Classic golf courses on show this week: Riviera and Victoria Golf Club

There are two short, very interesting, old-school golf courses being played this week across the globe that are worthy of mention. 

Since this website kicked off, I’ve learned a lot more about golf course design and become more interested in what makes a great (and therefore interesting) golf course. While by no means an expert in the field, it’s now obvious that great golf courses provide choices as well as challenges.

A truly great golf course should not only be fun and interesting for amateurs to play, but also interesting to watch the professionals play. Too often professional golf tournaments are hosted on golf courses that do little to challenge a professionals full range of shots.

But thankfully, two great and very interesting golf courses are on display in the professional golf world this week that are favourites with both players and TV viewers. Both golf courses have been given some scrutiny by two guys I’ve learned and lot about course design from over the past five years.

The Australian Ladies Masters (broadcast on ABC TV) is being played at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne this week and Mike Clayton chatted to Andy Maher in the above video about what makes the course a classic, short test of golf. Clayton has also written a great piece this week: “Why short holes are still great”.

I was lucky enough to play Victoria golf course a few years ago and love every minute of it. It’s a challenge but an immensely enjoyable one with decisions to be made on every tee, fairway and around the green. Read my golf course review of Victoria GC here.

The PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open (broadcast on FoxSports) heads to Riviera Golf Club this week that also has its share of wonderfully interesting golf holes and Geoff Shackleford took a look at three of them via the Golf Channel earlier this week.

Geoff throws out the term “Redan hole” here without explaining it. If you have an interest in golf course design, you may know what he is talking about – but if you aren’t (like myself five years ago) then here is what he is referring to.

A Redan hole is a green complex where the putting surface typically slopes from front to back  and is usually angled from right to left. It is usually well fortified (Redan is a French word relating to fortification) and forces the golfer to play away from the flagstick to bounce the ball the green.

Both Geoff Shackleford and Mike Clayton feature on the State of the Game podcast (iTunes link). Geoff Shackleford writes for Golf Digest as well as managing his own website ( and Mike Clayton writes for Golf Australia.

If you want to learn a little more about golf course design, you could do a lot worse than listening and reading their thoughts on golf courses.

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