In the 90 years since moving to Mulwala, the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort has grown to become the largest public access golf resort in Australia. A first class clubhouse – boasting a health and fitness centre, bistro, bar, movie theatre and massage facilities – now stands where the dairy farm homestead once presided over the surrounding paddocks.
Having started as nine holes on the present site, the course was extended to 18 holes over the following two decades and it has been growing ever since.
Today, Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Resort has 45 holes – the Lake and Murray courses as well as a shorter nine-hole layout known as the Executive course. Both 18-hole layouts are well entrenched in the Top-100 Public Access Courses in Australia as ranked by Golf Australia magazine.
The Murray course at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort
The Murray course, designed by Thomson and Wolveridge, is, in our opinion, one of the best layouts you will find anywhere along the Murray. Huge river gums dominate the flood basin landscape and natural lagoons border many of the fairways.
This par-72 has been highly acclaimed for many years but the management and course maintenance teams at Yarrawonga have not rested on their laurels and are always looking for ways to improve the layout. In the past decade, several greens have been modernised, bunkers have been redone and the overall presentation has been consistently very good.
The new 3rd hole has added to the challenge of the opening quartet of holes that lead you to the north bank of the river and an excellent sequence of holes. Coming hot on the heels of the 3rd is the 347-metre 4th. It is a good short par-4 with the narrow and slightly dogleg right lined either side by very large river gums. The further you hit your drive here the tighter the fairway becomes. The correct mid- or short-iron has to be selected for the second shot to find the kidney-shaped green, which is raised slightly above the fairway.
The following hole is also a highlight of the Murray course. On the 5th tee there is no missing the flowing waters of the Murray off to your left. The 470-metre par-5 runs along the riverbank with only a row of river gums and wattles as well as a deep gully separating the left of the fairway from the water. The fairway ebbs and flows like a raging torrent, toward a slightly elevated green guarded by an enormous gum tree and a small bunker front left. By the time you reach the 6th green you will have a good feel for the course as it continues to wind its way through huge river gums.
The Lake course at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort
The Lake course is very different in design to the Murray course. It is more open but still features some big gums, lakes and plenty of bunkers. This course incorporates some older-style design holes with newer holes created by Thomson and Wolveridge. It is one of the old Berriman-designed holes that will get your heart racing as you near the turn. The 283-metre par-4 8th is a picturesque hole that is dominated by a lake that is easily reachable from the elevated tee. This pretty hazard also comes into play for the wedge approach to a small green.
Water also comes into play on two of the best holes on the back nine – the 531-metre par-5 13th and the 156-metre par-3 14th. The par-5 twists and turns right and then left with out-of-bounds not far from the left edge of the fairway. A lake then looms up on the right as the fairway rises to the elevated green.
The club also offers a 9 hole golf course. The shorter and picturesque Executive Course is kinder to the beginner whilst providing a worthy and enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels in a natural parkland setting.