Kingston Heath Golf Club
Kingston Heath, one of the Melbourne Sandbelt's most eminent golf courses, has hosted many national championships including Australian Opens, Australian Masters and the World Cup of Golf. In 2020 the club will host the Australian Open for the tenth time. Kingston Heath is consistently ranked among the top 25 golf courses in the world.
Originally formed in 1909 as Elsternwick Golf Club in Elsternwick Park, the club moved to Heatherton in 1925, now as Kingston Heath. Dr Alister Mackenzie visited in 1926 and the bunkering plan he provided served to complete Dan Soutar's foundational course design. Soutar's layout included the aim of protecting players from having to face directly into the afternoon sun. The course was constructed by Mick Morcom, who also helped to create the West Course at Royal Melbourne.
The combined strengths of Soutar's routing and Mackenzie's bunkering has created a course which requires strategic thinking throughout your game. It has been called "an ultimate test of strategic golf".
Tiger Woods played at Kingston Heath in 2009, when he won the Australian Open. As he took the title he said, "All the guys have raved about this golf course, and I understand why. I really enjoy playing on Sandbelt courses because it brings back shot-making, and we don't see enough of that".
At 6,892 yards long when it opened in the 1920s, Kingston Heath was the longest golf course in Australia. Mackenzie commented on that in a report he wrote at the time. His only significant criticism of the course design was that he considered it to be too long. Now in the 21st century it is one of the shorter championship courses. Yet when viewed among the many world class courses in Australia, Kingston Heath's classic design presents itself quietly, with a sense of aristocratic reserve, as it continues to stand the tests of time.