This is the third of our series 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
Five-time British Open winner Peter Thomson also won the Victorian Open – and he did so three times, first in 1958 (Kingston Heath) with a score of 289, then again 10 years later in 1968 (Huntingdale, 288) and for a third time in 1973 (Yarra Yarra, 284).
Thomson’s British Open wins came in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, and 1965. He was the only man to win the tournament for three consecutive years in the 20th century.
Thomson also won the national championships of 10 countries, including the New Zealand Open nine times. He finished fourth at the U.S. Open in 1956 and ninth on the money list that year.
Thomson enjoyed a successful senior career. In 1985 he won nine times on the Senior PGA Tour in the United States, and finished top of the money list. His last tournament victory came at the 1988 British PGA Seniors Championship. He was president of the Australian PGA from 1962 to 1994 and a victorious non-playing captain of the international team in the 1998 Presidents Cup.
He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
Thirteenth Beach – Best Holes To Watch
Comments by the man who built the courses, architect TONY CASHMORE
Hole 3 – Par 3, 156m. (played as Hole 12 by members). Totally natural and beautiful in its essential land forms, with a plateau there for the main tees, a barren valley in front of that rising gently to another slow plateau stretching from high left to low right, high dunes behind that. We scribed a wasteland twisted feature in the valley which climaxed with a deep central bunker eating into the green’s edge, with a tough grassy hollow back left and formidable bunkers protecting the left front. It has become a famous par-3 golf hole, yielding birdies with excellent play but destroying many scorecards as well.
Entry into this green is easier from the right front, but it is best to play one club more to the back centre of the green. The back dune will contain it. That probably wins par. Anything short and left risks a bogie or far worse.
Hole 6. An absolutely natural hole. The teeing areas are broadly distributed on a plateau. There is a deepish shaded valley in front rising up to another plateau guarded by a huge old pine tree on the right. We sculpted the green into this plateau in full sunlight, and severely bunkered the entire left side with some of (shaper) Barry Hudson’s most beautiful work. A pot bunker in the front ridge defines the green’s entry. There is flattish space out right of the green deliberately. It is a justly famous and beautiful hole, but not a very difficult examination providing the intrusive high tree top is avoided.
Just be straight and long enough to reach the centre of the green. If you are to miss, be right, over the tree and long. Anything short on this hole can be horrible to the score.