OPEN FOR PLAY (COVID-19 restrictions in place). To book call (03) 9775 0363
Eastern Sward is a private nine hole course offering great variety with 18 tees. Our new course superintendent Mark Hudson (ex Moonah Links) joined us 18 months ago and has made significant changes, totally transforming this hidden gem.
New tees and bunkers, new drainage and some added length have pushed out the par to 68. With the help of an apprentice greenkeeper and 3-4 volunteer members, Eastern Sward has never been a better place to join!
With NO JOINING FEE and 5, 6 and 7 memberships available, this could be the place for you!
It is a spacious flat course elevated 4 - 6 metres above sea level, generously covered with trees and shrubs and also four small lakes to add to the country atmosphere of the area. The small greens are lightly bunkered but are true and consistent throughout the seasons. An abundance of bird life adds to the quietness and serenity of the surroundings interrupted only occasionally by small recreational aircraft flying overhead.
COURSE REVIEW (written by Garry Kennedy - Editor - Hacker Magazine)
At a Glance
Location: Worsley Rd., Bangholme VIC
Melway Map 98 D6
Phone: (03) 9775 0363
The Course: 9 holes (18 tees), 4907m Par 68
Green Fees: $15 (9 holes) $20 (18 holes mid week) $25 (18 holes weekend)
Dress Regulations: Neat casual
When I mentioned to a mate that I was about to play a course I had never played before he quizzed me as to its name. My reply was received with a blank expression – “Say what?”
Many golfers I have spoken to since have never heard of Eastern Sward. This nine hole private track is situated in the local of the similarly unfamiliar suburb of Bangholme.
For the geographically challenged, the suburb is lodged roughly between Dandenong and Patterson Lakes. Just off the main thoroughfare of Thompson Rd. and the Eastlink Freeway, Eastern Sward is a member’s only retreat – and a gated one at that (members get a swipe card to gain access via the remote entry gates).
Access for the public is limited to member’s guests, or AGU members can join in weekly competitions (Wed and Sat for men, Tues for ladies). Alternatively if you wanted to have a peek with the view to joining, arrangements can be made.
The club has a modest 250 members. For those new to the sport or those not happy to fork out several thousand to get involved at club level, Eastern Sward may just be the ticket to golf membership.
There is nothing opulent or pretentious about Eastern Sward. The clubhouse is a modest dwelling but it has character and a homely feel. You sense the members are very proud of what they have – and they should be – and personal involvement from members is the key to this welcoming feel.I
joined a group of members for nine holes during the Wednesday competition. When we got back to the clubhouse, members mingled inside, spewing outside to tables that overlook the 9th (and 18th) green. Everyone was social and enjoying an ale – this was a good, friendly place!
The nine hole layout has four par 3’s, two par 5’s and three par 4’s. The alternative tees alters the holes length by 20m, however the line of attack can change too, so offering a different experience over 18 holes and no doubt a welcome change for members rather than just going around 9 holes again.
Mike Clayton helped the club with a course redesign that was completed in December 2005. The $700K redesign was required because of the new Eastlink Freeway that took up some of the course land. Disruption was minimal and the Club appears to have benefited from the changes.
While not long, the nine hole course is tight and flat, characterised by a number of lakes that are in play on six of the nine holes. 15 bunkers also punctuate the well groomed kikuya fairways, while the Bent grass greens provide a very good putting surface. Typically the greens are small, but they are quite tricky.
Strategy is the key for negotiating the layout. On the 2nd for instance, a driver for me could find water left & heavy trees on the right so I was correctly advised to play a long iron off the tee to fall foul of trouble. A driver would have to be hit long and just right to bully this par five into submission, and not many have that armory in their bag!
One of my favourite holes was the par three 5th , a well guarded green some 165m away. You must hit over water off the tee, there’s water on the right, while a bunker will grab cowards that hit out to the left. The green’s got a bit in it too!
The closing hole is a nice finish to each nine as well. For the big hitters in favourable conditions, the green can be reached from the tee, however it’s a narrow passage with water right and sand front and right for those not quite strong enough.
Conditions at Eastern Sward are very good. There’s contouring on the fully watered fairways (they have heaps of A grade recycled water available from the adjoining plant), the well cut Kikuyu fairways provide good cover and lies and the greens are well kept.
If you’re in the area, looking for a Club that’s not over the top in its fees or pompous attitude, then Eastern Sward may just be the place for you. We really enjoyed our visit.