Blog 202 – The National, Long Island

Course 26 for 2022 – Long Island Course, The National GC, Vic

Approach to the tricky 340m 10th

Classic old sandbelt quality, from Oliver and Morcom

Nomadic_golfer : March 2022

Par 72, 6189m, slope 132

3 par3s 130-170m, 12 par4s 320-404m, 3 par5s 460-505m

I have been a member here for 20 years and love the challenge that it represents. It is a classic old sandbelt course on rolling dunelands north of Frankston, designed by Gordon Oliver and opened in 1938. Vern Morcom added his touch in the 1940’s and it has long been a ‘golfer’s course’. The ti-tree lined fairways are mixed with big old gums and plenty of spectacular bunkering. The various publications have had it back in the top 50 courses in Australia in the last few years and I am very excited about what lies ahead following the recent appointment of OCM to develop an ’Enhancement Plan’ for the course.

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!