Nestled among the rolling hills of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, the Heritage Country Club’s St. John course was the first private Nicklaus course to open in Australia. An interesting mix of parkland and heathland styles, the layout includes several man-made lakes, built primarily to ensure playing surfaces were raised above the river’s flood plain.
The best holes at Heritage come around the middle of the round with the most obvious a sweeping par four at the 8th which beautifully follows the sloping ground. The ‘signature’ Nicklaus holes are the double water carry par five 9th and the par three 11th played across a lake toward a green resting beneath a rock quarry. Nicklaus described the site as an obvious location for the green and it certainly takes a great picture but is probably a club too long, especially considering the length of the other par threes.
From the very back tees the course is one of the longest half dozen in the country with the club catering to a range of talents by providing five different tee options. Generally flowing nicely around the attractive site, the course lacks a clever short par four but otherwise is a decent Nicklaus layout that pampered country club golfers in particular will enjoy.
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