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« NY Times A1: "One of the more frightening — and remarkable — rounds of golf ever caught on video." | Main | Jarrod Lyle Eyes 2014 Return To PGA Tour »
Tuesday
Nov132012

Getting In The Mood For Kingston Heath

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.

Kingston Heath features one of my favorite logos and the most elegant course guide I've ever seen, created by Michael Cocking of Ogilvy-Clayton design. You can see a sample on his website.

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.

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Reader Comments (12)

Here is a neat comparison of Kingston Heath in 1945 vs today: http://golfcoursehistories.com/KH.html
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark B
On a somewhat related note....For me and I'm American, the Australian tv coverage blows everyone else away. It's slower paced and they seemed to stay with players longer, so you aren't jumping around a lot. When a player is taking too long to play the shot, they stay with him. They don't jump to a ball in the air or a meaningless 1 foot tap in putt. Again, for me...There more to good golf coverage than showing as many balls in the air or putts made as you can cram into an hour. The Australian tv golf folks get it and I'm looking forward to watching the event.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Well, I wouldn't call the last few weeks of golf architecture on tv "horrifying" - although, it has been far from great.

Lake Karrinyup - a better than most, but not worth of "the Augusta of Australia" as I have heard it called before.
The Mines - average.
Lake Maleran (Masters course) - bland and average.
Mission Hills (Olazabal course) - this might have been the worst in terms of architecture, but not horrifying
Sentosa (Serapong course) - it would have been hard to do much better on that kind of property

With respect to Kingston Heath, it is one of the great courses of the world. However, 17 seems odd to me, with a mostly hidden 2nd shot into a relatively flat and perfectly circular green with no sand. It is like a "muni" green sneaked onto the property.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Without question KH has to be one of the sportiest courses out there. Green to tee transitions are really a work of genius on a small property. Lots of character, charm, and a lot of fun to play.

Could it be the perfect member's course?
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPHK
Great pictures. And great course guides, too, as you say. I'm always amazed at what a difference a good course guide can make for visualizing shots -- something I've never experienced from a GPS version.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
RLL,
Also his depictions of the greens really take it to another level. They're also eerily similar to Dr. MacKenzie's drawings. Only more accurate.
11.13.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
I think I'm looking forward to our broadcast of this tournament tomorrow night more than about anything this year. I played there when I played the Aussie tour some 24 years ago, and can't wait to see it on TV again. If memory serves me correctly, I shot a million, but never lost a ball.

Jerry
11.13.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjerry foltz
best time of year to watch golf on tv - australia!
11.13.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbouje
Can't wait! KH is one of the most enjoyable courses to watch on TV. That part of the world is full of several world class tracks and many many great "solid" courses. The quality of golf per capita is probably higher in the Mel Sand Belt than anywhere else in the world. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! Sidenote - Mel is also a brilliant city to visit, fantastic food and drink, and this event would be a grand one to attend.
Geoff,
The pictures are fine. Unless you had the lens cap on it would be pretty tough to take a bad picture at KH. What an amazing course, finest bunkers I've ever tried to avoid. And I don't think the recent courses on TV have been all bad. Cliched and predictable certainly but I've seen worse - TPC San Antonio?
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamad
"It's very unique."

Is it really?

Pity he couldn't have squeezed in a "very essential" somewhere too.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
I am not sure Karrinyup was meant to fit into that comment of "horrifying", it is exceptional, although perhaps a touch below KH. This seems to be the point, two litlte tournaments played in Australia and both played on equisitite courses. Which they have to, as they match the prize money elesewhere.

17 at KH is polarising - I am not a fan, but others love it. Its different I suppose
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBW

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