Course no. 17, Long Island (National Golf Club) Frankston, Vic
My home track for the last 20 years and I love it
Nomadic_golfer : February 2020
Par 72, 6189m, slope 132 (blue)
3 par 3s from 130 – 165m, 12 par 4s from 310 – 404m, 3 par 5s from 461 – 502m
After a couple of weeks on the Murray, we make a detour to Melbourne (still pre-covid) for the 50th of Dingley larrikin @johneknackers and manage to squeeze in a couple of games at my home club. The first of these was at the Long Island course in Frankston, now part of The National Golf Club.
I am likely to be a little biased in my assessment of this track, having been a member for 20 years and playing it frequently in the last 10. One of the last days of golf I had in Melbourne before embarking on our tour was “The Longest Day” fundraiser, which entailed playing 72 holes around here in 1 day. It is a classic old sandbelt course, opened in 1938. The ti-tree lined fairways are mixed with big old gums and plenty of spectacular bunkering as per the great examples in these photos, particularly the 15th (above & middle bottom row) and the classic par 3 3rd in the main photo below). Golf Digest’s latest rankings had the course at no.54 in Australia.
Well renowned for the quality of it’s putting surfaces, Long Island once had a reputation for having greens as fast and as firm as any on the sandbelt. These days, that ‘terror’ only re-appears on main events, but the quality of the greens still remains. The couch fairways are always in good condition, giving you those tight but even lies that demand you strike the irons well and you know what you are doing when hitting a pitch or chip.
As for the layout, it’s tough with a slope of 132 off the blue attesting to that. My favourite holes are: 3 (165m par 3 which can stretch to 185m, with diagonal green running from short left to long right and green sloping to the right – don’t miss left!); 5 (short par 5 of 460m with a blind tee shot over a mound at about 200m with ti-tree on both sides of the fairway and a copse of gums on the right at about 250 and finishes with a very shallow green. It’s the sort of hole where you make plenty of 4s and plenty of 8s); and 15 (378m par 4 with uphill tee-shot to a crest at about 190m, then goes downhill and turns left with ti-tree on both sides and a large set of bunkers on the left which reach out and grab you). I must also give mention to 6 and 7; many a round has been wrecked by these two 400m par 4s running parallel with Skye Rd; 6 with ob left and 7 which is as difficult a 4 as you will find, slight left to right off the tee, then an uphill second to a green which has a massive false front.
Of The National’s 4 courses, this is the only one within an hour of the city and does not suffer in comparison to those great tracks further down the peninsula – it’s a golfer’s course!
A big thank you to Gary Lisbon Golf Photography for the photos, he’s the best in the business. Check out his work at http://www.golfphotos.com.au. He’s also on instagram @garylisbongolf