGAs and ten other professional tournaments have been hosted at the Metropolitan Golf Club. Rating: 5.5 out of 6 Reviews: 10
TaylorMade
Peter Wood

Metropolitan GC is known as the best conditioned course in Australia, and one of the best in the world- comparisons have even been made with Augusta National because of the magnificent carpet of santa ana couch fairways, and immaculate presentation of bunkers and greens. But Metro has more to offer than it's wonderful presentation.

It is a joy to play, and demands a golfer put some thought into his game. The fairways are wide, but the distinctive clean edged bunkering is everywhere. Fairway bunkers push you one way off the tee, and then challenge you again with approaches to greens amply protected by more sand.

There is no better example of this than the long par 4 first hole. The 'safe' drive to the right side of the fairway avoids a larger bunker complex at driving length on the left. As with much of the fairway bunkering at Metro the bunker intrudes well into the fairway, and draws the player’s eye. However the green is heavily protected on the right side, and has more gaping bunkers well short and right as well- meaning the safe tee shot to the right will then demand a long approach over a number of bunkers to reach the green. It is strategic, it is difficult, but it also eminently fair as it is all laid out before you on the tee.

Welcome to Metropolitan!

Metropolitan Golf Club hole 2

The first 6 holes at Metro are absolutely world class in my opinion. The aforementioned opener is followed by a devilish, but picturesque par 3, a dogleg par 4, short par 5 with tricky elevated green, and very tight tee shot over sand and rough, and a par 4 and par 5 that flow through the native gum trees and shrubbery. The vegetation is dominated by the red flowering gum that became the club logo, and it frames the holes beautifully. The bunkering is wonderful, and the crisp lines eat into those santa ana carpet fairways and demand your attention. But it is the sculpting of the fairways around the bunkering that really impresses me. I don't know of any other course where these dips and hollows in the fairway carpet are so captivating – they give movement to the fairways in such as way as to make them a natural extension of the bunkers.

However after hole 6 the course is laid on flatter terrain. This is a result of the land swap in the 60's. There are many good holes later in the course- the par 3 11th is a gem. And the short, tight dogleg par four 16th is memorable with bunkers everywhere. The longer par 4 seventeenth hole is unique with a copse of non native trees protecting the right side of the green. And the closing par 4 is a strong hole.

However as good as the course is, it does not consistently match the quality shown in those first 6 holes. The latest revision by Crafter + Mogford Golf Strategies may well rectify this!

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

December 29, 2018
5 / 6
Metropolitan
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Tyson Flynn

Metropolitan is quite simply one of the best courses in Australia, beautifully manicured fairways are a treat to the golfer upon standing to address their shot.

Pure couch fairways with large landing areas are kept in pristine condition all year round, fast bent grass greens are hand mown to the edges of the outstanding greenside bunkers which are those ones found typically on the Melbourne sandbelt, they're a real treat.

Enjoy the opportunity to play here if it comes your way :)

