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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 271
Y ARRA Yarra Golf Club is arguably one of the least celebrated layouts of Melbourne’s famed Sandbelt region. But that hasn’t always been the case. Wisely, the club plans to embrace its glorious rich history to build the foundations of an exciting future. And the major focus of this plan is an extensive renovation of its course to return it to the design concepts of its acclaimed original designer, Alex Russell. The club has appointed the Tom Doak- led firm, Renaissance Golf Design (RGD), to oversee the extensive changes to the East Bentleigh course, which Russell created in 1928. Russell, the 1924 Australian Open Champion, was the Australian design partner of the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie and had worked with him at Royal Melbourne during the doctor’s famed 1926 visit. A raft of changes were made to the layout over the years by various designers and the club felt many of the subtleties and the intent of Russell’s design had been hidden from view. Key themes of the RGD restoration include: • Opening up views across the course should feature greens, bunkers and the character of the land; • Tees will be integrated into their surrounds as part of greater decluttering of the site; • Superfluous bunkers will be removed, while other bunkers, which are out of character with the Russell-style, will be reshaped; •Fairway mowing lines will be readjusted to fully engage with hazards and present strategic risk/reward angles into tucked hole locations. Fairway bunkers wherever possible should feel like they intrude on fairways instead of merely flanking them; •Altered greens will be restored where possible. Where greens can’t be restored to ► TOP-100 SPOTLIGHT TOP-100 RANKING JUDGE'S COMMENT “GIVEN THE PEDIGREE OF TOM DOAK’S DESIGN WORK, I SUSPECT WE’LL SEE YARRA YARRA MOVE HIGHER YET AGAIN WHEN THE NEXT RANKING LIST IS PUBLISHED IN 2020.” .” – Brendan James The Renaissance Golf Design concept plan for Yarra Yarra Golf Club. The uphill par-3 5th hole is a gem.
50 Favourite Aust Golf Courses 2017
GA Express 272