The Metropolitan Golf Club Reputation
I played The Metropolitan Golf Club, or ‘Metro’ as most golfers in Australia call it, once in the early 2000’s. Prior to playing I had heard rumors regarding the fairways. Many who had visited compared them to Augusta National Golf Club. Having been to The Masters Tournament on two separate occasions, I don’t know if I’d quite go as far as comparing them to Augusta. I’d say Augusta is in a league all on its own. I will say however, I’ve never played a course with better fairways.
Best Manicured Course in Australia
Metro stands out from other sandbelt courses. Compare it to a Royal Melbourne or Kingston Heath, and you notice its clean-cut design and aesthetics. Sure, it has rugged spots like Kingston Heath or the odd sandy expanse like Royal Melbourne. However, Metro is week in, week out the best manicured course in Australia. There is a definable first cut of rough. The bunkers are perfectly cut with sharp edges. The greenside bunkers typically cut into the green surface itself, as opposed to the fringe or fairway grass. Like most of the courses in the sandbelt of Melbourne, Metro requires thought and precision from tee to green – throughout all 18 holes. The firm and fast putting surfaces put a premium on keeping the ball below the hole to optimize your scoring opportunities.
The course was originally laid out and opened in 1908 as the Caulfield Golf Club. The club implemented Dr. Alister MacKenzie’s suggestions after his famous visit to Australia in 1926. Then in 1959, American architect Dick Wilson oversaw reconstruction of the majority of the original back nine.
The Metropolitan Golf Club has hosted many major tournaments in Australia. My fondest memory of such events was the 1997 Australian Open. Lee Westwood bested Greg Norman, the world number one at the time, in an epic four-hole playoff. Westwood made par to secure victory, surprising everyone and announcing his presence to the golfing world.
As with most of the sandbelt courses, there are available tee times on a weekly basis for overseas visitors. The round is worth the money if you’re only visiting once but does come with a steep tag, approximately US$275. I will be sure to play this great course again someday and I hope it is not too far down the road!
© Gary Lisbon | https://www.golfphotos.com.au/ | IG: @garylisbongolf