The Melbourne sandbelt is full of great short holes made on unremarkable, flat land. It was the sand and the beautiful low-growing heathland plants that allowed for the construction of some of the greatest short holes in the game. The new 14th at Cranbourne provides another such example and prior to clearing the site it was difficult to gauge exactly what the land would feel like. We suspected it would be a good site for a new hole but only once the noxious weeds and debris from its days as a tip site were removed, was the potential of the new hole revealed.
Like most of the great short par threes in Melbourne including the 9th at Commonwealth, the 10th at Kingston Heath and the 13th on Royal Melbourne’s West Course, the 14th demands a quality tee shot. At only 135m metres birdies are possible and perhaps even expected on occasion by the better player, but a miss here is an ever-present danger and will almost certainly result in a bogey or worse.
The advantage of the new hole is that it perfectly links the 13th green to the 15th tee, eliminating the long walk to the current 14th tee as well as providing a hole that runs south-north, which no other par 3 on the course currently does.
The new green and bunkering is sympathetic to Sam Berrimen’s original green complexes and the indigenous heathland which was such a part of the tee carry of the old hole has been translocated here to help create a more natural setting and give the impression the hole has always existed.
:: Mike Cocking