Lesser known than some of the other sandbelt golf courses, Melbourne’s Southern Golf Club is worth a visit.
It feels ridiculous now but as I wandered towards the first tee of Southern Golf Club last November I fantasised about stumbling into Tiger Woods.
You see Tiger had just played his first round at the Australian Masters that morning and maybe, just maybe he was looking for some quieter surroundings in the sandbelt region of Melbourne to fine tune his game.
How stupid I was. Tiger had far more interesting things to be doing than practising his golf game, let alone with a few Australian social golfers.Southern Golf Club is Cameron Percy’s home club and is one of the many fine courses in Melbourne’s sandbelt region. The course is composed of two very distinct nines with the front having a slightly more resort feel.
It begins plainly with a couple of relatively straightforward opening holes but as you turn back towards the club house, the course starts to grab you.
The fifth hole is a dangerous short par-4 with the fairway narrowing faster than John Daly’s waistline with bunkers and water scooping up anything wayward. The region is known for its superb bunkering and Southern is no exception. It is almost a pleasure to land in one.
The back nine has more of an old school Australian parklands feel to it. Large gum trees line every fairway and make the landing areas look even smaller than they are.
The 14th is a difficult long par 4 and sums up some of the old-school Australian golf hole’s for me. It is relentless.
You need to be straight but at 413 meters you also need to be long to score well. The green is surrounded by large bunkers and huge gum trees that cast long shadows early morning or late evening.
The round finishes with a short dogleg left par-4. As the sun was setting and shadows were thrown across the 18th green and fairway it was easy to like Southern. It is a pity Tiger didn’t come out to play Southern Golf Club. It would make a fine mistress to have seen on the side, during his official duties at Kingston Heath.