New Chirnside course under way


New Chirnside course under way
Sean Dudley

Construction is under way on the new home of the Chirnside Country Club in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.

Founded in 1962, Chirnside was a planned 1,000 acres residential community with an 18 hole golf course. The golf course was laid out within the residential estate and the original homestead was allocated as the country club.

Over time, the safety buffer between the golf course and adjoining homes was severely tested and, over the last fifteen years, the course was slowly reduced to a series of par three holes with long walks from green to tee and a significant decline in membership.

To address this problem, Chirnside’s committee partnered with building products producer CSR Group to find a new site for the golf course, while redeveloping the existing course into residential property. The partnership identified land within five minutes of the existing development, a property that CSR had used for decades as a clay mine for roofing tiles. The 67 ha site had been strip mined, so the golf course will help to rehabilitate the land.

Chirnside retained Melbourne-based golf architecture practice Pacific Coast Design to create the new course – a pleasant change of scene for PCD partners Phil Ryan and Paul Reeve, most of whose work for the past 25 years has been in Asia, several hours flight, rather than a short drive, from the office!

The new eighteen hole course, measuring 6,930 yards, began construction in January. The existing golf course will continue in operation until the new golf course opens in mid 2013 – so members will simply leave one course on a Friday night and start playing another the following morning!