The Takeaway: Historically Peninsula Kingswood hasn’t been in the traditional conversation of Sandbelt courses you must play, but the renovations the course underwent in 2018 changes all of that. The North course is easily a Top 10 track in Australia and features some of the finest bunkering, greens, and visuals in the Southern Hemisphere. Grade A
Designer: Sloan Morpeth in 1967; Michael Clayton, Michael Cocking, and Geoff Ogilvy remodel in 2019
Cost: Private Private (Interstate and International visitors welcome) Click for membership information
Phone Number: 61 3 9789 2244
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club (North)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 211-279 Skye Road, Frankston, Victoria 3199
Accolades: Ranked 7th in Australia by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: Formerly known as Peninsula Country Club, the 36 hole facility merged memberships with Kingswood Country Club in 2013 with the plan of closing Kingswood’s course and doing an extensive renovation to the North and South courses as Peninsula. That four year renovation by Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead (OCCM) covered 2015 - 2018 with the South course being completed first and finishing with the North course. The North course at PKCC is the treasured layout of the two with the renovation launching the course to an elite level among courses in Australia. The conditioning and bunkering is reminiscent of Metropolitan, the strategy rivals Kingston Heath, and the terrain is only trumped by Royal Melbourne on the famed Sandbelt. The front nine is superior to the back in terms of terrain and engaging hole designs, but the front is plenty good. The par fives are the standout feature with perhaps one of the best collections of three-shotters in the greater Melbourne area with the 3rd hole standing as the signature. The course is framed by native trees and grasses as well as heathland vegetation to create a wonderfully natural Australian feel that merges with the world class bunkering for a stunning visual experience. Unlike many of the clubs in the Melbourne area, motorized carts are available although you’ll find plenty of players walking the course. A final feature of the renovation was the construction of classy but comfortable on-site accommodations so that players can enjoy multiple days at PKCC and utilize a motorized cart to get around the property. Bottom line, Peninsula Kingswood is going to quickly become a must-play course on Melbourne’s Sandbelt as it emerges as an elite offering Down Under.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 3rd Hole – 550 Yard Par 5 – Without question, this is one of my favorite par fives in Australia in both design and setting. The ideal tee shot carries the bunker on the left or at least hugs the right edge of it so that your ball catches the downslope afforded and tumbles several more yards further ahead. After players crest the hill in search of their ball they are greeted with a stunning visual downhill to a greensite laced with sprawling bunkers and dotted with gum trees. The approach shot should favor the left side where an opening in the green exists while the fairway wants to bound balls to the right toward the immense bunker engulfing that side of the hole. The further left you can keep your ball on this fairway and green the more success you will have.
Best Par 3: 2nd Hole – 175 Yards – Nowhere on the planet has a better collection of uphill par threes than the Sandbelt of Australia, and the 2nd at Peninsula Kingswood is a nod to that notion. The green is flanked on each side by bunkers and the putting surface steadily ascends up the hill before terminating in a natural amphitheater of trees. The ascension from tee to green may appear gentle but it is enough to require an extra club to reach your desired target, especially in an effort to avoid the swell in front of the green that gathers balls hit with insufficient energy. This hole is a great example of how to smoothly transition to higher ground in a routing.
Best Par 4: 18th Hole – 425 Yards – A quality closing hole is the desire of every great golf course, and Peninsula Kingwood’s North course delivers. The bunkering up the left side should be skirted tightly to shorten the overall length of the hole and gain optimal position for attacking the green. The fairway tightens down to its narrowest width at the bend in the dogleg so laying back or blasting over it offers the most forgiveness to work with. The uniquely shaped and contoured green appears to sit in a sea of sand with the number of potential pin placements being virtually endless in their strategy and appeal. The highest level of creativity exists right of the back third of the green where a steep shaved hill exists and can be utilized to work balls onto the putting surface and access unique hole locations. With onlookers enjoying their meal in the nearby clubhouse, this is the perfect time to put your best effort out there in hopes of garnering an applause after a well executed shot.
Best Par 5: 17th Hole – 601 Yards – The lengthy 17th asks players to challenge the bunkers on the left side with a draw to achieve the maximum benefit from their drive as this hole doglegs early in its journey to the green. If you aren’t trying to reach the green in two, then simply layup to your favorite yardage with no fears ahead. Whether attacking the green in two or in three, take note of the bunkers well short of the green on the right, the pesky center bunker blocking the green, and the large collection of greenside bunkers on the left. The green is shaped like an upside down T-bone steak with twice as much width to work with in the front third of the green compared to the back third, so if you are between clubs you may elect to take the shorter one to provide some accuracy forgiveness. This is a strong hole and in match play will often throw a point one way or the other.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 341 Yard Par 4 – The most vulnerable hole on the course, the 6th is an opportunity to take a stroke back if you coughed one up earlier in the round. A bunker pushes into the fairway from the left side and creates a bit of a dual fairway situation with the left side offering the shorter path home. The upside down heart shaped green features a pair of clear pin placements in the front that are heavily protected by sand while the smaller back third has a bunker just on the right side. With plenty of fairway width to work with on the right side of the fairway bunkers, a comfortable tee shot there should leave a pinseeking club in your hand and a chance to stuff it close. Metropolitan gets a lot of hype about how good their first six holes, but I’ll take Peninsula Kingswood over that same stretch.
Bogey Beware: 10th Hole – 487 Yard Par 4 – The classic worst case scenario presents itself at the turn; long and straight. No dogleg to cheat off some yardage, no downhill terrain to tumble your drive farther, and a raised green that is difficult to stick from distance. If you happen to start your round on the back nine then this is an unfriendly greeting with a large bunker on the right side waiting to gather a tee shot hit with waning confidence. The deepest bunker on the course is found on the left side of the green with a sharp edge cut all the way up to the putting surface where the slightest of errors are quick to be punished. It will take your absolute ‘A’ game and a dash a luck to walk away from this hole with anything better than a bogey.