Located on the southern edge of the Melbourne Sandbelt at the gateway to the scenic Mornington Peninsula, Long Island Country Club is one of Victoria’s hidden gems and many consider the eight holes from 3 to 10 to be as challenging as any other similar stretch in the entire country.
The course sits on pleasantly undulating land that was formerly used as Frankston Racecourse and golf has been played here since 1938 when a British architect, Gordon Oliver, routed the front nine holes around the perimeter of the property, enclosing the back nine within the centre of the estate. A very much underrated 18 holes, Long Island is noted for the distinctive bunkering that complements its tree-lined fairways and bent grass greens.
With only three par threes on the scorecard at holes 3, 9 and 12, the focus falls on the longer holes at Long Island with back-to-back par fives played at the 4th and 5th. If the wind is from the east, the 440 yard 6th will feel like a par five too. The 518-yard 13th is a very aesthetically pleasing three-shotter with water in play to the left of a fairway that double doglegs to the green.
In 2015, the members of Long Island Country Club and The National Golf Club voted in favour of a merger to create the first 72-hole private golf club in Australia. Club members can now enjoy full playing rights across four Top 100 ranked courses.
Whilst built on great sandy loam ground with terrific topography, especially on the South-Eastern half of the property, Long Island suffers from far too many trees crowding the playing corridors and, more particularly, the landing zones, making for a frustrating day out in the main. With a chainsaw put to good work, the course could easily be made quite brilliant, as its green complexes are excellent. But on too many holes the charm line is obscured by hardwoods.
Just a correction; this course should now be called National Long Island Course, as it has merged with the National GC, and joins the Old, Moonah and Ocean as part of a 72 hole golf complex. Hopefully, with the extra money this will bring in, this course will move up the ranking as it has great potential.