The architect of this renowned Sandbelt course was Alex Russell who, in 1926, formed a partnership with the famed Dr Alister MacKenzie during his visit to Australia. Today, the course remains substantially the same as the original layout and like all great golf courses, has stood the test of time.
In Tom Doak’s ‘Confidential Guide’, a review of the architecture of the best courses in the world, the four par 3s at Yarra Yarra are rated seventh (the only course in this category in the Southern Hemisphere). The 11th hole, described by Peter Thomson as a ‘national treasure’, is invariably in the experts’ collections of the best 18 holes in Australia.
The superb greens and bunkers are the highlight at Yarra Yarra and as good as many of MacKenzie’s own creations. Typically large, fast and undulating, the greens feature some of the most extreme slopes in Melbourne, while the bunkers are constructed to blend naturally with their surrounds and are intrinsic to the strategy of each hole.
The course has been the scene of many major tournaments in its history, leading to world-wide recognition by amateurs and professionals alike.