If you are a fearless golfer up for a challenge and looking to play at a club with a difference, you need look no further than Royal Military College Golf Club. Located on the outskirts of Canberra and known to the locals as Duntroon Golf Club, this picturesque little course sits in the grounds of Duntroon Military College.
Opened in 1962, the links date back to the 1920’s when military staff shaped 9 holes out of the bush for recreational play. The layout has now proudly matured into a quality 9 hole golf course open to members and the public.
The homely clubhouse is situated on Calculus Lane, which is easily located after passing through the College’s “Gunnery Gates” on Fairbairn Avenue.
The small friendly clubhouse overlooks a neat, well-manicured putting green surrounded by stunning rose bushes lovingly cared for by devoted Duntroon members.
Sporting 9 holes with 11 green and 18 different tee positions, this 9 hole / 18 hole parkland style golf course gave the 8, 9 and 10 markers of our group a challenge and I’m sure would test golfers of all caliber.
The par 68 layout with its narrow fairways and small greens provided many unexpected surprises as did the Black Hawk helicopters and cadets performing manoeuvres on the course’s outskirts. Yes I can confidently say there is something for everyone hidden here (quite possibly one of Canberra’s best kept secrets).
Duntroon’s allure is definitely its sneaky, small, lightning fast, bent greens, all of which are surrounded by an array of bunkers.
My favourite hole on the course is the par five, 4th. This hole is said to be one of the toughest par fives in Canberra. The dog-leg hole is lined by tall pines and shapes from left to right leaving no room for error off the tee.
Approaching the green, bunkers are positioned to the left and right allowing a narrow pathway of only three metres for wedge shots or a bump and run into the green.
This great par five is then followed by arguably one of the most challenging par threes I’ve ever played. The 5th is terror personified. From tee to green the hole is straight, 100 metres long, surrounded by bunkers and sided by out of bounds. Hitting into this tiny green requires fearless accuracy and a strong commitment to shot selection. Any slight deviations from this elevated tee will leave you at the beach or on the road.
One minor downside to Duntroon is playing the nine holes twice, albeit from different tees, with a couple of extra greens. That said, the course is still nicely varied as there are eighteen different tee positions, some of which are on different angles, (which tends to keep you on your toes). Another slight drawback is the limited practice facilities consisting of a two bay practice net and two practice chipping greens, one of which has a bunker.
On the whole this course gets my thumbs up, showing fantastic value for money.
Annual membership fees $600.00 (no joining or nomination fee)
Weekday casual play rates $20.00
Weekend casual play rates $30.00
Rates current as at 06/03/12
My Course Rating: 8/10
Disclaimer: I am a past member and Club Champion of Duntroon and still enjoy playing there when I get the chance. (Solly)