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Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Sydney, Australia

Like The Country Club outside Boston, Royal Melbourne GC has three recognized championship courses among the 36 holes on the property. There is the West, the East, and the Composite – made up of 6 holes from the East and 12 from the West that are utilized in prestigious competitions.

While the West and the East are both considered to be within Australia’s Top 5 Courses, it is the Composite Course that graces the rankings on International Top 100 lists. Royal Melbourne GC, along with its closest neighbors – Victoria GC & the Sandringham public course make up the largest contiguous stretch of linksland in the sandbelt region of Melbourne.

Course Details

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World Top 100 Golf Course
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36 Holes
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Designed by Dr. Alastair Mackenzie
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Founded in 1891
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Must-play on an Australia Golf Tour
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The History of Royal Melbourne

The Club was founded in 1891 when they cabled the Royal Eastbourne GC in England to kindly send them 30 sets of clubs and balls so members could enjoy the game in Australia. By 1895 the Club had been awarded their royal appendage even before making its mark in the world of golf.

Then half the membership decided to move to the sandbelt and took the royal charter with them. The remaining membership stayed behind as Caufield GC eventually moved to the sandbelt and became the Metropolitan GC, another standout sandbelt layout.

Their first course at Sandringham opened in 1901, the first on the sandbelt, but by the 1920s the course needed an upgrade. The R&A recommended and sent Dr. Alastair Mackenzie for the challenge.

Mackenzie spent two months in Australia consulting on his brilliant designs for the West and the East courses that have stood the test of time. The layouts were finally completed in 1931, the construction overseen by head greenskeeper Mic Morcom and Alex Russell. Sadly, Mackenzie never saw the completed complex.

Women were accepted as early as 1892 as associate members and full members in 1895. They have contributed throughout the Club’s history both in bringing home trophies and assisting with the many numerous prestigious tournaments, including in 2012 hosting the 1st Australian Women’s Open Championship.

From 1901-1931 the Club played host to no fewer than 28 National Championships on both the professional and amateur levels.

The Composite Course first made an appearance in the 1959 Canada Cup (today’s World Cup) so competitors didn’t have to cross a road during the round. Australia celebrated a great victory by Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle who bested the American team of Cary Middlecoff and Sam Snead by 10 shots (home-field advantage!) to take home the trophy.

The Club was also the site of the International Team’s only victory, captioned by Peter Thomson, in the President’s Cup when they beat the American squad, led by Jack Nicklaus, by a decisive 20.5 – 11.5 score in 1998.

Today’s members and visiting golfers enjoy a new clubhouse completed in 2003 with a more relaxed yet still traditional atmosphere.


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