Yarra Yarra Golf Club is located on the Warrigal Road south of Melbourne’s city centre, very close to Commonwealth and Metropolitan. Unlike most of its peers in the Sandbelt, there is a distinct shift in scene and strategy between the two nines. The front nine, the first seven holes of which are laid out on land north of the elegant brick clubhouse, are of a more intimate nature.
The 402-metre par 4 5th, which strokes 2 on the card, is a strong hole but the other holes on the nine call for controlled and accurate striking. The second nine is roomier and the fairway targets on the par 4s and 5s are on the generous side. The drama is stored up for the complicated green complexes that have been developed at Yarra Yarra. In your favour are the best putting surfaces in Australia, a dense and compact mat of green and enviable trueness. Here a ball goes exactly where struck and we have cause to envy the members at Yarra Yarra who enjoy this as a matter of course.
The course at Yarra Yarra Golf Club is one of the most memorable golf experiences in the region. Play once and your memory will be indelibly stamped with images of the handsome brick clubhouse, the shifting nature of the nines, the peerless greenkeeping and the flow of holes.
The above passage is a brief edited extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.
The club started out as the Eaglemont Golf Club in 1898, before moving to Rosanna in 1911 to become the Yarra Yarra Golf Club, with members playing on a course laid out by M. G. B. Jefferson. In order to have a course based on sandy soil instead of clay, the club moved again to its present location at Bentleigh and it was here that Alex Russell’s first solo design was officially opened on 23 February 1929.
In 2017, the club commissioned Renaissance Golf Design to restore the classic intent of the original Alex Russell design. Tom Doak commented as follows: “Yarra Yarra is one of the finest courses designed by the esteemed Alex Russell and stands up extremely well in a neighbourhood noted worldwide for fine and unique golf courses. Mr. Russell surely made the most of an elegant piece of property. It is with great pleasure that we have been appointed by the Yarra Yarra Golf Club.”
Phase one of the restoration, led by Brian Slawnick, completed in September 2018 and there's little doubt that when the job is finished Yarra Yarra will climb the Australian rankings.
The Home of the awesome Beez! - Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby.