Date: January 04, 2013

Vic Open Lead-Up Series – Part 1

This is the first of an eight-part series from Bernie 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. 

Part 1: 

The Victorian Open History

Some very famous names in the history of golf, both nationally and internationally, are etched on the honour roll of the Victorian Open.
Not the least of those is the initial winner, Ossie Pickworth, who triumphed in 1957 at Riversdale with a score of 282. Horace Henry Alfred "Ossie" Pickworth, who died in 1969, was a leading Australian professional golfer of the 1940s and 1950s, winner of three successive Australian Open titles from 1946 to 1948, the first and last of which came in play-offs against Jim Ferrier.

Unlike Ferrier, who had considerable success on the US Tour, Pickworth travelled infrequently, but when he did it was with some success – he played the British circuit in 1950, won the Irish Open and finished third in the Order of Merit.

Pickworth won a fourth Australian Open title in 1954, and was also a three-time winner of the Australian PGA Championship, in 1947, 1953 and 1955, among numerous professional victories on the Australian circuit.

The women’s Victorian Open was first played in 1988 and was won by Helen Hopkins, of Western Australia. Helen had considerable success as a professional golfer and is now head Teaching Coach at a club in Austria.


Comments by the man who built the courses, architect Tony Cashmore.


Hole 10. Played by the members as Hole 5, this is a delightful short two-shot hole reminiscent of Hole 10 on Royal Melbourne’s West Course. The land was barely touched — the tee areas next to the old irrigation pump were there, so was the deep cleft of the irrigation lake with the strong hill system across which the long drive was to be aimed. Fearsome bunkers are scribed diagonally into the hill. The tiered green was easily formed at the edge of the slope, and highly visible from the tees for those keen to take on the full carry to its approach – great risk but great reward! There is lots of fairway out right, and the “safe” drive line is right of the first hill bunker. Then an accurate short iron into the green can easily yield par and often a birdie. There are bunkers defending the right side of the green, and anything left is catapulted down the grassy slope towards the water. It’s tough from there.


Hole 12. A short par 3 examined by water along, into, and behind the very visible green, somewhat reminiscent (though shorter) of Hole 16 at Augusta National, with bunker front right and steepish slopes in steps across the green towards the water. The entry into the green is narrow between the bunker and the water. Best to play slightly long and right side — there’s a step up there which can stop and feed the ball left a little. Pin positions on the lower flat areas left side require most careful iron play to avoid the slopes down to the close-by water hazard. There is space behind the green but the shot back is tough.

By: Bernie Clancy