Hidden in the back blocks of suburban Cranbourne in Melbourne’s southern suburbs is Settlers Run Golf & Country Club. A ‘mini sandbelt’ region also includes the Amstel, Ranfurlie and Sandhurst courses. Settlers Run is a Greg Norman designed layout around a Country Club and residential complex.
The course makes the most of the undulating terrain, with numerous changes in direction, the large bunker complexes feature Norman-esque rough around the edge, water hazards and deep rough combine for a challenging game. At 6,607 from the blacks, the course is a long layout, so unless you have your ‘A’ game or want to be punished, try the Gold tees which take almost 600 metres off the distance!
The third hole plays from an elevated tee, through a gully to and elevated green. From the forward tees longer drivers will have to layup to avoid running out of fairway or hitting the fairway trap. From the back tees, the hole plays differently with the second shot a tough one trying to hit the elevated green with a mid iron.
Any par 3 rated in the top 10 toughest holes on a course needs to be given respect. The 8th at Settlers Run is well protected by bunkering on the right of the green and a raised green. When the wind picks up, the club selection is vital.
Ranked hardest hole on the course for good reason, at 431 metres from the tips, the drive heads over a ridge requiring placement down the right side of the fairway to open up the green. Fairway bunkers on the left are deep and will require a lofted club to recover, avoid. The green undulations are subtle and as the green is slightly elevated approaches need to be up.
The short par 4 is a great risk and reward hole. From the elevated tee the fairway bends around a lake surrounded by deep rough. Beware of driving too far left and running out of fairway, with a layup as the other choice providing a tougher second shot to a small, well protected green. (Snake watch: even in cooler April we came across snakes next to the 17th tee, one of my partners stepping on once whilst searching for an errant tee shot!)
Settlers Run is well worth playing, the Norman design requires accuracy off the tee or a large number of spare golf balls. Condition from tee to green is excellent. A drinks and food cart is on the course most days, and the well stocked pro-shop and clubhouse provides excellent service and a great spot for a quiet drink after the round to discuss the days play.
Settlers Run Golf & Country Club
– Par 72
– 6,607 metres
– Address: 1 Settlers Run, off Pearcedale Road, in Botanic Ridge, Cranbourne
– Proshop: (03) 9785 6072
– Bookings and Green Fees