Home' Australian Golf Digest : June 2017 Contents june 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 55
club handicappers “a whiff of what
championship play is really like”.
Expect to add eight shots to your regular
handicap to avoid disappointment.
The 6,315-metre Legends course is a
gentler loop through valleys and woodlands
and the putting surfaces are less severe. But
it’s still no walk in the park.
“ The beauty of Moonah Links,” says resort
marketing manager Stephanie Doobson, “is
that we have two world-class golf courses,
both of them very different. And we are a
public-access course. You can play golf here
every day of the year except Christmas.”
Eagle Ridge soaring under new owners
The ‘under new management’ sign has been
up for 12 months since the sale of Eagle
Ridge to a Chinese businessman.
The new owner immediately spent
$500,000 on machinery and hired extra staff.
General manager Wayne Lucas says the
change of ownership is exciting with “the
possibilities now endless”.
Plans include hot springs, a new hotel,
clubhouse and driving range, interactive
facilities and a new course design under the
guidance of architect Ross Perrett.
In the meantime, Eagle Ridge has adopted
a new ‘fast and fun’ and ‘golf the way you
want it’ charter. “ We’re wanting to make the
golf course perhaps not as challenging as it
had become,” Lucas says.
While always regarded as a ‘hidden gem’,
Eagle Ridge had become too difficult. With
this in mind, a lot of mature vegetation has
been removed to make the course more
user-friendly. Many of the 100 or so bunkers
on the course have either been taken out or
had their beds raised.
“People are looking for a challenge but they
want to have fun at the same time,” Lucas says.
The course has never been in better
condition and a variety of tees cater for
golfers of all abilities. “It is also a great
course for ladies to play,” Lucas adds.
The four par 3s remain the hallmark of the
course. The sixth, with its 155-metre carry
from the back tees and bunkering virtually
all the way to the green, is considered the
layout’s signature hole. The 205m 17th is
another great hole, as is the 11th where you
tee off from a ‘viewing platform’ overlooking
Arthur’s Seat. The 155m, par-3 eighth is the
personal favourite of Lucas, mainly because
he had an ace there in 2012. A plaque sits in
pride of place in his office to prove it.
Portsea blessed with good bones
All the great designers say ‘good bones’ are
the essence of any good course: the land
must lend itself to golf. In this sense, Portsea
Golf Club on the southernmost tip of the
Mornington Peninsula has been blessed.
“ Through good luck, foresight or both, our
course has everything that a links-style golf
course should have,” says general manager,
Mark Bartrop. “It’s not terribly long (5,747
metres) but if you can play to your handicap
The best holiday destination in Australia?
THE Mornington Peninsula used to be little more than a cluster of sleepy seaside towns
and farms. There were a few good golf courses – Sorrento, Portsea and Flinders come to
mind – but nowhere near the close to 30 there are now.
In those days, the rich and famous had their clifftop holiday houses in Portsea and
Sorrento. It was similar to the Hamptons, on Long Island, the holiday destination of
affluent New York residents.
Now the Mornington Peninsula – a superb tract of land stretching along the Port
Phillip Bay and Bass Strait coastlines from Mornington in the north, to its southern
tip at Portsea – is perhaps the best holiday destination in Australia. And it more than
holds its own with anything similar in the world.
There is something for everyone; you don’t have to be a golfer. Apart from the
wonderful safe bay beaches dotted along the coastline and the more rugged ‘back’
beaches on Bass Strait, there is a huge sailing fraternity with most clubs offering
lessons for all age groups. The peninsula hosts world-class sailing events during the
year. There are also fishing charters from most of the piers, organised swims with
dolphins and seals, sail and paddle boarding, art galleries and farmers’ markets. The
list is endless.
Walking – through the historical site of Victoria’s first white settlement at Sullivan
Bay or along the Artists’ Trail – and cycling the many tracks are hugely popular.
Away from the sun and sand, the Enchanted Maze and Adventure Park and the
Arthur’s Seat Eagle Chairlift are premium family attractions. Peninsula Hot Springs
[pictured] is a fabulous place to be pampered and welcomed 500,000 visitors last year.
A car and passenger ferry service operates between Queenscliff and Sorrento
linking the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas on opposite sides of Port Phillip
Bay. Every day scores of passengers meander up the hill to vibrant Sorrento’s main
street, to the many eateries, designer-stores, galleries and the wonderful Antipodes
Wineries abound on the Mornington Peninsula, including the top-end
establishments like Ten Minutes by Tractor, Montalto and Port Phillip Estate. But
there are many other wonderful, relatively inexpensive wineries in the area. Quealy
Estate is always popular and so is the recently opened Jackalope boutique hotel at
Willow Creek Estate.
Pamela McDermott from Mornington Peninsula Golf Tourism (MPGT) says: “It is
always a pleasure to talk about golf on the peninsula plus all our other attractions.
I live down here and have been coming here for a long time. I love the Mornington
MPGT is a not-for-profit organisation formed by the 15 local golf clubs within the
Mornington Peninsula Shire boundary to promote golf in the region. There are 19
courses under the MPGT umbrella.
A golf highlight of any trip should be to play the MPGT Golf Trail. Play seven
courses and you receive a free cap and polo shirt. Play all of them to receive a free
framed print. No other ‘golf trail’ in the world offers so many courses within a few
minutes of each other.
Great Deals on Membership at Moonah Links
HURRY! NO UP FRONT JOINING FEE!
There will never be a better time to make Moonah Links,
The Home of Australian Golf, your home club!
Join before 30th June 2017 and receive:
6 Free Guest Green Fee Vouchers valued at $300.00
FREE motorised Cart Hire for 3 months from your joining date.
Moonah Links Resort
Peter Thomson Drive, Fingal, Victoria 3939
T: (03) 5988 2047
(Monday through Friday)
Interstate and International Memberships now available, enquire today!
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