Heathcote Golf Club - Course Review

December 15, 2018
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The Heathcote Golf Club

Winner of the 2006 Victorian PGA Pro-Am Of The Year

18 holes, practice fairway, nets and putting green
Mens Par 71, ACR 71, 5861m
Ladies Par 72, AWCR 72, 5122m
Ph: (03) 5433 2551 
Patterson Street Heathcote VIC 3523
See below for a local map  

The track at The Heathcote Golf Club, in the heart of bushranger country in Victoria's goldfields, is best known for its fast and true-running, top quality greens. Laid in 1990, the club takes great pride in maintaining what are some of the most beautiful putting surfaces in regional Victoria. They are an inviting challenge to golfers of all standards, especially those that consider themselves a dab hand with the flat stick.

However, the greens are just one of the features at Heathcote. It is a well-established course lined with a striking collection of pine trees and magnificent red gums and box gums. The pines make the course smell like Augusta and the gums give it a character that is intrinsically Australian and, at times, reminiscent of the some of the superb Murray courses just 90 minutes to the north. The course design also features a reference to the famous double greens of St. Andrews with a huge two-tiered double green in front of the clubhouse shared by the 11th and 18th holes. Below is a shot of the par five 14th green superbly framed by beautiful pine and gum trees.

HGC_14th_putting.JPG 

In recent years, the course has greatly benefited from the arrangement to access recycled water from the township. Whilst so many courses have suffered during the drought, Heathcote has been fortunate to have been able to maintain the couch fairways and the famous greens in excellent condition. Below is an example of the lush fairway on the tree-lined approach to the long par five 9th hole. 

HGC_9th_approach.JPG

Another feature at Heathcote is the abundant fauna on the course. A mob of local grey kangaroos have taken up residence, making a round in Heathcote a uniquely Australian experience. Like Anglesea golf club on Victoria’s Surf Coast, the roos take a leisurely approach to the passing hackers and show a complete indifference to even your finest shot. There are also two emus on the course. Depending on who you ask, their names are either Norman & Greg or Graham & David and one bloke even reckons they are called Morris & Shane. Below we can see some of the locals hard at work between the 12th and 14th fairways.

HGC_Roos.JPG

The course offers a great test of all parts of your game with four par fives and five challenging par threes laid on undulating ground at the foot of picturesque Mount Ida. Some of the feature holes are:

The short par four 6th hole: This is a beautifully designed hole to remind us all that, even in these days of ball-monstering equipment, golf is a game of guile, strategy and accuracy. Measuring only 260 metres, this hole invites the big hitters to go for the green. It is a great risk-versus-reward hole requiring a power fade to negotiate the left-to-right dog leg at the 200 metre mark and the significant gum that guards the front of the green. However, if you are going for it, you better hit a good one as there is water lurking both left and right of the fairway. The smart play is a lay up from the tee leaving a relatively easy short iron into the smallish green.

HGC_11th_green.JPG

The long par four 11th hole: This is one of the longest and toughest holes at Heathcote. It is a 390 metre straight-away hole with a strand of pines lining the left side of the fairway on the drive. Get a good one out of the tee box and then you can really get down to work here on your 2nd shot. It is slightly uphill and needs to be threaded between two magnificent gums beautifully positioned about 50 metres short of the green. No matter how far you drive, these two guardians require the 2nd to be played with some good planning and precise execution. Alas, if you get to the moss in regulation, par is no snack on the huge sloping double green (pictured above). Just a super hole where par is always a good score.

Heathcote is just over 100 kms north of Melbourne and on the route to Echuca. Golfers making a trek to the Murray could do far worse than stopping halfway for 9 or 18 holes at The Heathcote Golf Club to break up the trip. Heathcote is also well known for its red wines, Shiraz in particular, and a visit to some of the local wineries is a comfortable way to unwind after your round. The club hosts a range of tournaments and events, has a superb clubhouse and is available for group bookings. The club also hosts the Heathcote Winery Classic Pro-Am, winner of Victorian PGA Pro-am of the year in 2006.

Social golfers and guests are welcome at this friendly club.
Green Fees: 18 Holes $22. Nine hole & student rates also available.
Buggies, hire clubs and golf accessories are available on comp days.

Men's Comp: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; 12.15pm to 12.30pm.
Ladies' Comp: Wednesdays: Summer: 7am to 9am, Winter; 9.45am to 10am
Mixed Comp: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 12.15pm to 12.30pm

Visitors welcome to play in all competitions.
Bookings advised for the Saturday comp.
Neat dress required.

Clubhouse bar and snacks available on competition days.
Parties and groups catered for.
Course available for hire for events and functions.

HGC_map.jpg

Note: This course review may be entirely biased as I am a proud member of The Heathcote Golf Club. The only way to find out if it is accurate, is to come to Heathcote for a game. If, after playing the course, it didn’t meet your expectations, contact me at Bushranger Golf, and I will gladly shout you to a return round at Heathcote and I will happily listen to your concerns while I try to wallop the pants off you! Best regards and good golfing,

Matthew Pitt