Officially opened for play in April 2006, the 18-hole layout at Waterford Valley Golf Club lies within a substantial residential development that impacts the routing most on the front nine. The course can be set up to play any distance between 5170 and 6545 metres so it’s certainly capable of hosting championship events from the back markers.
Fairways are grassed with Santa Ana couch and greens are carpeted in bent, offering first class playing surfaces throughout. Water in the shape of lakes and wetlands comes into play at several holes on the card but fairways are generally wide enough to prevent most players from losing too many golf balls in these aquatic hazards.
Highlight holes include the 179-metre 2nd, with a big bail out area left of the green for those who don’t want to risk taking on the green over water from the tee. The par five 6th is another mighty hole on the front nine, veering gently to the right with water running the full length of the fairway on the left until reaching the tree-encircled green.
On the more open back nine, the double doglegged 14th is the easiest of the par five holes, offering the chance of a late birdie. It’s not often the 18th hole is rated stroke index 1 but that’s the case at Waterford Valley, where the home green has been remodelled as an island green, with four large bunkers providing further protection next to the putting surface.
Here is a genuinely underrated course. Always in great condition, Waterford Valley plays well in Summer and Winter.
The Greens are often quick and have very subtle undulations that can catch you out if you aren't paying enough attention. The fairways are well manicured and the bunkers (especially in a covid world) are again a pretty good quality and well looked after along with a good volume of sand.
As the blurb above says, the course does feature water but for the most part it doesn't come into play on a lot of holes unless you go wayward or fluff a shot.
A fairly flat course this is a fairly easy walk but you do have a bit of a hike between holes 9 & 10 and a tunnel crossing under the street between holes 3 & 4 as well as 6 & 7.
For mine the best holes are 3, 10 & 18 and are all par 4's. Hole 3 has 2 ponds on the left as well as bunkers on the right from the tee that are reachable. Not a long hole so a driver or 3w would be fine off the tee for a mid iron to wedge approach to a green that is framed by trees behind on a ridge, water in front and a bunker to the left. The green itself is in a slight bowl and elevated above the fairway but only by a few metres.
Hole 10 opens the back 9 with a late dogleg to the left that carries over a small creek to a green that is protected by bunkers at the front to the left and right. There is a hill at the back if you go to far will help a ball roll back down and usually find the green. The key to this hole is the tee, unless you can get to the late dogleg then you are laying up before the creek. If you can't reach the dogleg then the right hand side of the fairway is the way to go for a lay up short of the creek. Again, not a long hole so if you do make the dogleg a simple short iron or wedge would be suffice.
Closing the course is 18 with its island green with a false front. From the tee you contend with a lake on the left, fairway bunker also on the left and rough on the right that eventually fades into the lake as well as it bends around the fairway. The island green will need a mid to long iron in depending on your length from the tee but be aware that the green is well bunkered on most sides so the water isn't the only hazard. Don't be afraid to lay up as the green also has a false front that can catch you out, but this a wonderful closing hole.
Depending on when you play you'll be looking to about $50 to $80 to play here. If you need a warm up there is a good practice green and chipping area to get yourself started (also a driving range but you bring your own balls). This a quality course and, for me anyway, the best public track in Southeast Melbourne away from the Sand-belt and the Peninsula.