The Forecaddie: What’s up with Kingston Heath’s new 19th hole?

@kingston_heath/Instagram

The Forecaddie: What’s up with Kingston Heath’s new 19th hole?

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: What’s up with Kingston Heath’s new 19th hole?

While perusing social media photos The Man Out Front kept seeing shots of a new hole at Kingston Heath and became alarmed that the universally-loved sandbelt club might have messed with a masterpiece. 

Thankfully, it’s all good news.

Back in 2008 a new hole was added to the Victoria, Australia club, providing a spare hole for maintenance reasons. For logistical reasons, Australian Masters organizers weaved the par 3 into the tournament routing when Tiger Woods defended his title in 2010. But since the extra hole was never meant to represent one of the world’s best courses on a grand stage, it lacked the distinctive sandbelt bunkering and intricate green contouring found at Kingston Heath.

Enter OCCM Design, the club’s talented consulting architects consisting of Geoff Ogilvy, Mike Clayton, Mike Cocking and Ashley Mead, who convinced the club to make the add-on hole Kingston Heath-worthy.

“It was a decent hole but the bunkers didn’t peak-up and create the ridges running down into the green the way almost all of the original Alister MacKenzie and Mick Morcom bunkers did,” said Clayton, the former European Tour player turned architect. “Nor was the area between tee and green in character with most of the tee to fairway transitions on the rest of the course.”

Based on dramatic aerial photos of the hole that became playable Jan. 6, OCCM Design knows how to make a new hole look old. So when does the world get to see the dramatic one-shotter in action? 

Last seen when Danes Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen captured the 2016 World Cup of Golf, the world-renowned layout is not currently slated to host another Australian Masters. But there have been rumors that in 2020 the club will be reunited with the Australian Open, an event it has hosted seven times. That will be just a year after Royal Melbourne hosts the Presidents Cup and TMOF is just feeling a lot better knowing there is more great sandbelt tournament golf in our future.

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