As summer turns to fall in Australia, one of the nation’s most beloved and respected champion golfers returned home and played the two courses he considers his favorite in the world.
Ian Baker-Finch, the 1991 Open Champion, and a veteran member of the CBS Sports broadcast team, took advantage of the network’s coverage break in advance of The Masters and headed Down Under to play Kingston Heath and Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
IBF posted this beautiful aerial shot of Kingston Heath (and additional photos from his trip) to his Instagram account earlier this week, making it easy to understand why he has such strong affection for the layout, which was ranked No. 20 in Golf Magazine’s 2017-18 Top 100 Courses in the World.
Via Custom Tours or Escorted Tours, PerryGolf brings golf enthusiasts from around the globe to the glorious Melbourne Sandbelt – and beyond – each year during the Southern Hemisphere’s ideal weather months (October – March).
For example, The Best Golf of Sydney and Melbourne features seven rounds in nine days.
Kingston Heath was originally designed in 1925 by the Australian professional Dan Soutar. The renowned Scottish architect Alister MacKenzie (Cypress Point, Augusta National) visited three years later and raved about Soutar’s routing. MacKenzie added the layout’s characteristic bunkering, the identifiable feature of his gems in the Sandbelt region.
None other than Greg Norman described the course’s four par 3s as the best set in the world. And while they deserve every breath of praise, it’s the short par-4 No. 3 – measuring only 295 yards from the back tees – that earns the respect of another Champion Golfer of the Year from Australia, the great Peter Thomson, who won the Open Championship five times between 1954 and 1965.
“Holes of this length are not built any more – a pity. This one is a gem,” Thomson said. “In this day and age it can be driven, although the possibility must be ten or more to one against. For this reason the penalties for missing the target should be more severe, this enhancing the challenge.”
Thomson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, also designed dozens of courses around the globe in an architectural career spanning 50 years.
Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen found Kingston Heath to their liking in the 2016 World Cup of Golf, shooting 20-under-par for 72 holes to bring the trophy home to Denmark.
The journey Down Under to play Kingston Heath, Royal Melbourne and the many, many other courses which are among the world’s best, is a special and unique offering. When you go, be certain to take advantage of this tax break, offered to tourists on certain items. To learn more about the majestic courses in Tasmania and on King Island, enjoy these stunning photos and observations from Gordon Dalgleish, the PerryGolf Co-Founding Director and President.
Dates and details should be finalized soon for PerryGolf’s extremely popular, The Best of Australia Escorted 2019. If you’re interested in playing these delightful gems and learning more about the trip, be sure to contact us.