David Inglis died in 2003 of Motor Nuerone disease, but certainly left his mark on the Australian golf scene.
David was a member at Huntingdale, and was the driving force behind one of Australia's most successful tournaments- The Masters at Huntingdale.
David was also the man behind the National Golf Club at Cape Schanck.
He would be proud to see how that club has developed over the years and now boasts four world class courses.
David also partnered with Dr John Tickell (of Hyatt regency Coolum fame) to develop The Heritage Golf & Country Club in Melbourne's north east suburbs.
Originally Inglis signed up Jack Nicklaus to design two signature courses on the old St John of God site...
The land for the two courses was largely in the river flats either side of the Yarra River, with hotel and housing developments on the higher ground.
Inglis and his team began selling memberships in 1995
The St John course was the first built, opening for play in 1999
It was a slow build with major playing surfaces needing to be sand capped, and bunkering needing to be redone.
Drainage on the low lying clay base was a problem in winter
During this period with a growing membership and no golf course to play Inglis organised regular competitions for the members at Melbourne's sandbelt courses, culminating in the club's first club championship at Huntingdale Golf Club in 1997 (which I won!)
With David Inglis gone, John Tickell took more of leading role at HG&CC, as they developed The Henley Course.
In 2003 The Federal Government approved the building of The Henley Course in it's environmental living zone, but Tickell and team baulked at paying for another Nicklaus 'signature course' and ended up contracting local Tony Cashmore to build the second course.
Cashmore is well known for his efforts at 13th Beach & The Dunes.
The Henley Course designed by Cashmore follows the same course routing proposed by Nicklaus, but the look and feel of the course was completely different.
While Nicklaus greens and bunkers have a lineal look, Cashmore has a lot more undulation and movement throughout.
It is a nice contrast.
I have always enjoyed playing The Henley and as a former member got to know the course pretty well.
It's a course that offers variety, traversing river flats before heading to the hills.
It boasts Australia's longest par 4, as well as some quality short par 4's.
It's a course that requires a player to plot their way around, and it really helps when you get to know the contours of the greens..
With no houses or development in sight The Henley is just a lovely place to play golf.
Notable holes include:
- hole 4, a strong par 3 with water short, long & left
- hole 5, a longer par from an island tee to fairway protected by water left and bunkers right. The raised green is also well bunkered (see pic mid page)
- hole 6, a teasing par 5 with a large dead tree very much a factor on the tee shot and water left the length of the hole
- hole 12, a pretty par 3 with an amazing green!
- hole 13, a lovely par 5 winding it's way up a valley to an elevated green containing at least a few buried elephants..
- hole 14, a longer par 4 dogleg over a pond to a well bunkered green
- hole 15, a short par 3 over a pond to a tricky green (see pic mid page)
The Henley is a very good members course, but unfortunately has been 'let go' a little in recent years as The Heritage has suffered through ownership changes.
At the time of writing the course has benefited from a concerted effort to restore it.
Playing surfaces are lush & green, but will need some time to bring them back to the links like conditioning intended by Tony Cashmore.
All bunkers are out of play.
Unfortunately the ownership issues have seen the membership dwindle in recent years and although efforts are being made to right the ship, there is still much to be done before The Heritage Golf & Country Club lives up to it's potential.
At it's best it is an outstanding facility
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- The Yarra Valley
For further information on a tailored golf trip please enquire here: