Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

The Furrows is a new par-three layout designed by OCM Golf and now open at Kingston Heath, one of the famed courses on the Melbourne sandbelt in Australia. We spoke with one of OCM Golf’s principals, Mike Cocking, to find out more. How did the opportunity for the short course come about? Since the mid-1990s, the club has had the foresight of purchasing land surrounding the course, as a means of protecting the boundaries. This included what was known as the ‘Madden Land’. Used as a market garden for the best part of the last century, the club have looked at a variety of uses for this strip, starting around 20 years ago when a nineteenth hole was first built. Tell us about the design process An early idea was to incorporate the first, sixth and nineteenth holes so the course would start and return at the clubhouse, but this became awkward jumping in and out of a full field, so it was quickly dismissed. Another design had fewer holes, but included an option to play a short four, and yet another embraced the freeform option. However, these weren’t that practical on a small piece of land, especially if a number of groups want to use the course at once, so we gravitated towards the idea of a formal loop of Photo: Gary Lisbon TEE BOX Cocking has maximised space by incorporating double greens in his design, such as here for the third and sixth 20 “ Bringing holes together with shared fairways and even a couple of double greens helped maximise space” Inspiration was drawn from both Australia and Scotland for Kingston Heath’s new short course. Q&A with Mike Cocking