The Sanctuary Lakes Resort is situated in the Point Cook district of Melbourne and it’s a grand scale residential golf project set out on property that was formerly used to produce salt commercially. The site extends to over 2,000 acres and half of that area – Cheetham Wetlands – is now designated as a nature sanctuary with the remaining land used for the golf and housing development.
Constructed on a desolate tract of derelict land that many considered too problematic to develop, the links-like fairways at Sanctuary lakes extend to 150 acres and they were first used by the membership in 2000. Greg Norman and his lead architect Bob Harrison designed the course and their layout required the movement of more than a little earth to fashion 18 holes of interest on such a nondescript landscape.
As the Great White Shark says, “Sanctuary Lakes was situated on a salt mine on a dead flat piece of land. We had to convert the salt mine into a golf course and residential development so we came up with an ingenious way of building nine holes outside the mine and the other nine along the saltwater marsh. As the members play the course, they are treated to a dramatic change in the environment.”
Many golfers rate the two par threes on the front nine very highly with both short holes played to water-protected greens. On the back nine, two par fours stand out. The 13th is a tough hole that fully warrants a stoke index rating of 2 and the 445-yard 18th – while lacking fairway bunkers – has its island green virtually encircled by sand. Unsurprisingly, a score of five here will feel like a par.