Portsea Golf Course

I was in Melbourne last week and got the chance to play Portsea Golf Club.

We used to play there each year in an amateur event but I hadn’t been there in years. There are some minor changes to the golf course and a brand new clubhouse …

… and I loved it. It’s completely opposite to all those new courses that you see these days. Courses that tend to be too long, too hard and not overly enjoyable. I was actually a member a few years ago at a nearby course and I didn’t really enjoy it. Some of the holes were unplayable and it was almost like the course designers were on some sort of ego trip to build the longest and hardest course imaginable.

Portsea isn’t like this.

It’s not long. From the tips it measures only 5747m (par 71). But don’t think it’s easy. The greens are small and quick and if you’re offline you’ll find yourself in a devilish bunker or something much worse.

On the first hole my mate had a four metre putt down the slope for birdie. He then had a 3 metre try for par coming back up.

On the third hole, I found the fairway bunker from the tee. I went into the trap thinking my 9 iron was plenty of loft to get out. It wasn’t. The bunker was deeper and more trickier than it appeared. So it took me three attempts to get out and I racked up a triple bogey. Ouch!

The thing I love about this place is the fun factor. You can go all out and make some birdies or you can play a little bit more conservatively and plot your way around. Either way, you’ll have a brilliant time. Even when playing safe, you’ll be left with delicate approaches to tricky pins. You have to think about what type of shot you need to hit and certainly where you’re going to leave the ball.

If you’re on the wrong side of the green/hole, you’ll have a tough time making your par.

Take the 10th for example. It measures only 256m uphill with the green lurking on a high point of the course. The locals told me this green is extra fast because is so exposed to the ever present wind.

Our group made a mess of it. Two found the deep bunker on the left hand side and took way too many to get out. I was on the edge of the green after a good drive but took four more to get down. I completely underestimated the speed and slope and was made to look foolish.

Portsea has a great mix of short par 4’s, really good par 3’s (they’ll get your full attention) and three par 5’s that are reachable in two, but require some precision. And it doesn’t matter what your handicap, Portsea offers a playing line and options whether you can fly the ball through the air, or you’re playing along the ground.

And this is what makes it so great. In my mind it doesn’t take a lot of skill to build a ridiculously tough course – just add lots of length and bunkers and rough and you’ll sort most out. But take away the length, and the designer needs to be creative. And if the wind blows at this place (which it does a lot of the time), you’ll have your entire game tested.

A trip to Portsea Golf Club will be well worth your effort. They now have accommodation on course and from what I saw the staff were friendly and helpful.

A really fun and enjoyable day if you ask me. Check out their website for more details.

P.S. I took some photos but they turned out terribly. Best you check out the website.

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  • Lukey

    Reply Reply January 31, 2017

    Isn’t amazing that if you go out with the intention to have a bit of fun how enjoyable the game becomes. Not that you necessarily score well but when all said and done that is not the point of the exercise is it we are out to have FUN.


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