Ranfurlie is the second course at the Amstel Golf Club, which was founded back in 1936, and the first full design by Victorian Michael Clayton. Located just outside Melbourne’s Sandbelt, the course sits on a barren and somewhat unattractive piece of property that is deceptively undulating and suitable for golf.
Exposed to the regions high winds the routing sensibly takes this into account with the long holes running in different directions and the fairways wide enough to provide respite when the wind gets strong, yet strategic enough to test the better players. There is a lack of quality dogleg holes, but in order to set-up the best angle of approach into the large tilted greens you often need to nestle the drive close to the fairway traps from the tee. Many of the greens are built on small, natural rises while the classical bunkering has a wild and ungroomed appearance. The range and variety of approach shots played is very good.
Clayton is a man with an unbridled passion for golf within the Sandbelt and his Ranfurlie course is a reflection of this passion. Most pleasing is that, like the very best Melbourne classics, he has managed to build a number of good par threes and short par four’s.