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Australia’s historic Kingston Heath to host 2028 Presidents Cup

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Australia’s historic Kingston Heath to host 2028 Presidents Cup

Ranks high on many players’ lists of favorite courses



    Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet

    Tiger Woods. Gary Player. Adam Scott. Karrie Webb.

    These are just some of the champions who have won at Australia’s Sandbelt standout Kingston Heath Golf Club, which has been named as host of the 2028 Presidents Cup.

    A Dan Soutar design (with an assist from Alister Mackenzie in 1926 and a refresh from Mike Clayton in 2002), Kingston Heath brings the Presidents Cup to Melbourne for the fourth time. The Heath, as club members sometimes call it, is also getting ongoing refinements from OCM (Ogilvy Cocking and Mead), the same course architects restoring the Medinah Country Club ahead of the 2026 Presidents Cup.

    Kingston Heath takes the baton from another Sandbelt gem, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, which hosted the 1998, 2011 and 2019 Presidents Cups. Ranked the 11th best course in the world by Golf Digest, Kingston Heath has hosted seven Australian Opens, a Women’s Australian Open, the Australian Masters, and the 2016 World Cup of Golf. Woods, who was playing captain for the victorious 2019 U.S. Presidents Cup Team at Royal Melbourne, won the 2009 Australian Masters at Kingston Heath. Scott won the same tournament on the same course in 2012.


    Hole 1: Par 4, 418 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 16)  A long, accurate drive is required on this straight par four. Heavy rough and fairway bunkers make the first shot most demanding. An excellent starting hole.

    Hole 1: Par 4, 418 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 16) A long, accurate drive is required on this straight par four. Heavy rough and fairway bunkers make the first shot most demanding. An excellent starting hole.

    Hole 2: Par 4, 351 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 11)  A well placed tee shot will leave only a short, uninterrupted pitch to the green. However, heavy timber on the left could spell trouble for any wayward shots or shortcut attempts. Accuracy, not distance, is the key.

    Hole 2: Par 4, 351 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 11) A well placed tee shot will leave only a short, uninterrupted pitch to the green. However, heavy timber on the left could spell trouble for any wayward shots or shortcut attempts. Accuracy, not distance, is the key.

    Hole 3: Par 4, 269 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 12)  This is the shortest par four on the course. Most players will be looking for birdies here, but the terraced green is very undulating and could turn a potential one-putt into three.

    Hole 3: Par 4, 269 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 12) This is the shortest par four on the course. Most players will be looking for birdies here, but the terraced green is very undulating and could turn a potential one-putt into three.

    Hole 4: Par 4, 357 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 2)  The fairway is wide open, but a drive to the left affords the best approach to the heavily bunkered green. Once again, the green has many undulations and slopes from back to front.

    Hole 4: Par 4, 357 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 2) The fairway is wide open, but a drive to the left affords the best approach to the heavily bunkered green. Once again, the green has many undulations and slopes from back to front.

    Hole 5: Par 3, 173 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 3)  Although this is the longest par three on the course, it is a fairly straightforward hole. There are plenty of sand traps on both sides, but the size of the green provides reasonable margin for error off the tee.

    Hole 5: Par 3, 173 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 3) Although this is the longest par three on the course, it is a fairly straightforward hole. There are plenty of sand traps on both sides, but the size of the green provides reasonable margin for error off the tee.

    Hole 6: Par 4, 393 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 18)  A difficult par four requiring a long drive and a long second shot. A string of bunkers waits to snare any approach straying right, although the area around the green itself is fairly clear.

    Hole 6: Par 4, 393 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 18) A difficult par four requiring a long drive and a long second shot. A string of bunkers waits to snare any approach straying right, although the area around the green itself is fairly clear.


    Gary Player, Greg Norman and four-time PGA TOUR winner Aaron Baddeley are among the Australian Open winners at Kingston Heath, as is Hall of Famer Karrie Webb. Ian Baker-Finch, Kel Nagle and Australia’s greatest-ever golfer Peter Thomson also won championships on the exquisite layout.

    Fans are once again in for a treat whether they choose to visit Melbourne to attend in person or tune in from all corners of the globe. Player calls the Sandbelt region, which houses a number of world class courses built on a rich vein of sandy loam subsoil, “the greatest golf courses in one spot on the planet.” The courses are instantly recognizable as they use natural contours to perfection, with masterful bunkering and greens.

    “The angles and how you got to hold balls on the tee shots… it's great to play,” Woods has said of Kingston Heath. “And some of the things that that I’ve seen in all the years of coming down here, and taking photos, I certainly have incorporated into my golf course design.”

    At 6,800 yards, Kingston Heath was the longest course in Australia when it opened in 1925. It also played to a par 82. But during his 1926 Australian visit, Mackenzie, the famous designer of Augusta National and Royal Melbourne, among others, helped refine a bunkering strategy and also designed what is now the signature 15th hole.


    Hole 7: Par 5, 460 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 1)  The par 5 seventh hole is a definite birdie or eagle chance. Drive down the left centre of the fairway, short of the cross bunker. I favour a fairway wood or long iron to pass the small swale at the entrance of the green. Any shot short of the swale is very difficult to judge.

    Hole 7: Par 5, 460 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 1) The par 5 seventh hole is a definite birdie or eagle chance. Drive down the left centre of the fairway, short of the cross bunker. I favour a fairway wood or long iron to pass the small swale at the entrance of the green. Any shot short of the swale is very difficult to judge.

    Hole 8: Par 4, 398 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 13)  Another long par four requiring placement off the tee. The drive must be kept left to open up the green and avoid fairway traps and rough on the corner of the dogleg. The green is severely bunkered on the left.

    Hole 8: Par 4, 398 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 13) Another long par four requiring placement off the tee. The drive must be kept left to open up the green and avoid fairway traps and rough on the corner of the dogleg. The green is severely bunkered on the left.

    Hole 9: Par 4, 328 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 9)  A relief, but accuracy is essential. Many will use an iron from the tee. The green slopes from left to right and is virtually surrounded by bunkers and thick bush.

    Hole 9: Par 4, 328 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 9) A relief, but accuracy is essential. Many will use an iron from the tee. The green slopes from left to right and is virtually surrounded by bunkers and thick bush.

    Hole 10: Par 3, 128 meters (Out of play for the 2028 Presidents Cup)  There often are many birdies on this short hole, but any misdirected shots will finish in either heavy rough or one of the numerous bunkers which surround the green.

    Hole 10: Par 3, 128 meters (Out of play for the 2028 Presidents Cup) There often are many birdies on this short hole, but any misdirected shots will finish in either heavy rough or one of the numerous bunkers which surround the green.

    Hole 11: Par 4, 378 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 10)  This hole has many pitfalls. Fairway bunkers just over 200 metres from the tee, heavy timber on either side, and an out of bounds behind the narrow green. There will be more bogeys than birdies on this tough hole.

    Hole 11: Par 4, 378 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 10) This hole has many pitfalls. Fairway bunkers just over 200 metres from the tee, heavy timber on either side, and an out of bounds behind the narrow green. There will be more bogeys than birdies on this tough hole.

    Hole 12: Par 5, 509 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 4)  A solid par 5, and a real birdie chance with three well executed shots. However, the players, who take the shortest line along the left, must contend with fairway traps, thick timber, and an out of bounds.

    Hole 12: Par 5, 509 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 4) A solid par 5, and a real birdie chance with three well executed shots. However, the players, who take the shortest line along the left, must contend with fairway traps, thick timber, and an out of bounds.


    “It's very hard to separate the Sandbelt courses… we're talking about really small nuances now, but Kingston Heath is actually my favorite,” says Scott, who could be the 2028 International Team Captain.

    “They've designed such great holes with a very flat piece of land,” he continues. “… It’s very clever, and I judge a great golf course by if it's playable for everyone and it can challenge everyone. Most of the Sandbelt courses do that and that's why they're the best in the world and my personal favorite happens to be Kingston Heath.”

    Fellow major winners Shane Lowry and Jason Dufner also rank Kingston Heath among their favorites. With the attacking philosophy of match play on show for the Presidents Cup, Scott believes the course could become even more stunning as a spectacle. He’s been a member of a record 10 International Teams since 2003, and the 42-year-old now has a significant carrot to continue his involvement in any capacity possible.


