Melbourne’s third oldest golf club, Kew was formed in the inner city in 1894 but has shifted sites several times throughout its history and endured much upheaval as Melbourne city continues its rapid expansion. The current layout was essentially created in 1960 when the Eastern Freeway was first proposed, and part of the previous property acquired by the government.
Neighbouring the Green Acres Golf Club and set directly against the banks of the Yarra River, Kew has always offered pleasant clay-based golf for those living in the inner city, but struggled for many decades with drainage and turf quality during the wetter months. Under the recent direction of local superintendent turned golf course designer Graeme Grant, the club produced a masterplan and not only converted fairways to Santa Ana couch and putting surfaces to bentgrass, they remodelled fairways and greens and added drainage to improve year-round playability.
Given there is only so much interest you can add to a flat property with limited space, the results have been reasonably pleasing here and the course does now use its natural water features better than in the past. Like Green Acres next door, the water birds, tall trees, shapely bunkering and well-conditioned fairways are Kew’s strength. While none of these Yarra courses are likely to be mistaken for those on the Sandbelt, they are convenient to the city and offer strong, social memberships.