Situated between Perth’s affluent western suburbs of Nedlands and Dalkeith, Nedlands Golf Club was established on the Melvista Reserve in 1932, becoming the eighth metropolitan golf club founded in the city. Cyril Dudley was a leading light in the club’s formative years, holding the position of president for 27 of its first 32 years in operation.
The inaugural club competition was held on the 12th May 1934, when forty-eight members participated. Membership numbers in those days was a healthy 375 so efforts were made to acquire more land to extend the 9-hole course but, for a variety of reasons, this never happened, leaving the club’s 45-acre property surrounded by housing nowadays.
Feature holes include short par fours at the 1st and 6th, along with the two par threes at the 146-metre 3rd and 123-metre 7th. The best is kept until last, however, at the 395-metre 9th, a long left doglegging par four. A ridge runs from the front left to the rear of this sand-protected home green, leaving a tough putt to any pin position at the back.
I have played a lot of tournament golf on this course, and despite it being short, nobody ever takes it apart! Whoever fit this 9 holes into this land got it spot on. The greens are phenomenal, and the 6th is one of the best and scariest short par 4’s in the world. It has ruined my day on FAR too many occasions!! 260m and often reachable with just an iron by utilising the sloping fairway, the green slopes severely from front to back, with out of bounds long!! Sounds unfair, but if you play this hole intelligently, take a 4 and get out of there!!
There is one thing that makes Nedland Golf Club so exceptional, its small, lightning-quick, well-protected greens. It is an unassuming place, sitting amongst the high eucalyptus trees in Western Australia's most exclusive and affluent suburb. Nedlands is amongst the best nine-hole courses in the country.
On paper, you wouldn't think it produces much of a challenge, lots of short shorter holes by modern standards, but this golf courses original design stands up against the test of time. With strategically placed bunkers, manicured fairways and plenty of dog-leg holes, the challenges mount up quickly and relentlessly.
You quickly forget you are only on a nine-hole golf course and playing the same hole a second time is no easier than the first time around. The short par four 6th is the standout golf hole for me; a decent drive will leave you within wedge distance of the green, but this is where the fun begins, bunkers at the front a green that will only hold a perfectly placed shot. Those big hitter could go for glory on this hole; only the best tee shot will leave you with an eagle putt.
The par four 8th needs a well-placed draw to leave you with a decent chance of making par and then onto the hardest of them all a 400m 9th par four, is a massive dog-leg to a well-guarded green that always seems to have you in two-putt territory no matter how well you hit your shot into it.
For two hours of golfing fun or torture, give the club a call and see if you can book on as a visitor, for nine holes you will struggle to find somewhere better in Perth (or the rest of Australia).