Although not designed by Dr. MacKenzie on his famous trip to Australia in the mid 1920s, Commonwealth is nevertheless a strategic course to play. Wind is often a factor in club selection and placement- as holes are not arranged in a back-and-out formation. This means that a prevailing wind will need to be fought on some holes and ridden on others.
The terrain is a bit more flat than other locations in the area (Victoria, Royal Melbourne) but the sandy base combined with excellent green complexes and bunkering make this a very nice course to play. Mature trees similar to Victoria GC line the fairways and will need to be accounted for in future maintenance projects.
How does the course overcome the challenge of not having the undulations of other more well-known courses? Through thoughtful design!
Greens throughout are slanted one way or another. This rewards the player who can shape a drive and the ensuing approach to hold the green and leave an uphill putt. If shooting at the hole from the wrong side of the fairway more balls will roll away from the pin. This is not necessarily a penalizing design, but more of a reward for those who think about how they would like to play the course.
Commonwealth shares many attributes with the more vaunted Sandbelt courses, just displayed in perhaps a subtler manner. Astute placement from the tee is a recurring theme, as many greens tilt gently to favour approach shots from a particular portion of the fairway. The site lacks undulations of the same magnitude as the nearby Sandbelt courses, yet keen eyes can see its similarities. - Australian Golf Digest
1st (Par 4, 321 yards) This dogleg right demands thoughtful club selection right out of the box. Longer hitters, with the ability to carry the fairway bunkering, will have a very nice opportunity to score well. While those laying up can take comfort in an easy approach, but may be tempted to play outside of their game and attempt a blast themselves. In either case, missing the green on either side is not recommended.
4th (Par 4, 370 yards) Many of the par 4s on the course are going to be the most interesting. This hole asks a player to approach the green from the right side of the fairway. Those who only draw the ball off of the tee will need to play over a bunker on the left side of their approach.
9th (Par 3, 145 yards) While the course is certainly not long, this hole particularly may seen very short even from the furthest tee boxes. However, wind will be a factor on this shot, and two deep bunkers on either side of the green combined with a heavy slope to the back often means there is much to think about prior to the swing.
17th (Par 4, 335 yards). While the 15th & 16th are also memorable holes, the 17th is interesting because, like the 1st, good placement with the Driver will dictate between a birdie and bogey. Again, those with the ability to fade the ball on their drive will be rewarded with an approach in which they can actually see the green- which features a steep slope greenside.
In October 2018 the club hired John Mann from Woodlands Golf Club as its superintendent. With experience at Royal Melbourne and excellent recent work at Woodlands GC, players may expect good things regarding ridding the course of tree overgrowth between holes and a few major projects to integrate more length with the original intent of the design.