If you could look up the word PASSION in the dictionary and next to it would be a golf course, it would have to be Portsea Golf Club and Resort. The place oozes the stuff and rightfully so.
Have you ever had one of those days at golf where you play so badly it’s embarrassing – but because your playing partners are so passionate about their golf and golf club it doesn’t matter?
Today was one of those days as I headed down to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, one hour south of Melbourne.
I had played at Portsea once before back in 2009 and got married at the Portsea Hotel a few years before that and apart from that have only ever been down this way a couple of times in my life – but regardless I feel a real affinity with the place!
The quality of courses on the Mornington Peninsula is world class and Portsea would have to be one of the best of them.
They have just built a brand new 15 million dollar clubhouse and Mercure managed hotel and changed the configuration of the course so that most of the holes are visible from above in the club house – not to mention the container ships and amazing sunsets on Port Phillip Bay.
For starters the course is amazing. “It’s not a championship course but a members’ course”, explains Taffy Richards my crazy (but great at singing in the shower) Welsh playing partner – who also happens to be the club’s president.
Everybody is welcome at Portsea and it shows – I turned up at 10am and didn’t leave til after 7pm.
The members here have a deep passion for their golf course and their club and couldn’t wait to share their enthusiasm for the place and then introduce me to another member who had similar passion and stories.
The culture of the club is infectious and it wasn’t long (after we had had a few beers) before I convinced Taffy to invite me to become an ambassador for the club.
Like the members I too have fallen in love with the place – the course wraps it’s way up, down and around the natural contours of the sand dunes which are lined with Tea Tree and ancient Moonah Trees – 5000 of which had been planted by the members.
“Wildlife and conservation are very important here”, explains Taffy, as we almost trip over an Echidna on the 14th tee box.
Speaking of the 14th what an amazing golf hole — You tee off next to Delgany Castle onto a blind fairway which feeds down into a sheltered gully below the clubhouse.
The 14th was my only highlight of the day knocking my approach shot to 6 foot and draining the birdie putt.
They tell me when the wind blows strong from the south it can be one of the hardest holes anywhere, so I am just glad to have one decent hole today.
The greens are some of the best I have seen and although appear to be very true require a bit of local knowledge to pick the correct line at times – sometimes an uphill break will break downhill towards the sea – what the?
There are many stand-out holes at Portsea but the signature hole for me would have to be the 10th hole.
It’s a relatively short 256 metre uphill par 4 but the fairway feeds right to left downhill into two enormous bunkers, so you have to be prefect with your tee shot – typically for me I got stuck in one and managed to flush my sand wedge perfectly over the green and into oblivion. Wipe! – one of maybe 7 or more for the day.
But as I said at the start – it didn’t matter for me today.
To be able to play Portsea and to relive few memories of my wedding day, play with such great company, meet the locals and feel their passion for the place were the real highlights.
As I drive home to Melbourne I can’t help but be reminded that this is why I love golf!
Thank you Portsea Golf Club and Resort – I will be back very soon and yes Taffy I will would love to become an ambassador for the course if you will have me (that is, if you remember our conversation) – after today’s round are you sure you would be making the right decision?
Written by Andrew Mirror” McCombe www.golfgetaway.com.au
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For more information visit www.portseagolf.com.au