National (Old) - Victoria - Australia

The National Golf Club,
10 The Cups Drive,
Cape Schanck,
Victoria,
3939,
Australia


  • +61 3 5988 6666

  • Not known

  • Robert Trent Jones Jnr

  • Not known

The National Golf Club is Australia’s largest private members’ golf club and it’s situated in Cape Schanck on the dramatically undulating and sandy seaside land of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

There’s no shortage of golf to be played at the National Golf Club, with three courses to choose from… the Old, the Ocean and the Moonah. All three courses appear in Australia’s Top 50 and the Old was naturally the first course to be laid out here at the National. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, the Old course opened for play in 1988 and its set on undulating slightly hilly ground which allows for stunning coastal views.

The Mornington Peninsula could easily be one long stretch of golf holes and it must have been a challenge for RTJ2 to decide on his virgin routing plan. The National’s signature hole is the wonderful one-shot 7th, which invariably plays into the prevailing breeze. With a daunting ravine to carry, club selection is critical and most will take one club more bringing a deep bunker at the back of the green into play. With the Mornington Peninsula as the backcloth, this is a truly memorable hole.

To card a good score on the National Old course, you’ll need your best driving game and a hot putter. These are some of the best putting surfaces in Australia and they can be shaved rather slickly.

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Reviews for National (Old)

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Description: The Old was naturally the first course to be laid out here at the National Golf Club and it was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr. Rating: 5.3 out of 6 Reviews: 3

By far the best of the three courses, this one offers the most to all golfers. Unlike Moonah with its brute force requirements this course both beguiles and deceives. Not a long course, which is just as well, as it is tight and liberally bunkered. The greens are very large and have whole herds of elephants buried in them; the wrong side of the whole can be a good three putt. Two par threes I played I was on for one and walked off with five, simply because I was in the wrong place on the green. I haven't seen greens that tricky since Royal Melbourne, and what seemed like good shots would often end up 40 or 50 feet away. The course is very hilly as well, so if you don't like too much exercise, recommend you use a golf cart. However, the real joy of this place is the sheer beauty, with views to die for, especially at the short 7th. Trent Jones has ensured he has made use of the beauty of the tee tree covered dunes by winding his way up hill and down dale. This can cause confusion as to the correct line to take off tees, so if you are not playing with a member buy the yardage book. The 3rd completely bamboozled me even though I could see the entire hole, it doglegs to the left and you just have no idea without yardage as to how far everything is. I also enjoyed the tenth, a par five where I deliberately drove right to avoid the fairway bunkers, and found that even though I was on the fairway, all I could was hit a 7 iron as I was completely blocked out by trees to go for the green. A better play would have been hybrid short of bunkers and then wood to green. And there are quite a few challenges like that to be had. Love this course, will be back lots of times.
6 / 6
National (Old)
November 02, 2015


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The first of the 3 courses at the National Golf Club with a distinctive look and feel. This RTJ Junior layout from 1985 is considerably different from the Moonah course as each hole navigates around dense vegetation terrain with more dramatic changes in elevation. National Golf Club Old course hole 7There are many beautiful views of the Sea, the surrounding Cape Schanck national park and the southern coastline running all the way up to Portsea. The original clubhouse was behind the 5th green, but was recently torn down and removed completely. This then changed the routing as the original 1st hole is now the 6th hole. Many believe, and I share the same opinion, that knocking this clubhouse was a shame – more so because of the negative impact to the routing. The highlight is the well documented and photographed par 3 7th hole playing over a deep ravine to a shallow wide putting surface. National Golf Club Old course - hole 8The background of the Sea is distracting enough from such elevation! Almost all of the holes play through an enclosed corridor of vegetation with very large bunker complexes. It’s very much target golf and man-made. Walking the course is not really an option given the distances between holes, the changes in elevation and the ravines that have to be carried. The course isn't as penal as the Moonah and is more conducive to having fun while playing golf. Many consider it the best of the 3 courses. From a scratch golfer’s perspective, I certainly enjoyed the challenge of the tight tee-shots and found it much more scorable than the Moonah. It’s visually more enjoyable being able to see the Sea and play from great heights. The change in the routing leads to a very anticlimactic short par 4 18th hole, but otherwise, I recommend it to all visitors. God only knows what Alister MacKenzie would have created if he ventured down to Cape Schanck and witnessed the untapped land with staggering potential down along the ocean.
5 / 6
National (Old)
January 26, 2015


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RTJ II has a habit of creating tough courses and the Old is no exception. The tight rollercoaster greens seemed a bit tricked up for my liking and coupled with narrow treed fairways it called for very restrained golf. A tough walk on this undulating track took its toll in the heat and the only saving grace was the spectacular views from the high points. This is my friend’s favourite course the National but it’s second best IMO behind the excellent Moonah IMO especially as I lost two balls on the crazy P5 8th.
5 / 6
National (Old)
March 26, 2010


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