Conceived along the same lines as the Glen Abbey project in Canada, and billed initially as the new Home of Australian Golf, Moonah Links is a 500-acre development on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula that features a luxury resort, housing estate and two big dune courses designed by Peter Thomson and Ross Perrett.
While the centrepiece at Moonah Links is Thomson’s monstrous Open Course, a links-style stadium layout purpose-built among the sites expansive dunes to regularly host the nation’s Open Championship, Perrett’s Legends Course is more playable and more enjoyable. Despite winding through parts of the housing precinct, it is an attractive test of golf with nice scenery and an interesting collection of holes and landscapes. The routing does get a little cramped on the back nine, but generally speaking Perrett did well to create fun holes and add pleasing linkslike visuals to the development. To be fair, his golf course doesn’t reach great heights architecturally but it does counterbalance the obscenely difficult Open Course and is far more pleasant to play.
The problem with both courses at Moonah Links, is the benchmark against which they ought be judged. The Mornington Peninsula has terrific golf land, and really should have boasted several courses up there with those in the Sand Hills region of central USA. Against such competition the Legends Course suffers by comparison, as it doesn’t have great holes and blackspots like the 4th, 11th, 15th and 16th, drop it down a class or two. Against most of the other golf on the Mornington Peninsula, however, and certainly when compared against its bigger brother, Legends stacks up well and is very popular with green fee golfers in the area.
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