The National - Moonah
The Peninsula's Rollercoaster Routing
Location: Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Architects: Greg Norman, Bob Harrison
Green Fee: $375AUD
Kiwi Caddy Tier: Three
The Holes that Stick:
1st- Par 4/4365m
5th- Par 3/148m
6th- Par 4/360m
Golf courses, much like people, are products of their environment- their opportunities, challenges and limitations partly determined by the site which they occupy. In this sense, The National’s Moonah Course has hit the genetic lottery.
The Moonah course is routed across dynamic rolling terrain which tosses and tumbles in all directions, beautifully varied in shape with unique landforms scattered across its vast property. The property is an absolute rollercoaster, its wild terrain and grand slopes presenting players with both their greatest challenge and most fruitful source of enjoyment.
The Moonah is an extremely attractive golf course in the most rugged way possible and looking back on photos, the course is quintessentially Australian. The first tee offers a fantastic first look- the fairway tumbling to the left with gorgeous hills of the Mornington Peninsula as a backdrop and a scattering of native foliage.
Throughout the round, dramatic changes in elevation offer incredible long views of the Peninsula and surrounding rural properties- truly one of the special features of the course, and the great joys of traversing its routing.
With its reputation as one of the most difficult courses in Australia primarily driven by the aforementioned dramatic land movement, firm turf and the ever-present stiff coastal breeze, the course has a distinct linksy feel. Balls bounce and ride slopes, whilst its rippled fairways offer a dosage of the beautiful randomness of a traditional Scottish links.
The greenkeepers do a sensational job, and on my Australian travels the Moonah course was the best conditioned tee to green, ensuring the course plays as the design intends.
Although the layout demands accuracy, fairways are generous and playable and Greg Norman has done an excellent job balancing the slopes which hurt players and those which help. For every fairway spine that kicks balls to the wrong side, it feels like there is a kicker which funnels balls into the fairway, or a backstop which feeds the ball towards the flag.
It makes the course playable, drives enjoyment and adds a thrilling layer of strategy and natural variety to each hole.
Similar to their surrounds, the collection of green sites are varied and loaded with character, their design often defining the strategy of the hole. The thrills, smiles and challenge of the Moonah course lie in the approach shots to greens, each asking a different question from the last through a combination of steep runoffs, wild slopes and enticing backstops.
Playing the course requires strategic thought and creative shotmaking, with the most fun approach often yielding the best result- what a way to play the game!
My lasting impressions of the Moonah are ones of great enjoyment, fueled by a diverse range of exciting shots across a collection of showstopping holes routed through some of my favourite golfing terrain around the world. There is ample variety in questions asked, excellent strategic design and endless options to get the ball in the hole.
Residing in the same state as the Sandbelt classics, the Moonah has carved out a distinct identity its own, one of thrills, drama, fun and a style of golf I yearn to play every day!
Booking a Tee Time
Compared to the Sandbelt, The National is much more accommodating to visitors- both overseas & interstate. The easiest way to book a tee time is through their 'Request a Tee Time' link HERE
Where to Stay
The Mornington Peninsula is a fantastic collection of seaside towns along the dramatic coastline! There are a multitude of towns to stay in, with the most common being Portsea, Sorrento, Rye & Rosebud. They each offer a lovely seaside village experience!
The Melbourne CBD is just over an hour away, so a day trip certainly isn't out of the question!
Best Golf Within 45 Minutes:
The Mornington Peninsula is a sensational holiday destination for golf, offering a multitude of golf and specifically some of Australia's premium public golf:
- The National (Gunnamatta)
- The National (Old)
- St Andrews Beach
- The Dunes Golf Links
- RACV Cape Schank
- Portsea GC