The Metropolitan Golf Club

Australia, Victoria, Melbourne, Sandbelt
7.9 (173)

The Metropolitan Golf Club is a private members club. Visitors from Interstate or Overseas are welcome during certain periods of the week. Such visitors will need to be members of a recognised golf club, with a current membership identification card or a letter of introduction from the home club. Contact Planet Golf for assistance with tee times.

The Metropolitan Golf Club was founded by a group of Royal Melbourne members who rejected the club’s 1901 move into Melbourne’s southern sandhills and opted instead to remain at their inner-city home. After a few years, however, the Metropolitan golfers were forced to relocate and they shifted onto an estate in Oakleigh with less natural undulation than the new Royal Melbourne site but the same fertile sandy base found throughout the Sandbelt region.

Engineer member J.B. Mackenzie created the first course, his routing taking advantage of the unusual shape of the estate by including several fine doglegs and fairways that ran in a number of different directions. The other MacKenzie, Dr Alister, also had a major hand in the design of Metropolitan, advising on bunkering and some minor routing improvements during his 1926 visit to Melbourne. Sadly, with the exception of the final two holes and the tee shot on the 10th, none of the back nine is arranged as either Mackenzie had intended, American Dick Wilson rebuilding this part of the course in 1960 after the club had been forced to sell its beloved southern holes for a local school development. Michael Clayton later made alterations to some of the Wilson holes and despite some decent design work and an excellent long par four at 15, the best golf is concentrated in the much stronger outward side where holes like 1, 2 and 5 are the standouts.

With magnificent plantings and some of the purest couch fairways and bentgrass greens on the planet, a round at Metro is an exceptional experience, although the aesthetic contrast between holes, as well as the lack of interesting ground movement on the back nine, ultimately keeps it from Australian golf’s top shelf.

 

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