“So I jump ship in Hong Kong, make my way over to Eynesbury.”
Just 40 minutes’ drive from Melbourne’s CBD lies Eynesbury Golf Club. The Eynesbury “township” has been planned around its own championship golf course. Along with other sporting facilities, parks, café, and restaurant and with schools and a new AFL and cricket Sporting precinct still to come, Eynesbury is a rapidly growing community.
A Graham Marsh designed layout, Eynesbury offers membership at competitive rates, though it largely remains a public access facility. The course is cleverly designed and offers a very playable layout even in the strongest prevailing winds. To make is accessible to all types of golfers, the course offers 4 tee positions at each hole. Silo at 6577m, Homestead at 6329m, Woolshed at 6096m and Woodhouse at 5650m.
The fairways are wide and inviting, but position off the tee is crucial to offer an easier shot at the green. Eynesbury’s large greens are guarded with well-placed bunkers, and even when the putting surface is found, the greens have a combination of bumps, swales and subtle breaks that need to be negotiated.
We have played Eynesbury quite a bit since it opened some years ago and quite frankly it is one of our favourites. It’s a challenging layout that gives you a chance but the course places a premium on placement. On the 4’s and 5’s driver is not and automatic choice, as often a 3 wood or hybrid/long iron will put you in a better position to go at the pin. Over the last year or two, a lot of the rough has been cleaned up to give a wayward tee shot a chance of being found and put back into play. That being said, there is still plenty of trouble to be found.
As mentioned, we at Daddyshack like Eynesbury a lot, but in recent years it has suffered a little from a lack of TLC. This seems to be changing. The bunkers have had a much needed makeover and new sand has been trucked in to get them back to their past condition. The numerous creek crossings all have water in them and represent a difficult challenge to negotiate. The large greens seem to be running at a good speed and the course itself overall looks lush and ready for a long season. The bunkers are still a little inconsistent, but the grounds staff are working in the right direction to get this seen too.
Although only 6577 meters from the black tees, it plays long with the links winds affecting play most days. Some holes will take on impossible lengths into the wind so a great short game is needed if you are to score well. You need to get away to a good start as the front 9 is the place to get on top of things. The short par 4, 1st presents a great opportunity for birdie and a lot of the bigger hitters will go for the green. The 2nd is just as short but a creek crossing may get in your way. Best to lay up. The 3rd is a 181-meter par 3 that has challenges left and right. Then you get to the 4th, a long par 4 of 460 meters. Most times this hole plays into the wind, making reaching the green in two quite an art form. The best things to do is to cut as much of the corner off as you can. Going left of the big fairway bunker can be tricky, but it leaves you with a reachable yardage instead of a fairway wood from the right side.
The 5th hole is reachable in 2 and the bigger hitters must be pin point with their second to get between the swale on the left and the deep bunker on the right. For all other golfers, it is best to lay up here and play it as a 3 shot to the green hole. Trouble in the form of deep rough and out of bounds is left and right here, so keep it straight, make your par and move on. The 6th has another creek crossing and a lot of golfers will lay up before hitting to the green with their third shot. This makes 6 one of the more difficult holes on the front 9 as well as a green that has 2 large tiers to it. The easiest way to reach in two is to keep your drive down the left side. This will make it a 7 or 8 iron instead of a 3 or 4 from the right of the fairway. The 7th is a very reachable par 5 at only 494 meters. Most of the time, the prevailing wind will be at your back and if you can drive over the hill, you will have only a long iron to this green that is well protected by bunkers, but mostly flat and easy to read. The 8th is a shortish par 3 with an elevated green and the 9th is a par 4 that plays very differently depending on pin position. When the flag is tucked away to the left it makes this hole a lot harder as the top plateau of the green is very small and surrounded by trouble.
Eynesbury’s signature back 9 holes:
10 – A par 5 that takes you a while to get your head around. There are so many ways of playing this hole as the fairway is split half way down with a creek crossing running through the middle. The easiest way to play this hole is to keep your second shot short of the creek down the left fairway side. This will leave you with a short 3rd shot to a tricky green. Yardage is key on this hole as you do not want to be anywhere but on the green.
14 – Another longish par four where fairway bunkers left and water right need to be avoided off the tee. The second shot is another creek carry to a tricky green guarded both left and right by bunkers, short is a good miss, but not too short or you’re in the water. This hole is rated hardest on the course for good reason as there is trouble on every shot.
16 - Be very careful with your second shot on this very good par 5. There is a creek crossing across the fairway, but if you go too far, a fairway trap will make it tough to hit this green. The green is surrounded by deep bunkers that will punish wayward shots.
17 – A very good medium to short par 4, but don’t dare take it lightly. Left centre is the spot off the tee to give you a better angle at the green. A two-tiered green that when the pin is cut to the back on the upper tier, you need to make sure your approach gets all the way back as a difficult putt awaits if you don’t.
18 – This par 4 is cut in the middle by the lake runoff across the fairway. From the black tees, you will need to carry 230-240 meters to get to the other side. There is water left and right off the tee so make sure you find dry land. From before the water crossing you will have a long iron in, but if you can carry it, only a 9 iron or wedge will get you to a green protected left and right by bunkers.
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Eynesbury is a great place for a quick mid-week game. Often the timesheet has very few names on it and with the use of carts for everyone, the speed of your game will be fantastic. In fact, Eynesbury wins the award from us for the fastest mid-week golf round in Melbourne. Make sure you get a cart as this course is a very long walk. The price is very reasonable and if you book online you will get a further discount. If you are looking at playing on the weekend, the afternoon is always the quiet time. You can book online at eynesburygolf.com.au or give the pro shop a call on 9971 0403. Go play it!