Played St Andrews Beach Golf course on the Mornington Peninsula recently with Scott and Anthony, and its well worth a visit. The Tom Doak designed Gunnamatta layout opened in late 2005 and was planned as an exclusive private 36 hole layout. The second course (Fingle) was to be added over the next year or so. Played the course just after it opened and was impressed with the layout and condition. Australian Golf Digest ranked the layout at 30 in the 2006 top 100 courses in Australia.
Unfortunately the ambitious project struggled, land sales and memberships didnt meet targets and the course eventually fell into receivership and closed. Thankfully a consortium of saviours reopened the course in October 2009. The following information from the website explains the current situation:
“Since reopening in October as a result of the demise of the former ownership structure, much has happened and whilst we have a long way to go in changing this once exclusive and private golf club into one of Australia’s premiere pay to play venues, some major hurdles have been overcome.
For the record, Golf Services Management P/L, has a 3 year management contract to operate the golf activities as a pay to play venue and has no connection or association with the former company Golf Club Properties P/L whatsoever. The maintenance is carried out by The Golf Course Company P/L.”
Thankfully the course is still well and truly playable, the greens are excellent and the fairways are still in great condition. Id recommend packing the clubs into the car with a couple of fellow golfers and playing St Andrews, and a word of advice, if its hot, or you arent feeling too energetic, grab a cart as its a fairly tough walk! Review to follow soon.