Nomadic_golfer : April 2022
Par 72, 6097m, slope 140
4 par3s 135-160m, 10 par4s 280-410m, 4 par5s 475-550m
The marriage of Peninsula Country Club and Kingswood Golf Club in Melbourne’s South-East 5 or 6 years ago did not please all involved but it did deliver a truly outstanding golf facility. The North Course is firm and fast, making the fairways play tight. It is very penal with lots of fairways bordered by bunkers/ sandy wasteland, with bracken and scrub forming the next outer layer.
Condition is as good as any course set up for member play that I have ever seen, with all surfaces immaculate in early Autumn. The bunkering is exceptional and there is lots & lots of it, with green and surround contours moving seamlessly into the bunkering. The green complexes are superb and the bentgrass surfaces firm, quick and immaculate.
Its a different strategy here, with most of the risk/ reward from the tee rather than par5 second shots – strategy isn’t so much about which half of the fairway to approach from but how you actually find the fairway and what club to hit from the tees of the 4s and 5s – with multiple line/ carry options on many holes. Prime examples are: 1 (320m par4 and my only negative in that the opening tee shot is just too tight, no warm up, and dead both sides!); 3 & 5 (reachable par 5s with tricky tee shots that really reward a fairway hit by bounding forward down hills, leaving irons into the greens); 6 (295m uphill par4 with a sea of sand); 11 (340m par4 with a fairway that is way tighter than it appears and has a bunker encroaching from the left into the middle of the fairway); 13 (my favourite 4 on the course, only 280m with a myriad of line/ length options off the tee and a beautiful green complex with shelves and drop-offs into bunkers everywhere); and 18 (370m par4 sweeping left with bunker jutting out from the left at driving length).
My favourite hole is the 150m par 3 2nd, which reminds me a little of the famous 5th at RM, even faces the same way, heavily bunkered over a little valley, with an undulating green that has a false front and everything wants to move left. I also love the short, left-turning, downhill par4 8th which would tempt the big hitters with an easterly blowing, but the shallow green complex dictates the approach needs spin to hold it.
I don’t necessarily subscribe to the popular local view that the first 8 and last 2 are the best holes but the undulating ground that those 10 holes occupy make for the most spectacular sights.
Overall, this is a treat to play. Bring your A game from the tee and you can score well, but you will need all facets working as nothing is a snack on the fast and furious surfaces. It’s not overly long and plays shorter due to the bounce and run. Play well here and you can score well but play poorly here and it could easily get embarrassing. Local Ben Murphy shot 57 here last week, he brought his A game!!