Royal Melbourne (West)
Royal Melbourne Golf Club is a 36-hole golf club in Australia, located in Black Rock, Victoria, a suburb southeast of Melbourne. Its West and East courses are respectively ranked number 1 and 6 in Australia .The West course is ranked in the top ten courses in the world (or outside the United States). Founded 125 years ago in 1891, it is Australia’s oldest extant and continually existing golf club. The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has a capacity for 15,000 spectators.
Much has been written on the qualities of the West Course but put simply it’s a combination of great design and construction. It is full of dramatic undulation, fertile sandy soil and a natural rugged appearance. West Course highlights include bold bunkering while the rough areas around the tees and bunkers are a mix of native grasses which naturally frame each hole, providing great definition and contrast. The greens are brilliant and for decades have consistently provided the finest putting surfaces in Australia. They are large and beautifully contoured they are built to accommodate approaches from a number of angles with each progressively more difficult the further the tee shot strays from the perfect line.
The East Course starts and finishes on the main site and is highlighted by seven ‘home paddock’ holes. The bunkering is superb while the greens, though smaller than the West’s, are as beautifully constructed and sloped. It incorporates some of the most dramatic undulation on the course, the short four, long four, and mid four start is brilliant with clear risk and reward options from the tee and birdie to double bogey possibilities. The closing stretch starts with the short par 4 15th and the heavily bunkered 16th, which is the flattest ‘home paddock’ hole of either course but one of the best and most underrated par 3s in Melbourne. The final two holes are famously used on the world-renowned Composite Course.
Royal Melbourne’s Composite Course is continually rated in the top 10 golf courses in the world, an amalgamation of the work of two great golf course designers, Alister MacKenzie and Alex Russell. The Composite Course came into being in 1959 when Royal Melbourne was asked to hold the World Cup (known as the Canada Cup at that time). Royal Melbourne’s two courses are known as the ‘West’ and ‘East’ courses. It was decided to use 12 holes from the West Course and 6 holes from the East Course for the World Cup, and hence the Composite Course was born.