The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria operates a number of resorts in the states of Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, many of them with golf courses as amenities for members of the motoring organization who visit the various destinations.
Located just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, the golf course at Torquay RACV occupies a prime coastal position beside Jan Juc Beach, featuring wide-open couch fairways, fescue rough, wetland areas and fantastic ocean views.
The following edited extract is from The Golf Courses of Vern Morcom by Toby Cumming:
“The Morcom name has a long association with golf in Torquay. Having overseen the formation of a new links at Barwon Heads in 1921 [though the design is attributed to Vic East, with Mick advising], Mick Morcom was asked to design a 9-hole course in nearby Torquay.
In 1935, this 9-hole course was redesigned by Vern. The 1st remained the same but all the others were altered, with the new holes predominantly running north-south. Many of today’s front nine holes date from this time, with 3-9 echoing the current 2nd-8th.
Inn 1948, Vern extended the 9 holes to 18. The additional holes went up and over the hill to the west of the original nine. Vern remained involved into the 1950s, visiting Torquay and giving advice on how to combat the deterioration of fairway grasses on the low-lying sections.
The 21st century, post-RACV changes [by Michael Clayton] have left the routing and ambience of the front nine largely in place. Added wetlands take advantage of what was naturally low-lying ground. The major alterations were to the back nine.
Construction of the imposing new accommodation meant elimination of the par three 10th and a new par three (12th) was built to replace it. Boundary issues meant that the old par four 13th had to be modified; the latter part is now the par three 15th.
Rebuilt, shifted green complexes on the 14th (the old 15th) and 18th and expansion of the pond on the right of 16 (the old 14th) have significantly altered the character of those holes. The 10th (old 11th), 11th (old 12th), 13th (old 16th ) and 17th retain much of their original flavour.”
The round gets off to a flier, with a great chance for birdie on the short par five opening hole as it swings left towards Spring Creek. Two greens are sited next to the beach on the front nine, at the demanding par five 4th and tough par four 6th.
On the back nine, nearly all the holes are oriented in a north-south direction (as they are on the outward half), routed either towards the coastline or away from it. The exception to this is the short par three 17th which plays along the strand, facing towards Rocky Point Lookout.