    Hole 13: Par 4, 323 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 5)  Another potential birdie opportunity, but again the tee shot should be well placed. Any shot hit to the right will leave a more difficult approach over bunkers to the small green.

    Hole 13: Par 4, 323 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 5) Another potential birdie opportunity, but again the tee shot should be well placed. Any shot hit to the right will leave a more difficult approach over bunkers to the small green.

    Hole 14: Par 5, 515 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 6)  The longest hole, where birdies will be scarce. Bunkers 45 metres short of the green leave little opening for long hitters attempt to get close in two. An out of bounds left and behind the green provides an additional mental hazard.

    Hole 14: Par 5, 515 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 6) The longest hole, where birdies will be scarce. Bunkers 45 metres short of the green leave little opening for long hitters attempt to get close in two. An out of bounds left and behind the green provides an additional mental hazard.

    Hole 15: Par 3, 141 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 7)  This hole is considered by many to be one of the best par 3s in Australia. The very narrow green is protected by deep bunkers on both sides and slopes sharply from back to front.

    Hole 15: Par 3, 141 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 7) This hole is considered by many to be one of the best par 3s in Australia. The very narrow green is protected by deep bunkers on both sides and slopes sharply from back to front.

    Hole 16: Par 4, 397 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 8)  The first of a trio of great finishing par 4s. This hole doglegs right with a large number of bunkers perfectly placed to deter or challenge long hitters. The extremely fast, sloping green requires a delicate putting touch.

    Hole 16: Par 4, 397 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 8) The first of a trio of great finishing par 4s. This hole doglegs right with a large number of bunkers perfectly placed to deter or challenge long hitters. The extremely fast, sloping green requires a delicate putting touch.

    Hole 17: Par 4, 420 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 14)  An extremely difficult par four, particularly if the wind is blowing from the north. Any shot hooked to the left is 'dead', and the huge, sloping putting surface will produce many three-putts.

    Hole 17: Par 4, 420 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 14) An extremely difficult par four, particularly if the wind is blowing from the north. Any shot hooked to the left is 'dead', and the huge, sloping putting surface will produce many three-putts.

    Hole 18: Par 4, 391 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 15)  An accurate long iron approach is required to set up a par on this hole. The green is guarded by traps on both sides and like the previous 17, has many rolls and borrows.

    Hole 18: Par 4, 391 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 15) An accurate long iron approach is required to set up a par on this hole. The green is guarded by traps on both sides and like the previous 17, has many rolls and borrows.

    Hole 19: Par 3, 135 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 17)  Bunkers completely surround the hole. It’s a shorter par 3, but everything depends on the wind in Melbourne. If it is windy, it’s going to be very tough.

    Hole 19: Par 3, 135 meters (2028 Presidents Cup Hole No. 17) Bunkers completely surround the hole. It’s a shorter par 3, but everything depends on the wind in Melbourne. If it is windy, it’s going to be very tough.


    “Kingston Heath is definitely worthy of it,” Scott says, “and it'll be a really interesting match play course because usually we're stroke playing around there, a lot of caution is used, so it might be fun for everyone who's familiar with it to see potentially a little more attack.”

    “While not being as dramatic a piece of land as Royal Melbourne, for example, or even Victoria (Golf Club),” he continues, “just the design of the golf course is so phenomenal. There's nothing necessarily spectacular or intimidating, yet the crafty design work makes it play spectacular and eventually a little intimidating once you face shots that you weren't aware were out there.”

    The International Team is still chasing just a second victory in the Presidents Cup, its only previous win coming at Royal Melbourne in 1998. While the 2024 and 2026 events are still to come in Canada and Chicago, respectively, Scott is already thinking about the possibility of another win down under.

    “Kingston Heath is a course you wish to win championships on, and I’ve been lucky enough to do that,” Scott says. “And to showcase another Sandbelt course to the world in an event the size of the Presidents Cup is really fantastic because I think in the big, wide world of golf, they’re sometimes overlooked a little too quickly.”

    Senior Writer, Golfbet Follow Ben Everill on Twitter.

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