The Spring Valley Golf Club was established in 1948 with thirty-three founding members, many of them from the Forest Hills club in nearby Dandenlong. It took almost three years to clear the scrub from the site chosen for the new course and it opened for play in 1951. Although the routing has remained intact for over half a century, Mike Clayton has modified all greens, tees and bunkers in recent times.
Situated in the centre of the Melbourne sandbelt, Spring Valley doesn’t quite have the same rolling topography of other, higher ranked courses in the area but it’s a fine layout nonetheless, demanding careful course management to score well.
Designed by Vern Morcom, son of Mick (the head greenkeeper at Royal Melbourne for thirty years) who constructed much of Alister MacKenzie’s work in Victoria’s state capital, Spring Valley is a traditional sandbelt course where the game plan consists of accuracy off the tee and precision of the approach to greens.
A modern clubhouse sits on ground slightly above the rest of the course, allowing for a gentle downhill opening hole and a testing, uphill, closing hole, played to a raised green. Tree-lined fairways and firm putting surfaces are impressively bunkered throughout and water even makes a mark on proceedings at the par four 13th hole.
Spring Valley is located in the famous Sandbelt region of Melbourne. I categorise it as one of the best “Tier II” courses of that area ie: it is not in the class of Royal Melbourne or Kingston Heath but is still a strong course all the same.
Originally designed by Vern Morcom it has undergone a big makeover and significant upgrade by the OCCM golf course design group. Mike Clayton and his team have over the years altered virtually all of the tees, greens and bunkers. Their tinkering has improved the overall quality of the course even though they left the original routing as such.
Spring Valley isn’t blessed with undulating topography but make the most of what changes there are much like Kingston Heath.
My favourite hole is the short P3 10th which requires an accurate tee shot as the green is surrounded by large and deep bunkers.
The layout is quite tight in places but the quality of the design is impressive. At only 6,200m long Spring Valley will really test your driving accuracy and iron play.
Often overlooked in the past due to the tip that was located nearby - that should not be the case anymore as it has been closed and will be replaced by a reserve.
I thoroughly recommend a game at Spring Valley for those that venture to that area of Melbourne and believe you will not be disappointed.