Yarra Yarra is one of the eight Melbourne Sandbelt golf courses, which collectively possess a worldwide reputation among golfers as being on the ‘must play’ list. The course is accompanied by a driving range, putting green and short-game area that will satisfy even the most serious golfers.
The Spanish Mission-inspired Clubhouse features vast terraces, classic internal architecture and beautifully appointed meeting and function rooms… all within thirty minutes of Melbourne’s CBD.
Yarra Yarra is a vibrant club with a passion for golf and its history.
The Club’s founders first played on a rough, 9 hole course at Eaglemont in 1898, on the same terrain that inspired Arthur Streeton’s famous painting Golden Summers. Eaglemont Golf Club, as it was originally known, was also avant garde in that male and female members enjoyed equal rights from the outset.
The Club only rented the Eaglemont land and by about 1910 it decided to purchase land near the Rosanna railway station. It was renamed the Yarra Yarra Golf Club and opened for play in 1911. By the mid 1920’s a move to the sandbelt was envisaged as the loss of players to Clubs on better land was becoming critical to the Club’s survival. In February 1927 land was purchased at East Bentleigh, well south of the Yarra River and in the heart of the famous Melbourne Sandbelt.
On 24 November 1898, six men and two women met at a large home in Eaglemont to form the Eaglemont Golf Club. They formed a rough, 9 hole course on rented land at Eaglemont and commenced play in the same year. In 1906 an additional 9 holes were added to the course.
By about 1910, the suburban sprawl was reaching Eaglemont and the club decided it was time to purchase its own land.
Land for the course was purchased near the Rosanna railway station . It now became the Yarra Yarra Golf Club and opened for play in 1911. It proved a successful move for many years but the land was not suitable for play twelve months of the year.
By the mid 1920’s a move to the sandbelt was envisaged as the loss of players to Clubs on better land was becoming critical to the Club’s survival. In February 1927, land was purchased at Bentleigh East. In February 1929 the present course was opened.
The course was designed by Alex Russell who in his design principles allowed for play by the good golfer and average golfer. The course is not overly long but with excellent bunkering and difficult greens is a good test of golf.
A recognised feature of Yarra Yarra is its four par 3 holes each having its distinct character, a good mix of par 4 and par 5 holes.
The Clubhouse ( Spanish Mission style and widely acclaimed on opening in 1928 ) is at the centre of the course and is reached by a winding driveway from the entrance on Warrigal Road.
The 1956 Ampol Tournament was held at Yarra Yarra as the great athletes of the world were gathering in Melbourne for the Olympic Games.
The prize money was £10,000, the richest purse in Australia at that time. Gary Player won the tournament and was presented with the winner’s cheque of £5000. He told the crowd that now he could afford to get married.
Gary Player has returned to Yarra Yarra a number of times since 1956, including winning the Victorian Open in 1959.
A star-studded field contested the 1969 Dunlop International tournament at the club.
Gary Player was back at Yarra Yarra for the third time, now 34 years old and one of the world’s great players.
Bruce Devlin and Lee Trevino ended up in a play-off, with Gary Player finishing third.
Bruce Devlin won at the first play-off hole with a birdie.
In 1985, The Victorian Open returned to Yarra Yarra after an absence of 8 years.
An innovation was to include some celebrities in the field, including Richie Benaud, Rod Marsh, Sir Garfield Sobers, James Hunt and Frank Sedgman. Prominent players to participate were Greg Norman, David Graham and Graham Marsh.
The tournament was won by Ian Baker-Finch, two shots ahead of Roger Davis
1998 marked the centenary of the Yarra Yarra Golf Club, since its inception as the Eaglemont Golf Club in 1898. It also was 70 years since the current course was established at Bentleigh East.
The centenary was celebrated with a number of functions during the year and the publication of the book, “From Eyrie to Eagles”, documenting the history of the club’s first 100 years.
From 1995 to 2002, the Women’s Australian Open was played at Yarra Yarra.
The most successful competitor during this time was Karrie Webb, who won in 2000 and 2002. Other winners were Liselotte Neumann, Catriona Matthew, Jane Crafter, Marnie McGuire and Sophie Gustafson