The Australian Masters returns to Kingston Heath this year and after several weeks of some truly horrifying golf architecture on television, we get a welcome opportunity to cleanse ourselves by watching the game played on one of the world's very best designs.
While the neighboring Royal Melbourne might be the superior tournament course because of its grand scale and ability to hold up better under the technology onslaught, the more intimate Kingston Heath is the course you'd probably enjoy playing the most on a daily basis. You can't go wrong with either one.
Don't sue me for linking this, but the club's guest page offers a course tour which includes a 360 degree photo tour of the holes. It's a massive time killer and great fun once you get the hang of it.
For a refresher, here is Darius Oliver's excellent Kingston Heath review at Planet Golf, a super resource for course design insights.
I visited the area last year for the Presidents Cup, which led to this Golf Digest feature on The Australian Way and below, this admittedly substandard photo gallery of the course in not-the-best light. Still, it should be enough to whet your appetite to watch.
Golf Channel offers coverage Wednesday through Saturday nights starting at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time.
**Graeme McDowell had lots of nice things to say about Kingston Heath, reports Patrick Sexton.
"It's a fantastic golf course, just a real advertisement for, you know, how a golf course doesn't need length to be tricky and tough," he said.
"It's very unique. Obviously we're on one of the greatest pieces of golfing land maybe in the world down here. It reminds me a little of the west coast of England there with your Birkdales and your Hillsides and that little stretch of phenomenal golf courses you have there.
"I played here on Sunday and I played in a northerly wind, then I played nine holes yesterday afternoon (Monday) in a very strong southerly wind and (that) obviously changed the dynamic of the back nine, so it's a big factor, the wind this week."
**Check out Mark Bourgeois' aerial comparison of Kingston Heath, 1945 vs. 2012.