All the Sandbelt courses are celebrated for the rugged beauty and challenge of their bunkering. Also 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. 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.
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 :)