This is the second of an eight-part series from Bernard Clancy about the Victorian Open featuring short articles on the best known winners — and they’re big names — as well as short summaries of the “best holes to watch” on both The Beach and The Creek courses in the eyes of architect Tony Cashmore.
The Victorian Open History
Guy Wolstenholme (1931-1984) won the Victorian Open a record four times. His first win was at Woodlands in 1971 with a score of 289. His second was in 1976 (Kingston Heath, 282), third in 1978 (Metropolitan, 284) and fourth in 1980 (Metrolpolitan, 282).
Wolstenholme was born in Leicester, UK and had a successful amateur career, highlights being German Amateur Champion, 1956 and in 1960, finishing 6th, and low amateur, in The Open Championship at St Andrews. Turning professional, he played on the Great Britain and Ireland team in the 1959 Walker Cup and 1958 and 1960 Eisenhower Trophy, finishing third both years.
Wolstenholme turned professional in 1960, and played for several years on the European Circuit, and later the European Tour following its formation in the early 1970s. Despite joining the pro ranks relatively late, he had considerable success, winning 5 tournaments including the British PGA Close Championship and three national opens. He emigrated to Australia in the 1960s and enjoyed more success before turning to the senior PGA Tour (now the Champions Tour) in the US in 1982 and 1983, finishing 8th on the money list in 1983.
Wolstenholme died in 1984 after losing his fight against cancer.
THIRTEENTH BEACH – BEST HOLES TO WATCH
Comments by the man who built the courses, architect Tony Cashmore.
Hole 2 – Par 5, 491m. (played as Hole 11 by members). A proud and beautiful piece of rising land was hidden under totally dense scrub, and required crawling through it over several weeks to discover its potential. The course boundary stretches along the left side in similar residual scrub. The front tees are on a natural spur. The big drive hill right side was there — all it needed was its calamitous bunker. The soft valley fairway for the drive appears sometimes more narrow than is comfortable but that’s all there was — it widens out after a medium drive and we scribed sandy wasteland on the far left flank there, with a central ‘carry’ bunker, beyond which the land flattens. The green site was essentially there, an elevated subtly contoured plateau with bold hill slopes left and right as an entry. These were bunkered.
You must find the fairway with the drive. There is OOB left, and it is hard to avoid aiming at the big right side bunker. Anything right of that is dead. The second shot should play short of or to the side of the central pot bunker for most players. Only the strongest can reach the green in two, and the front bunkers and slopes are difficult. There’s a big fall-off right side too. The third should take careful account of where the flag is — putting on this exposed plateau is fiercely examined.
Hole 4. A long sharp dogleg left hole, the fairway rising slowly from those tees, around the corner of the site defined with old cypress trees. We shaped penal ‘carry’ bunkers in the corner well away from the trees, and defined the far side of the dogleg with sighter bunkers which are actually in play for the strongest drives. Around the corner further rising land reaches a huge complex green shaped among treacherous slopes, hollows and hillocks, and bunkered behind only.
If strong enough, drive over the corner bunkers for a reasonable approach into the centre of the green. But avoid the treeline at the corner. A drive at the fairway centre leaves a really long shot into this green, and laying up short is a good option. Beware of missing the green on either side — recovery is most difficult.
By: Bernard Clancy