Melbourne houses more of Australia’s best golf courses than probably any other major city (including 4 of the top 10 courses in the country), and its “Sandbelt” region contains more championship-level golf courses than one article could possibly fit.
We like a challenge, though, so here’s our pick of the top ten Melbourne golf courses, with a few public courses dotted throughout for the everyday hacker. And just in case you were in need of a fresh set of clubs, or even just a new glove, check out the best online golf stores, or even the best golf shops in Melbourne, for all the gear you need. Oh, and if the big game gets too much for you, you can always check out the best mini golf courses in Melbourne for scaled-down action.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club | Black Rock
Royal Melbourne advertises itself as the pinnacle of golf in Australia, and to be honest it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Royal Melbourne actually boasts two full 18 hole courses, East and West, the latter of which is regularly voted the best golf course in Australia by Australian Golf Digest.
The globally renowned course is Australia’s oldest, as well as the first non-American course chosen to host the PGA President’s cup. Needless to say, if you live down under and love your golf, playing here is a must for the bucket list.
Address: Cheltenham Road, Black Rock, 3193
Phone: 03 9599 0500
Kingston Heath Golf Club | Heatherton
Not content with continually placing second on lists of Australia’s best golf clubs, Kingston Heath sets itself apart by being the country’s sandiest. A staggering 128 bunkers dot the course and surround nearly every green – meaning that, in the words of the great Shooter McGavin, you’re likely to spend more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff.
Nevertheless, Kingston Heath has hosted the Australian Open 7 times, as well as several iterations of the Australian Masters, and cracks the top 20 in Golf Digest’s ranking of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses.
Address: Kingston Road, Cheltenham, 3192
Phone: 03 8558 2700
Brighton Golf Course | Brighton
It may seem odd to include a $30 course amongst some of the most exclusive golf clubs in Australia, but we’re no elitists here, and we believe Melbourne’s best golf courses belong to more than those with a wardrobe dedicated entirely to smoking jackets and chinos. Brighton has all the hallmarks of a Sandbelt course – meaning bunkers lacing pretty much every green – with none of the intimidation and a price that caters to any level of play.
Address: 230 Dendy Street, Brighton, 3186
Phone: 03 9592 1388
Victoria Golf Club | Cheltenham
Victoria Golf Club was designed by Oscar Damman and Bill Meade with assistance from the doyen of course architects, Dr Alister MacKenzie. The par 72 course has hosted many illustrious events over the years, including the Australian Open and the Women’s Australian Open, and even hosted President George Bush Sr. for a round in 1998. If that’s not a CV, we don’t know what is.
Address: Park Road, Cheltenham, 3192
Phone: 03 9584 1733
Ranfurlie Golf Club | Cranbourne
Ranfurlie isn’t just one of the best public golf courses in Australia, it’s one of the best golf courses in Australia overall, period. Ranfurlie combines a traditional links-style layout with Sandbelt golf which means, as we’re sure you’ve guessed by now, loads of bunkers. You can join Ranfurlie as a member to play any time you like, but it’s open to just about anyone on certain days of the week for premium golfing on a budget.
Address: 825 Cranbourne Frankston Road, Cranbourne, 3977
Phone: 03 9788 8288
The Metropolitan Golf Club | South Oakleigh
Everything about the Metropolitan oozes swankiness, including its name. That being said, it’s done more than enough to earn its general air of exclusivity, from being a multiple-time host of the Australian Open to repeatedly placing in the top 20 of Golf Digest’s 100 best Australian courses. It was at the Metropolitan in 1997 that Greg Norman famously lost a sudden-death play-off by three-putting the final green. We’ve all been there.
Address: Golf Road, Oakleigh South, 3167
Phone: 03 9579 3122
Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club | Sanctuary Lakes
Designed by Greg Norman and situated on Greg Norman Drive, Sanctuary Lakes is one big homage to the Great White Shark himself. Golf Australia named it the best publicly accessible course in Melbourne, making Sanctuary Lakes an ideal stop for most anyone willing to pay a little more in the name of a properly rewarding day of golf.
Located just 20 minutes from the CBD, it has all the fittings of a championship-level course, including a full driving range. We all know you’ll shank the first drive of the day anyway.
Address: 70 Greg Norman Drive, Point Cook, 3030
Phone: 03 9395 2888
Commonwealth Golf Club | South Oakleigh
Just down the road from the Metropolitan is he Commonwealth golf club, a fellow member of the Seven Sisters and a true beacon of Sandbelt golf. Should you find yourself visiting interstate or from overseas, you can get on comparatively easily (and cheap) compared to its neighbours, although as is standard, you need to be a member of a club in the state or country where you live.
Address: Glennie Avenue, Oakleigh South, 3167
Phone: 03 9575 0444
Sandringham Golf Course | Black Rock
Everything about Sandringham is a serious golf course, despite the affordable green fee. Ideal for junior golfers, seniors and just about everyone else who wants to enjoy proper Melbourne golfing, Sandringham’s layout values proper shot selection and skilful play above all else. It’s challenging, interesting, one of the best public courses in Melbourne and very, very good value.
Address: Cheltenham Road, Cheltenham, 3192
Phone: 0477 774 633
Yarra Yarra Golf Club | Bentleigh East
Hop across the road from the Commonwealth, just a short stretch away from the Metropolitan and Kingston Heath, and you’ll find Yarra Yarra. The four par 3 holes at Yarra Yarra are consistently ranked amongst the finest examples of golf course architecture in both the southern hemisphere and the world at large.
Should you, for whatever reason, decide not to play all of the other world-renowned courses that share the same postcode as Yarra Yarra, it definitely won’t let you down.
Address: 567 Warrigal Road, Bentleigh East, 3165
Phone: 03 9575 0575