Secrets and Tips for Australia golf vacations — Australia Golf & Tasmania


Augusta National to…Australia?

Alister Mackenzie’s Adventure Down Under helped produce 5 of the World’s Top 100 courses.  Did you know you can play them all - and more?


Augusta National, Cypress Point, and Royal Melbourne have two things in common - they were designed by Alister MacKenzie and they are cathedrals of golf.  Any given year, 10 of his courses are in the top 100 in the world.

You will hear a lot of Dr. Mackenzie’s name on CBS during The Masters at Augusta National soon, but how much do you know about Mackenzie’s other work? Especially in golf-mad Australia?

Royal Melbourne is the best course south of the equator and gets most mention, but while Mackenzie was in Australia for only three months, he created or redesigned several of the world’s – and Australia’s – top courses.


Here they are, and you can play them all:


1)  Royal Melbourne Golf Club West course; Top 10 in World;  #1 in Australia

Mackenzie was invited to design the original course after the Melbourne, Australia golf club moved, and as the club's history provides, "He was obviously impressed with Alex Russell, making him a partner, and with Mick Morcom who he described as "the best Greenkeeper I have come across in Britain, America or Australia."  The intricate undulations and bunkering visible throughout the course can be seen on the 5th hole above.

Request Royal Melbourne Golf Club tee times here


2)  Kingston Heath Golf Club;  Top 25 in World, #2 in Australia 

Tiger Woods will go from Masters to Masters - from the Augusta version in April to the Australian version next November - to this incredible course in Melbourne's famous Sandbelt region that is consistenly considered to be one of the world's best.  Mackenzie helped with course routing and laid out the fantastic bunkering.  Note, playing here does require that you be a member of a registered club yourself.

Request Kingston Heath Golf Club tee times here


3)  New South Wales Golf Club;  Top 35 in World,  #3 in Australia  

Mackenzie was invited to redesign this Sydney, Australia golf club and said,  “At Sydney, I made an entirely new course for the New South Wales Golf Club at a place called La Perouse. 

This is a sand-duned peninsula which overlooks Botany Bay and presents, I think, more spectacular views than any other place I know..."

Sure enough, 3 of the holes are listed among the most spectacular in Australia (see list here..."

Request New South Wales Golf Club tee times here


4)  Royal Adelaide Golf Club;  Top 50 in World,  #5 in Australia

Mackenzie took an initial layout and re-routed and bunkered it.  From the club's history, "The land purchased at Seaton had as its nucleus, sand dunes, around which were some ribbons of grassed land but much of the property was a series of poorly drained swamps.  Although poor farming land, from the very first, it was recognised as splendid golf country.  The first course skirted the sand dunes.  These dunes were incorporated into the layout following the visit of Dr Alister MacKenzie."

Request Royal Adelaide Golf Club tee times here


5)  Victoria Golf Club;  Top 100 World,  Top 10 in Australia

Mackenzie designed the Melbourne original layout with Oscar Damman and William Meander.  Victoria Golf Club is steeped in history, but offers an enduring and updated challenge worthy of the best in the world.

Request Victoria Golf Club tee times here


6)  Metropolitan Golf Club;  Top 10 in Australia 

Mackenzie also designed this Melbourne, Australia golf course, and the bunkering seen at the right is reflective of his style elsewhere as well.  Metropolitan flirts with the Top 100 in the World regularly.

Request Metropolitan Golf Club tee times here


7)  Yarra Yarra Golf Club;  Top 20 in Australia

Yet another Melbourne, Australia golf club.  From the club's history, "The primary architect of this renowned "sandbelt" course was Alex Russell who, in 1926, had formed a partnership with the famed Alister MacKenzie during his brief visit to Australia.  Today, it remains substantially the same as the original layout and, like all great golf courses, has stood the test of time."  Note, playing here does require that you be a member of a registered club yourself.

Request Yarra Yarra Golf Club tee times here


8)  Royal Queensland Golf Club;  Top 50 in Australia

Mackenzie wrote about this Brisbane, Australia golf club, "The ground is excellently adapted for...a golf course which might even compare favourably with some of the British Championship courses... Although the ground at first sight appears flat, yet it is full of minor undulations of a somewhat similar character to famous seaside courses like St Andrew's.  In conclusion, I must say that the course at Hamilton should have a very great future..."  Note, playing here does require that you be a member of a registered club yourself.

Request Royal Queensland Golf Club tee times here


Where else can your golf vacation include such a concentration of the world's greatest courses designed by perhaps its greatest designer?

In closing, Dr. Mackenzie says, "I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that beauty means a great deal on a golf course; even the man who emphatically states that he does not care a hang for beauty is subconsciously influenced by his surroundings. A beautiful hole appeals not only to the short but also to the long handicap player, and there are few first rate holes which are not at the same time, either in the grandeur of their undulations and hazards, or the character of their surrounds, things of beauty in themselves.“


photos courtesy of New South Wales, Australia Golf Club,  Royal Melbourne, Australia Golf Club, Kingston Heath, Australia Golf Club, and Metropolitan, Australia Golf Club