Eynesbury Golf Club

The 4th hole at Eynesbury, Brendan James

Some golf courses, Graham Marsh believes, are created not with strategy in mind, but simply with the aim of penalising bad shots. ‘We are pitching golf at a level that is just too difficult,’ he says. ‘They’re not the kind of golf course the average guy can go out on because it is totally penal.’ Eynesbury, Marsh’s most recent Australian creation, is far from penal. While challenging for golfers of all standards, it is also designed to be enjoyed by all. ‘I am much more in favour of strategic design,’ says Marsh, ‘where a player has options, where he has room, where he has a sporting chance to get around the golf course.’ Room and options are key features at Eynesbury, a public access course and the centrepiece of a massive residential development about 40 kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD. The fairways are wide enough to offer at least two lines of play from tee to green, forcing players to come up with a game plan at the beginning of every hole. It makes for a far more memorable golfing experience than a course where you have to bludgeon every drive to feel like you are in with a chance of making par.

‘There was enough land,’ says Marsh, ‘to vary some of the tee positions. On the par-three 8th, for instance, there is 50 metres or more between the left-hand tee and the right-hand tee, so you are really producing a golf strategy within a golf hole.’Another fine example is the 2nd hole, a par-four that stretches to 349 metres from the back markers. The fairway offers plenty of space to the right, but a tee shot out here leaves you with a difficult approach shot across the creek and on to a small green that slopes away from you. The more attacking line with your driver is over the bunkers down the left side of the hole, where the angle provides you with the best approach into a well-guarded putting surface.

Two more short par-fours on the back nine are standouts. Most days at Eynesbury, the wind comes from either a northerly or southerly direction, which is significant when you are playing the 12th and 13th holes because they run parallel to each other, with the 12th heading south and the 13th facing north. When the wind hails from the north, the 348-metre 12th becomes nothing more than an aggressive drive and a short pitch, while the 312-metre 13th – where a creek cuts across the fairway, near the green – turns into a much tougher proposition, with its postage-stamp putting surface all the harder to hit from further down the fairway.

Eynesbury’s greatest challenge comes at the final hole. Even from the slightly forward blue markers, a strong drive is needed to fly over a creek that cuts this 382-metre par-four in two. From the blue tees, it is a 195-metre carry over the hazard, but beware of the bunker lying just beyond the water. Find the fairway and you are still left with a mid-iron into a protected but relatively flat green. Considering the course only opened in 2006, the layout has matured well, with wild grasses filling out areas away from the lines of play. The playing surfaces are first class and a real highlight of any round at Eynesbury.

Memorable holes

2nd, 5th, 8th, 12th, 13th and 18th

Where to go

Eynesbury Rd, Eynesbury, Victoria 3338

Book a round

(03) 9971 0403

www.eynesbury.com.au

Where to stay

Eynesbury is about 45 minutes’ drive from the hotels of Melbourne’s CBD.

Before/after your round

Catch a glimpse of the grand lifestyles of yesteryear at Werribee Park – about 35 minutes south of Eynesbury, and one of Australia’s grandest and most architecturally sophisticated homes and gardens.

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