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A man standing on a golf course holding a club.
Photograph: bedrck

The best public golf courses in Melbourne

Practise your putt or show off your swing at one of these golf courses, no membership required

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
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Golf has a reputation for being a snooty and expensive sport, but it doesn't have to be so. There are plenty of affordable public courses in Melbourne where you can work on your short game and get tips on improving your drive. These courses offer casual play as well as passes for golfers who are more committed, and many of them offer lessons to help total novices whose entire knowledge of golf comes from Happy Gilmore. You can rent clubs, balls and buggies, so don't let a lack of equipment stop you from hitting the links. Heck, some even offer mini-golf for those who aren't ready to tackle the big holes yet. 

Want to spend time outside without learning a sport? Here are Melbourne's best picnic spots. And make sure you pick up one of the best pre-packed picnics on the way. 

Yarra Bend Golf Course
  • Sport and fitness
  • Fairfield

Number of holes: 18
Cost: Midweek: 9 holes $30, 18 holes $41. Weekend $27-$48
Lessons: Yes, including one-on-one instruction, group clinics, short-game glasses and junior golf classes

Just ten minutes from Melbourne CBD, Yarra Bend Golf welcomes everyone from total beginners to those who really know their stuff. There's a driving range for those who want to practise their drives, as well as a full course. You can hire golf carts, clubs and balls, and if you're not ready for the big leagues, there's also mini-golf available. 

Northcote Public Golf Course
Photograph: Northcote Public Golf Course

Northcote Public Golf Course

Number of holes: 9
Cost: 9 holes $21.50, 18 holes $29.50. 
Lessons: Yes, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. 

If you like a bit of a challenge, this nine-hole course next to Merri Creek features 12 challenging bunkers and undulating fairways. The holes are a mix of three, four and five par holes perfect for intermediate golfers hoping to work on their short game. Club and trolley hire are available, and if you find yourself loving the course you can save a bit of money by signing on for a five- or seven-day pass.

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Albert Park Golf Course
Photograph: Centre for Ageing Better

Albert Park Golf Course

Number of holes: 18
Cost: 9 holes $30, 18 holes $42.
Lessons: Yes, private lessons are available on weekdays for $130. All equipment is provided.

This course is situated in the picturesque Albert Park near the Royal Botanic Gardens. As you make your way through the 18 holes, you'll get to take in stunning views of the Melbourne skyline. The course offers a mix of pars but most holes are par five, making this course a solid choice for beginner golfers. Clubs, golf carts and buggies are all available for hire, and you can also play mini-golf if you prefer. 

Royal Park Golf Course
Photograph: Martin Magnemyr

Royal Park Golf Course

Number of holes: 9
Cost: 9 holes $18.50, 18 holes $27. 
Lessons: Yes, you can choose between private lessons or group lessons. 

Most of the golf courses on this list are accessible by public transport, but Royal Park Golf Course takes it a step further with tram and train lines running straight through it. This course's proximity to Royal Park, Carlton and Brunswick makes it perfect for an afternoon spent on the green followed by a stroll through the park with some tasty takeaway. If you can't be bothered playing through all nine holes, you can get a one-hour practice session for $8. Equipment is available for hire.

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Number of holes: 18
Cost: 9 holes $27.50, 18 holes $37.50
Lessons: Yes, private lessons are provided by PGA professionals and the price varies based on duration.

Brighten Golf Course prides itself on being a challenging sandbelt course, meaning that it features a short and tricky front nine holes that lead into the longer and more challenging back nine holes. Most of the holes are par four or five and are riddled with bunkers, making for a challenging course better suited for intermediate and advanced golfers. Clubs and carts are available for hire.

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