Reworked nineteenth hole at Kingston Heath opens for play

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The heavily bunkered green on the reworked nineteenth hole at Kingston Heath

  • Lovely Golf Course

    OCCM was tasked with making the nineteenth more in keeping with the Mick Morcom and Alister MacKenzie traits on the rest of the course

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The hole during the construction phase

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The nineteenth hole at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, has reopened following a recent project by Ogilvy Clayton Cocking Mead (OCCM) Golf Course Design.

The hole, which lies on the northwest corner of the property behind the first green, was originally created in 2008 while the club underwent a greens conversion project and is used when the club wants to rest one of its par three holes.

Both the PGA Tour and Golf Australia incorporated it into the tournament layout, at the expense of the tenth, improving spectator movement around the course, and allowing for tees on the fourth hole to be moved back onto the tenth hole.

The club wanted the hole to better match the rest of the course, with style of green and bunker design introduced by Mick Morcom and Alister MacKenzie when Kingston Heath was originally constructed in the 1920s.

“Agronomically, the green never performed as well as the other 18 and rebuilding the hole has allowed us to ensure the putting surface has the same consistency in speed and firmness as the main holes,” explained architect Mike Cocking.

Cocking said that Morcom and MacKenzie’s best bunkers are “intricately shaped with capes and bays creating irregular, natural looking hazards while putting surfaces typically feature long grades and edges that rise up into the surrounding bunkers or mounds.”

“These slopes serve to penalise missed shots on the ‘short-side’ by shouldering the ball further away from the hole but also act as a back stop for golfers approaching from the other side of the hole,” said Cocking.

The new nineteenth plays between 110 and 135 metres, with a longer tee also added at around 160 metres for tournament use. This will offer some variety when the tenth and nineteenth holes are both in play.

The Kingston Heath course is widely regarded, along with the nearby Royal Melbourne courses on Australia’s famous golf sandbelt, as the country’s finest. The club has hosted the Australian Open on seven occasions, seven Australian Match Play Championships and, in 2016, the World Cup of Golf. The development of the course is described by John McLindon in an article from in the May 2017 issue of Golf Course Architecture.