Yering Meadows is the new home of the Croydon Golf Club, who relocated 15 minutes further from Melbourne after more than 80 years at their previous home. The move allowed them to upgrade golfing facilities, and also helped alleviate some impending financial hardship. Project architect at Yering Meadows was Ross Watson, whose brief was to build a first-class practice area and 27 championship length holes on what was an uninviting flood-prone paddock near Yarra Glen. The property is actually adjacent to the new home of the Eastern Golf Club, who will need to address some of the same drainage and terrain issues that Watson faced here.
The chief concern many have with how this course turned out is the abundance of water, and the severity of tight fairways that are prone to kicking seemingly decent drives into these ever-present ponds and creeks. The big advantage Eastern has is room; the holes at Yering run right along the boundary of the property and seemingly across every acre of usable space within its interior. As at Magenta Shores, Watson had to build tighter fairways than he probably wanted but pleasingly he managed to offer respite by varying hole lengths and regularly presenting golfers with a range of options from the tee.
The first nine stands out for the general quality of the green and bunker shaping, and the effectiveness of holes like the short 7th, par four 4th and the multi-route par five 8th, its last half split by a lake but able to entice golfers into taking on the water with their second shot in an effort to sneak up near the green. Unfortunately the tee shot and lay-up areas here are a little tight for shorter hitters, which is also the case off the tee on the par five 5th hole.
Although a lack of width also makes many of the subsequent holes (10 thru 27) less strategic for the shorter hitters, this is a reasonable golf course with birdie opportunities for good players and some attractive, well-established hazards. The course does get very wet unfortunately in winter, and has some severely angled landing areas, such as on the par five 23rd, that can kick decent shots into perilous positions. Otherwise, Yering sits beneath Eastern and the courses at Heritage when it comes to golf in the Yarra Valley but is a good value option alongside Gardiner's Run.