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.
The layout and design had many years of ‘tinkering’ over the years. In 2016 the Club started a process that would result in its biggest decision since arriving at the current site in 1927. The decision to restore the key elements of Alex Russell’s classic design.
This restoration project focused on the strategic design intent behind Russell’s design – but had regard for the impact of changes to the game; one that resulted in a course that presented challenge and options to the better player and, importantly, was fun to play.
The overall result was designed to restore the architectural integrity of the original design.
Renaissance Golf Design were appointed and set about “lifting the covers off” the course – to reveal what had been hidden away for so long.
Today 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.
“Yarra Yarra is one of the finest courses designed by the esteemed Alex Russell and stands up extremely well in a neighbourhood noted worldwide for fine and unique golf courses. Mr. Russell surely made the most of an elegant piece of property.”
Tom Doak, Renaissance Golf Design
2nd Hole – Par 4
402m Men / 299m Women
One of Yarra Yarra’s classic long par 4’s, a long tee shot is required to set up a second shot to an elevated green.
Yarra Yarra’s 2nd hole is on of Australia’s best par 4’s. A long tee shot down the right side is required to set up the second shot to the elevated green.
The difficult second shot, played from a downslope, will require a decision on whether to attempt to carry the bunkers 40 metres short of the green or to lay-up. Bunkers are situated left and right of the green.
Golf.com rated the 2nd hole at Yarra Yarra in the Top 500 holes in the world.
“One of my favourite holes in golf. Love the little contour that steers a left-centre drive further left to make you go over the big mound of bunkers with your second.”
Tom Doak – Renaissance Golf Design
11th Hole – Par 3
168m Men / 136m Women
Yarra Yarra’s signature hole provides one of the toughest par 3’s you will encounter. A long iron approach to a narrow ‘Redan’ style green means nothing but a perfect shot will do.
With three tiers on this elevated green, only the best putting touch will provide success on this green.
Peter Thomson once stated…
“11th hole at Yarra Yarra should be regarded as a National Treasure.”
15th Hole – Par 3
149m Men / 117m Women
A mid iron tee shot to a narrow green. The green has a big tier running through the middle, so the trick on this hole is to hit the tee shot on the same level as the pin.
Depending on the wind and the pin position, this hole can play short or very long. Bunkers guard the front, left and right sides of the green, with no easy up and downs.
Slope Rating: 132 (Men’s) / 128 (Women’s)