From the opening hole, the Mt. Macedon Golf Course presents a distinct challenge.
While the course has nine holes, there are eighteen tees, many creatively placed to offer a uniquely different perspective the second time around.
Hole 1/10 Par 3 150/160 Metres
The first is an elevated tee where you are required to hit over a valley and creek to the green which sits higher than the tee. Bunkered left side with a steep approach and higher ground to the right rear. It is a great start to the course calling for a precise iron shot rather than asking you to swing like the Almighty with a wood from the beginning!
The 10th tee brings you up to the clubhouse and a higher elevation. The deeply wooded valley comes into play from here and requires precision from the tee.
Hole 2/11 Par 4 240/224 Metres
The first of the uphill shots with the trees showing a straight fairway approach. There is a large tree off the right which makes lofted approaches from the right of the fairway difficult, to a green that slopes distinctly from the rear to the front. Not an easy green to read and a challenge even if on in regulation.
The 11th tee has been relocated and now requires a drive over a small dam. Your view of the fairway is framed by trees necessitating a straight drive to avoid trouble.
Hole 3/12 Par 3 190/194 Metres
Long Par 3 with a nice fairway that is influenced by weather. You can play anything from a 6 Iron to a 3 Wood depending on the direction of the wind. The green slopes left to right and again, not an easy read. Grass hazards are on the left side of the fairway and grab any errant tee shots that do not make it into the air.
Hole 4/13 Par 4 348/401 Metres
My arch nemesis. A very long straight Par 4 with bushland on both sides. Teeing off towards the stunning view of the mountain often means hitting into a strong breeze/wind making it difficult to reach in regulation. Bunkered to the left front, the green sits in a shaded area and is bordered right and rear by fenceline (no ball retrieval). Anything long or right will find OOB. The green is large and slopes rear to the front and due to shading plays differently at times to other greens on the course. A genuine workout at this hole!
Hole 5/14 Par 4 336/319 Metres
On hole five you will hit across the previous fairway and the hole is a dogleg left. The corner has some big trees and a difficult recovery if you stay in there with lots of bush. This is not the place for slices as the right boundary has a ball swallowing fenceline (no ball retrieval) with trees along the fencing. The green is lower than the fairway and it can be a difficult green to hold despite the slope from the rear to the front! Dense rough not far towards the rear cells for caution on your approach.
The fourteenth hole has a generous, wide fairway with an OOB fenceline on the right. With a straight drive your approach looks comfortable, but again your approach shot calls for caution.
Hole 6/15 Par 4 317/372 Metres
On the sixth, the fairway disappears about 180 metres from the tee down to the green. Large gums on the left obscure a dam, so hookers beware. The left side of the fairway is bordered by large gums. A good, straight shot can roll forever when it is dry! Confident chip and run approach shot is called for or you can 'lob it on' at your own peril!
The fifteenth tee is sixty metres away set in the back corner of the course and making the hole into a very challenging left/right dogleg. Great if you have a confident slice going but again the approach shot to a very difficult to read green!
Hole 7/16 Par 4/3 287/180 Metres
A shortish Par 4 for the seventh with a slight left/right dogleg with tall timber on the corner guarding the fenceline. Take it on at your own risk! Grass hazards await any poorly hit drive.
100 metres forward is the sixteenth tee for a long Par 3. The green is one of the flattest on the course but distance challenges anyone hoping for a birdie opportunity.
Hole 8/17 Par 3/4 185/290 Metres
Highly elevated tee shot for the Par 3 eighth down to a shaded green. There is a large tree to the left that dominates the view of the hole, OOB areas are all the way down to the right, and the slope of the fairway draws the ball to the right, so drives need to carry the full distance to land in regulation. There is a small-ish green with a right to left slope. Excellent Par 3 challenge.
When it becomes a Par 4 next time round you have to be precise and clear of the huge tree on the left. Your drive needs to go down the chute as accurately as you can. There is an OOB treeline all the way on the right, downhill to a small-ish green. Good match play hole!
Hole 9/18 Par 5/4 429/364 Metres
Ninth hole is a slight uphill dogleg. The best position for the second shot is from the uphill side of the fairway to open up the target and avoid having to shape the ball around the large trees that protect the corner. There is a dam and thick rough on the left, OOB fenceline and bush on the right which will grab any errant slices or fades. Fairway slopes high left to low right. As this hole takes you back across the valley and creek to an elevated green, the big question on this hole is: "Do I or don't I?" The faint of heart will lay up (be careful, not too long as the valley starts early and the creek awaits). A decent sized green sloping away from the mountain and a great hole to finish with!