The Murray Downs resort lies on the flood plain of Australia’s longest river – the “Mighty Murray” – beside the small pioneer settlement and historic township of Swan Hill and the 18-hole course here is widely recognized as one of the most affordable and accessible layouts in the country.
Course architect Ted Parslow – who includes a number of Chinese and Malaysian courses in his portfolio – fashioned the fairways at Murray Downs in the late 1980s with the official opening taking place in 1991.
Parslow had a blank canvas on which to work, as the site chosen for the course was an open, flat and largely featureless piece of land located in a typically harsh outback environment.
After substantial earth moving, the planting of over 16,000 trees and bushes and the installation of several large expanses of water, the architect crafted a wonderful golfing oasis that has matured splendidly over the last couple of decades.
Noted for its prominent sand bunkers, the course also brings water into play on many of the fairways, especially at holes 11 to 18. The signature hole is played early in the round at the long par three 5th where the tee shot must carry a significant water hazard to a green protected by bunkers on the left and a lake to the right.
Championship resort course, yet quite rural and also a members club for the town of Swan Hill. An excellent selection of holes that mix doglegs left and right; subtle elevation changes; water carries; and regular fairway and greenside bunkers. However, the 'resort' nature of the place means plenty of landing area and large greens. I played to handicap first time around here, which suggests there's no great mystery to the holes, or maybe it just confirms that a resort course is usually more friendly to travelling golfers.
Conditioning excellent. Value for money also excellent for the high standard course. A decent Sunday roast was served up in the club bistro after the round too.
I ticked off another fine Australian course, sometimes you can play great courses locally in and around the big cities without travelling to far, but today's location was a fair hike. Out west on the NSW / VIC border at the heart of the Murray River. Murray Downs Resort. This course is currently is great condition considering that on the drive out here, you travel through towns listing water restrictions are required to be adhered everyday. Fairways are outstanding for a "country course" Huge green complexes greet the golfer :) Great bunkering on display as well as great use of water features. Visually stunning course. The routing is great! and change of direction and occasional wind keep the golfer having fun And that's exactly what I encountered! Especially after almost eagling the 1st hole from a fairway bunker 60m out! Played 1 - 11 by myself, then linked up with Brendan and his 14 yr old son Cam from The Northern club in Melbourne who are also country members of the MD track. #thecourseliveduptothehype!