Mordiallic Golf Club was formed in 1913 and opened a nine hole course designed by Rowley Banks that same year.
Club professional Sam Bennett oversaw the addition of another 9 holes in 1917.
In 1921 Hunter Rogers was enlisted to add strategic bunkering to the course, and in 1925 the club changed it's name to Woodlands Golf Club.
Not long after, English architect J.D.H. Scott was employed to further enhance the bunkering and advise on further development
Right from the start Royal Melbourne greenkeeper Mick Morcom was consulted regarding playing surfaces, and his contribution continued though the years post Alister MacKenzie's momentous tour of Australia.
So while MacKenzie never visited Woodlands there is little doubt that his influence was seen through the handiwork of Morcom
Since 2014 American architect Tom Doak has been retained to advise the club, and it has never looked better..
Woodlands occupies a relatively flat tract of sandy terrain and is a lovely walking course.
It is set in a natural bush setting which was declared a sanctuary for native game in 1925, further adding to the allure of the walk.
The green complexes and bunkering at Woodlands are outstanding!
A number of the small greens are raised, and all are well protected by the dramatic bunkering.
In my opinion the short par 4's and par 3's at Woodlands are as good as anything in The Melbourne Sandbelt.
The run of holes from 3 to 5 is truly world class golf.
Tom Doak was quite eloquent about Woodlands in his Confidential Guide:
"Had Dr. MacKenzie set foot at Woodlands, I suspect it would outrank Metropolitan and Victoria as the third-best course in the Sandbelt, but any course without the famous pedigree suffers in international renown.
Instead, Woodlands’ quality owes everything to MacKenzie’s understudy Mick Morcom, the Royal Melbourne superintendent who followed through on the construction of many of the courses MacKenzie visited during his two months in Australia.
Woodlands’ bunkers and small greens are some of Morcom’s best work.
The par-3 holes rival Melbourne’s best—and thereby some of the best in the world- but I found most interesting the short par-4 3rd and 4th holes, each slightly under 300 yards, and the 550-yard 15th.
On all three, the approach shot should be a short one, but the greens are so small and firm and hemmed in by trouble at the sides that the wise player will opt to play a running approach instead of a pitch.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a hole in America that really cried out for a run-up shot—and here are three on one course!"
Notable holes include:
- hole 3, a 290 metre dog leg short par 4 with a small raised green that is beautifully bunkered
- hole 4, a straightaway 241 metre short par 4 that is very drivaeable, but the delightful small raised green is narrow and does not generally reward approaches from the sides
- hole 5, a classic 'sandbelt' par 3. The smallish green is again very well bunkered (see pic mid page)
- hole 7, a 321 metre par 4 with a fairway that tightens as you go, demanding increasing accuracy with longer tee shots. The green is of course nicely bunkered
- hole 13, a 284 metre par 4 with dramatic fairway bunkering left and tree and deep greenside bunkering protecting the right side of the green. You just need two well place shots!
- hole 15, a 511 metre par 5 where a player has to tack their way down the fairway to avoid fairway bunkering and then hit an accurate short iron approach to an elevated green
- hole 17, a 145 metre par 3 uphill. It requires a well flighted accurate shot, and with the small elevated green you cannot miss either side and expect to score..(see pic top of page)
Woodlands is a world class golf course, and a great test of golf.
It is chess with a golf ball- you have to think your way around and this is one course that rewards accuracy above length
Due to the topography it is the easiest walk in the sandbelt region and has the best collection of short par 4's going around
And the bunkering is exquisite!
Woodlands GC is a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- The Melbourne Sandbelt
For further information on a tailored golf trip please enquire here: