Mt. Macedon Golf Club
"So I jump ship in Hon Kong, make my way over to Mt. Macedon"
How best to describe the Mt. Macedon golf club? Friendly I think is the word that comes to mind. This golf course, that is looked after by the membership base, is a great throwback to a bygone era. For most of the week, this 9 hole, 18 tee golf course works on the correct money honesty system. Just put your correct money into an envelope and into the box, then away you go. On the weekends however, this golf course comes alive.
The mebers are an incredibly friendly bunch of people and leave you wanting to come back and perhaps even join up? It's an old fashioned country golf experience that you should not miss. The clubhouse is busy with members all looking to get an early ale in before, during and after the round. The little bar sells great snacks like egg & bacon rolls, pies, pasties, sausage rolls and the kitchen there on weekends continually brings out bowls of chips and potato cakes, as well as the cheese & biscuits. It is genuinely a fantastic place to play golf and share a drink afterwards.
As I mentioned, the golf course is looked after by the members. This does not mean that the course suffers from lack of conditioning though. The fairways are lush and green, many large trees line the fairways and stop you from cutting corners on holes. The 18 tees are placed in some great locations and really do make the 9 holes seem very different the second time around. It is not the kind of course you just blaze away with driver on every hole. Unfortunately, I did not listen to the locals on a few occasions and found myself in some very tight positions. The greens are receptive but small. You may think you have hit a great shot, but on getting to the green you may find, you have run through or off to the side. The raised greens make chipping to them difficult and the little country course you thought you were going to dominate, starts making bogeys appear on the card if you are not careful.
The 1st/10th is a starting par 3 over a valley to a small green that is hard to hold. You may only be hitting 7/8 iron here, but miss the green and your second will test you out early. The 11th tee is one of the best driving holes on the course. Over the dam and through the chute, it opens up to a short par 4. The drive is everything here and if you miss the gap between the trees, expect a big score. This hole is also the 2nd and although 5 meters longer, the tee is in an easier position without the dam and the trees. You will however need to fade your drive around a slight dogleg.
3rd/12th is a downhill par 3 that measures 190/194 meters. The par 3's here are no easy beats as most of them have length to them. This green is a little raised and although flat to putt on, it is difficult to hit from the tee as the ball runs through.
The 4th/13th is one of the best holes on the course. Staring at the mountain as the backdrop to this hole, it is a long par 4 up the hill to a green guarded by a front left bunker and out of bounds long and right. You will need 2 very good shots here to make birdie, but most will be satisfied with a par.
5th/14th is a hole that has 2 very different tee positions. From the 5th tee, you will need to hook your drive high over the trees on the left to get close to this green, but from the 14th the shot is straight and the hole much shorter. The green is small here and most of our group ran over the back even after landing on the putting surface.
The 6th/15th again plays very differently from the two tees. 6 is reachable with your drive at 319 meters downhill, but 15 is not. The tee on 15 is tucked away against the property boundry and you will need a long iron or the ability to cut your driver severely to get closer to this 372 meter par 4. Careful not to hit too far straight here though as the dam will swallow your ball with ease. The 7th/16th is actually 2 different pars but you will need an iron off both tees. The 7th is 287, but getting around the tall trees means driving here is tough. The best play (I found out after losing a ball with driver) is to hit a mid iron to the corner of the bend and then a wedge. 16 is a par 3 and has a direct line to a 180 meter par 3. Again, the green is small and hard to hit. It is another one of the greens here that you are best landing short of and trickling onto.
Again there are 2 very different holes on the next. Part of the good finishing double to this course, the 8th is a long downhill par 3 and the 17th is a downhill par 4 with the tee set back another 110 meters away from the 8th tee. 2 very different tees, but 2 very good holes as the green is tricky and out of bounds looms on the right. This brings you to the 9th/18th. To me, this is the best hole on the course and 9 is the only par 5. Although reachable in 2, the second shot is dangerous as you will most likely be playing with the ball below your feet and trying to stop it from going right into the scrub. The green sits elevated and there is a creek to cross as well as tall tree branches that may be in the way. Not an easy shot to set up an eagle on 9 or a birdie on 18. As always, this green is small and hard to hit.
Well, there you have it. Mt. Macedon golf club. It's only a par 70 and there is only one par 5, but this course will test the best of them as nearly every green is hard to hold when hitting anything more than a 8 iron to them. There are not many bunkers on the course either, so the slope rating is just under the par at 115.
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1. Tees 9/15
2. Fairways 11/15
3. Bunkers 8/15
4. Greens 10/15
5. Design 10/15
6. 19th Hole 14/15
7. Price 10/10
A great score for a great little country course. Top marks for the 19th hole which on the weekends is the place to be in Macedon. The old fashioned atmosphere here will have you wanting to return again and again. Top marks for price too because at $25 for all day golf, it's a bargain! I'm sure the greens will be a little better during the summer as when I played, they still were a little sandy from the corring done. Overall, this country course was a pleasant surprise for me and it's the kind of club where I think most of the members care less about the score and more about getting together to have a beer, a chat and maybe a little punt. Get along on a Saturday or Sunday morning for the best experience. Go play it!