Bayviews Golf Club
"So, I jump ship in Hong Kong, make my way over to Rosebud and the Bayviews Golf Club."
Just about every Melbourne golfer has rounded up a few mates and headed down to the Peninsula to play a round at either Moonah, The Dunes, Eagle Ridge or St.Andrews Beach. It’s a great days golf at some courses that are different to the ones back in the city & suburbs. Most of you get to the end of the freeway at Rosebud and continue on, but here is a reason to turn left instead. Bay Views Golf Club. As the name suggests, you will get bay views during your round here, but there is much more to this course than just that.
Most country courses, or ones that charge less than $50 for 18, have the same set up. Parkland with very few poorly conditioned bunkers, slow greens and a thin line of small trees alongside patchy fairways. Not Bay Views. The bunkers are lovingly looked after with a great base and easy to get out of, the trees are old, tall and provide a superb curtain down the well grassed fairways. But best of all are the greens. They are fast and true with barely a pitch mark on them. I’m not sure if this is a blight on the people who play there or a huge tick for the green crew? Either way, you will enjoy the way they play.
It's not the longest golf course in the area, but it does have some pretty tight landing areas. The 1st hole is no exception. The elevated tee looks down to trees all the way down the right and a few fairway bunkers down the left. Big hitters will hit down the right with a draw and be happy with the result. Those who don't hit it very far will have to aim left and fade it away from the out of bounds and the bunkers. Downhill makes the yardage friendly so look to start your round with a birdie or at worst a par 5.
The 2nd hole is like a lot of fairways here, tough to hit. They slope towards the bay and often you will have to skirt trouble on one side to get the result you want on the other. Keep your drive to the right side here because the green sits around the dogleg right and elevated with a nasty bunker on the left. Take an extra club to the green to be sure because all the trouble is short.
The 3rd is just a short par 3 downhill with not much trouble, but the 4th goes straight uphill and will take a massive effort to get on in two. Keep your drive to the left side if you can. This par 5 has a superb green that was like carpet and kudos to the greencrew for how they present this golf course. It really was in fantastic condition even though it was only just into Spring.
The 5th is another with a sloping fairway so keep the ball right. You do not want to miss this green left because you will be faced with a difficult ship from a deep run off area. As with nearly all of the greens here, they will slope towards the bay so if in doubt, read them that way. The 6th is another par 3 that has a very small landing area. Again, not long, but the green is tiny and there is more trouble right and short, so take plenty of club.
The 7th is another par 4 where you have to keep the ball to one side of the fairway for the easiest shot in. This time its to the left because there is trouble right of the green. It's less than 300 meters, but tricky so perhaps not the driver here. The 8th needs a right hand side tee shot then there is a narrow chute to the green, but you can miss right if anywhere to make it a little easier. Very good hole.
9 is another hole that gets your attention. From the tee there is a tree in the middle of the fairway it looks like, but really you have to just blaze away over it. The yardage suggests a 3 wood, but because it is uphill just take the driver and go for it. The second shot will be to a high green with a false front, so take more club than you think, you do not want to be short here.
To the back nine and the 10th is not a long hole, but you will need to keep your drive to the right. The ball will hit the fairway and run left. An elevated green, so take an extra club to avoid the greenside bunkers short. The 11th is the best par 3 on the course and one of the best holes as well. Its a long iron or hybrid from the back tees at 180m and you will need to be accurate. The green has a front and back tier to it and runs from back to front. This green would be diabolical in summer when the greens are fast. Any 2 putt from beyond the flag is a feather in your golfing cap.
The 12th takes you up to the lookout over the bay from the green. Its not much of a hole, but will still take a good drive and an extra club or two for your second. Long here is better than short. Take the walk up to the long tees for the 13th and get your cameras ready. There is a Facebook view sign there, so make sure you take a snap and post it. I think there is a chance for a free round or something like that. Unsure because I didn't win. The hole itself is a ripper, through the chute from the tee and try and carry the left bunkers or bail out right. Your second shot might be interrupted by another photo opportunity as the bay view is magnificent. Down hill to a small green after you are finished with the camera.
The 14th heads back into the corner of the golf course and is a short, downhill, dogleg right par 4. Take your drive over the tall tree on the right for the best result. Not a long hitter? Take your drive to the left and its still only a medium to short iron to the green. The 15th is a medium distance par 3 with plenty of bunkering around it. As with a lot of the holes here, long seems to be the safe shot because most of the bunkers are before the green. Never up, never in they say, so take an extra club.
The 15th is a great little hole. Another dogleg right so take your drive down the right side. The fairway has a pretty severe slope to the left, so don't be surprised if you are playing from the left rough to this small green with all the trouble long and right. One of the few greens around this course where long will cost you. The pot bunkers are in great condition though, so don't stress if you do go into them.
Of the remaining 3 holes, the 17th stands out. A medium length par 3 where the green is a little narrow. Another chance to pull out your camera. Make sure to miss the huge bunkers on the right. The 18th is the hardest hole because there is OOB all down the left and the second shot is long uphill. Take the extra club.
This course is full of elevation and interesting dog legs that make you think way more than I was expecting. The par 3’s are a little short, but the quickness of the greens make them no push over. I was really surprised at how good this golf course was and can only think of how much better it is in summer. Next time you are heading down this way, perhaps stop and check it out. You will save some dollars, time and will be treated to one of the best parkland courses in the area. Given the choice of this course and say Eagle Ridge(because they cost about the same in winter), I would play Bay Views every time. I think its the greens more than anything that will get you. They are in a condition that you would expect from a much larger members course in Melbourne. Fast, flat, hardly a pitch mark and true rolling. The only thing that lets this course down is the clubhouse, but with Rosebud Pub just a 3 minute drive away, you won't care. Go play it!