There are certain locations that are forever associated with golf, places like Augusta or Pebble Beach. Another, perhaps less-known destination is Melbourne, Australia home to the famed "Sandbelt" region of courses. Here, golfers can find a plethora of beautiful and challenging courses that can be played year-round. The following are the best courses the region has to offer.
Park Rd, Cheltenham VIC 3192, Australia
Victoria Golf Club boasts a course designed by the legendary Alister MacKenzie, designer of Masters’ host Augusta National. The course has hosted 3 Australian Opens in its history, as well as the 2010 Australian Masters. Golfers should expect a tough championship course with firm, fast greens that will test their chipping and putting game. Golfers who approach the game strategically will have the most joy on this course.
70 Greg Norman Dr, Point Cook VIC 3030, Australia
Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club was designed by Greg Norman that straddles a nature sanctuary and a residential area. Golfers begin in suburbia and end in protected wetlands that border the course, with the land the course is on actually a former salt mine. The course uses a lot of water and smart bunkering to provide a challenge to golfers. Expect to use every club when playing this sandbelt course.
Golf Rd, Oakleigh South VIC 3167, Australia
The private Metropolitan Golf Club has a well-earned reputation as one of the Sandbelt’s best courses. The course was built in 1908 by J.B. MacKenzie, later updated by Alister MacKenzie in 1926. The Metropolitan has hosted numerous Australian Opens and Australian PGA Championships. The course is well known for its use of bunkers and native Australian foliage to protect greens and fairways, and also its excellent conditioning.
Kingston Rd, Cheltenham VIC 3192, Australia
Kingston Heath Golf Club was designed in 1925 by Dan Soutar with input from Alister MacKenzie, showing once again the influence of MacKenzie on the Sandbelt. It has hosted an Australian Masters, 7 Australian Opens, and 7 Australian Match Play Championships featuring the best players in world golf. The course is renown for its difficulty, with many high-risk/high-reward decisions facing golfers and a true test of all aspects of the game.
Cheltenham Rd, Black Rock VIC 3193, Australia
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club is the oldest course in Australia, and widely considered its best. The facility’s best-known course is the West course, designed by none other than Alister MacKenzie, though the East course is also considered one of Australia’s best. The West course is known for its relatively open fairways that lead to absolutely punishing second shots, as well as the variety of holes on offer.