The Australian Sandbelt holds so much interest for golfers because so often the middle of the fairway is not the best place from which to play an approach. Greens are slanted in such a way as to reward setup shots which allow use of the entire surface. This is the reward for experience and thought, and why Victoria GC remains such a special place.
Fairways at Victoria flow between gorgeous trees and through a gentle undulating landscapes. Elevated greens here are protected by extensive bunkering. And while the front 9 feels like it plays a bit more flat then the back, the entire course leverages hills so well to produce an overall nice challenge to the entire round.
Alister Mackenzie influenced bunkering at Victoria with his visit in the mid-1920s and this is still certainly felt very much today. The grass around the greens at Victoria is cut very short. This is different from what many Americans will be used to in the States, with longer grass surrounding the greens to stop errant approaches. Shot selection to hold the greens on an approach should take into consideration an old school bump & run - similar to that which would be used in Scotland.
The friendly staff at Victoria and the welcoming grace shown by its members alone should make this course a must-play. One will be hard pressed to find a more in-depth golf experience than an overnight stay in the upstairs clubhouse rooms. Victoria is special in so many ways.
Update for 2019: Victoria has recently replaced the turf on all of its greens with Pure Distinction bent grass ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. In addition to the surface change, the club has made a few other tweeks including bringing the edge of the green directly to green-side bunkers. Return visitors need not worry- the beautiful trees and natural flora and fauna remain as flawless as ever.
6860 yards, Par 72.
2018: #8 in Australia (Golf Digest)
1st: Right off the bat a 254-yard downhill par-4 starts the day! A nice tee shot sets up nicely for a bird while first tee jitters combined with the sloped green mean the hole can go the wrong way quickly.
4th hole: Two tiered green, like many of the par-3s on the course, this one is uphill. It's a long green wIth a bunker in the front so pin placement toward the front side can be a challenge.
15th: Another short par-4 and an absolute classic, as the green is constructed as to camouflage itself. It's just difficult at first where to pick a place to hit the ball on this 315 yard hole. I am told to hit short with a 4 iron because it becomes apparent that it pinches as you get closer to the hole with bunkers and hem from both sides. Very difficult indeed, and an amazing design. Locals will swear that there is a "slot" to the left side of the green that you can use to feed the ball.