Yarra Yarra Golf Club
Like its namesake river which divides the city of Melbourne Yarra Yarra Golf Club arrived at its present location in a roundabout way.
The Club’s founders first played on a rough, 9 hole course at Eaglemont in 1898, on the same terrain that inspired Arthur Streeton’s famous painting Golden Summers. Eaglemont Golf Club, as it was originally known, was also avant garde in that male and female members enjoyed equal rights from the outset.
When the encroaching suburbia made the scene less idyllic, members found a new home in 1911 at nearby Rosanna on the banks of the Yarra, the Aboriginal word for flowing. There they renamed their Club to reflect the new surroundings and stayed until 1927 when the constantly expanding metropolis again forced a move. This time they went to Bentleigh East, well south of the river and in the heart of the famous Melbourne Sandbelt.
Alex Russell was the inspired choice as course designer. It is impossible to escape comparisons with Russell and the great American Bobby Jones. Both collaborated with Alister MacKenzie on famous courses (Augusta National and Royal Melbourne West) and both were outstanding players who won their National Open Championship and remained amateurs.
Russell’s legacy is a classic design from the golden era that members have been astute enough to preserve in almost in its entirety for more than 80 years. Like all great golf courses, it has stood the test of time.
Hundreds of people attended the official opening of the course and Mediterranean-inspired Clubhouse in February 1929. Then 78 years later, in February 2007, another gathering of more than seven hundred members and guests attended the opening of the multimillion dollar re-furbished Clubhouse. The first-class facilities ensure Yarra Yarra retains its standing as one of Melbourne’s leading prestigious golf clubs.
Many of the world’s greatest golfers have competed in tournaments over the course throughout its history including golf’s major championship winners Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Johnny Miller, Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino, David Graham, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Geoff Ogilvy, Babe Didrickson, Jan Stephenson, Laura Davies, Karrie Webb and Anika Sorensten. Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby both launched their professional careers from their membership as amateurs at Yarra Yarra.