Tyson

May 30, 2018
5 / 6
Metropolitan
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Thomas
This course is faultless! Played here on a Melbourne golf trip and the course was in excellent condition having recently hosted the Amateur open. The greens are the most ridiculous things I've ever putting on (in a good way). They were like billiards tables and very true. It was a struggle having not played on anything so quick before however they have to be the most enjoyable 3 putts I've ever made. The green side bunkering is top notch with the bunkers cut directly into the greens. A couple in our group putt into bunkers on a couple of occasions due to the speeds.The clubhouse and hospitality from the pro-shop also added to what was a fantastic day, even though I only had 27 points. Will definitely try to get back for what was a fantastic golf outing
February 02, 2016
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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Steve MacQuarrie
Metropolitan is a MacKenzie course—twice. The first designer was a member, J.H. Mackenzie. His work was modified as a result of his namesake’s (Alister) historic 1926 Australian visit. The course was further altered by Dick Wilson in 1960 when the club lost land to a school. And more recently, Michael Clayton made significant changes to three holes and smaller ones to half a dozen others.With all these hands stirring the pot, one might expect a bit of an architectural mongrel. But that is not the case. In fact, it is not easy to figure which holes were authored by whom. The routing flows quite naturally and Metropolitan’s signature bunkers—in many cases scissored right into the edge of the greens—are found throughout the course. While Metro is justly famous for its conditioning—the finest of the Sandbelt courses—it’s not entirely manicured. Sandy waste areas (short of 2, between 3 and 4, and at 5, 11, and 13) add to the visual appeal, as do the variety of trees that play host to a veritable aviary of Australian birds. The course is peaceful, but not entirely quiet. The firm and fast conditions and opportunities to play running approaches make for a fine links-like experience. After Royal Melbourne West, my favorite in the Sandbelt.
September 09, 2015
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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alan ritchie
I was just thinking when walking round metropolitan, how can you produce such a great course from such flat land? The answer I feel is obviously great design with world class bunkering and greens. I agree with most of Fergals words on the Metropotitan Golf Course - Photo by reviewercourse, there is indeed a fair collection of world class holes here and yes mainly on the front 9 but the back 9 is still pretty dam good. I wasn't a big fan of the 18th and point taken on those trees in 17, but for me there was a good bit of interest on every other hole on the back 9 and I thought 13 was the best par 3 on the course. it was also the only hole that wasn't open at the front on an otherwise firm course that would allow the running approach. my favourite hole overall was also the great par 5 6th. probably because I was able to fly a 3 wood over the back in two before playing the flop shot of my life over the back bunker and stopping it 3 inches from the pin for my birdie.. ultimately it made me keen to return for more sandbelt golf and I believe metropolitan has the quality to be well in the top 100.
January 22, 2015
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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Fergal O'Leary
Attention to detail and conditioning at “Metro” is second to none, I even heard that some of the green-side bunkers have their edges hand-cut with a scissors! To help you visualize the bunkers, imagine a set of waves about to crash onto the shore. Imagine the waves as they rise to a crescendo, take their last breath and fight for position before unleashing their power. Fortunately the greens are very large, which is an act of fairness given the brutality of the bunkers that ravenously hunt your golf ball. Most of the holes have some movement and offer very firm and bouncy playing conditions. Weaker (and condemned) aspects of the course are driven by recent disappointing alterations and re-routing, noticeably the lack of accessibility to the par three 13th hole (third effort at this hole in recent years!) and the vast non-descript par five 14th fairway. I also thought that the man-made reservoir and very bright evergreen trees close to the 17th green stood out as being uncharacteristic with the rest of the vegetation on the property. With that said, despite being so close to the city and civilized development, there’s an enjoyable sense of containment and isolation from the hustle and bustle of nearby housing estates. Among a collection of world-class holes, my favourite hole was the par five 6th hole which moves uphill from left to right and possibly has the most interesting green on the Sandbelt. Wonderful contours swim their way between the hostile bunkers and add to the best stretch of the course. Metro is regarded as a “tier 1” course and I support the motion. Click the link to read Fergal’s full report on Metropolitan
January 15, 2015
5 / 6
Metropolitan
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John
The best conditioned and presented golf course in Australia, if not the world. I have played all of the top 20 ranked courses in Australia and many of the British open and championship courses in the UK. None come close in terms of purity of grass cover and overall conditioning. The fairways are unbelievable 12 months a year, the greens tight, hard and fast, and the bunkers immaculate. The design of the course, with numerous sweeping bunkers eating into large rolling greens, and tree lined fairways meandering through the secluded estate, is both challening and spectacular. The best course in Australia.
February 15, 2010
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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Cameron
Metro is a good course but I don't feel it should be ranked as high as it is. I felt the first few holes were the best, and by the finishing holes nothing felt new. 16 (the short par four) was quite an average looking hole, although I did like the green complex. Some of the par fives were relatively short, and I didn't really understand the "great finish" people have talked about. The condition was what you would expect for anywhere on the sandbelt.
September 23, 2007
4 / 6
Metropolitan
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David Davis
Just as the commentor below states this is a course not to miss if you are in Melbourne. I was invited to play in the men's day a few weeks ago on my visit there and yes, their members are incredibly friendly. Club house and food were great and the course is top notch just as you'd expect with all the acclaim it has received. Definitely among my favorites in OZ.
April 13, 2007
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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mark chaplin
I've been lucky enough to play all of Australia's Royal courses and some more and still Metro is my first choice for a Down Under days golf. For a course with 1500+ members the conditioning is just unbelievable. The fairways are near to perfect, the huge expanses of sand look perfectly trimmed as if by sissors and the large undulating greens roll fast and true. Be prepared to walk your trolley across NOT around the greens, this is a common feature of Aussie courses where wear would affect the pathways between bunkers and greens and the firm greens can take the limited effects of a trolley. Beautiful clubhouse, good food, friendly members and a few "cold ones" make Metro a wonderful place for a round. Do not overlook this gem if you find yourself with a day to spare if we win the Ashes test in four days!!
September 22, 2006
6 / 6
Metropolitan
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