With our days on the Peninsula numbered, Mike and I have been reflecting on what a diverse golfing experience this magnificent area offers. ¬†Most of the clubs are in their infancy ‚?? relatively speaking ‚?? but one or two have been around for quite some time. ¬†Sorrento, where we played this morning, is one such beast (the others including Flinders and Portsea, as I understand). ¬†
Sorrento township is tucked away towards the sou‚?? west corner of this great finger of golfing nirvana ‚?? only the uber elite Portsea lies closer to the point. ¬†¬†Sitting up in Hotel Sorrento the other day we had gorgeous views over the bay up to Melbourne and across to Geelong. ¬†Go there if you‚??re in the neighbourhood. ¬†One other thing that strikes you strolling around Sorrento is the affluence. ¬†This be Old Money Territory. ¬†Apparently the Melbourne upper crust colonised these parts some time ago; you‚??re as likely to see the descendant of an industrialist or media baron ‚??round here as you are Skippy The Bush Kangaroo. ¬†Incidentally I saw a bunch of ‚??roos last night ‚?? at last ‚?? while wandering through the Nepean National Park down Flinders way. ¬†Having eluded me for the past 21 days or so I unearthed their hiding spot (where they were having that AGM I speculated about a week or so ago) and ambushed the critters. ¬†Boy did they hop. ¬†JP 1 : Kangaroos NIL.
Back to Sorrento. ¬†Lovely little village / town / settlement / place to spend your last days on Earth. ¬†Goldy and I haven‚??t yet had time to sample local cuisine or have a stab at the nightlife, but with a mate arriving on the ferry from Geelong tonight for a short stay we may yet see it in its full glory. ¬†Better warn ‚??em that JIRV is coming (Jirv ‚?? otherwise known to those that haven‚??t yet come across this tornado of a man as John Irvine ‚?? is a character with a capital C, and will double as friend and cameraman tomorrow at The National...better warn ‚??em too). ¬†Somehow someone at Deakin Universtiy in Geelong admitted Jirv to study medicine, making it possible that one day down the track some poor unsuspecting human will come to Johnny Boy and depend on him to save their health. ¬†God help that human. ¬†I‚??m only joking of course; John is a very clever rooster, a nice man generally, and I expect a fine cameraman too. ¬†But I digress, as I‚??m prone to doing.
Sorrento Golf Club has a wonderful Old World atmosphere. ¬†When you find it. ¬†(The road sign had been taken down for maintenance, leaving Michael and I at the mercy of the mercurial and oft unreliable Google Maps iPhone application). ¬†Maybe they don‚??t want people finding it; if it was my golf club I probably wouldn‚??t. ¬†Upon arrival in what sticks in my mind as one of the most grand clubhouses we‚??ve come across in 2010 we were warmly greeted by John and Matt (the pro & his assistant). ¬†John was an absolute gentleman and made no fuss about our late arrival. ¬†In fact he put as completely at ease, jacked us up with a cart, proffered some advice about the course (including a handy yardage book with nice pictures and stories) and then escorted us to the 11th tee, where we wouldn‚??t be bothered / held up by the rest of the field. ¬†As I said, an absolute gentleman. ¬†Shame he couldn‚??t join us for the round, but some people have to work. ¬†
The golf course itself was the most parkland-like layout on the Peninsula, certainly that we‚??ve played. ¬†Where most of the tracks down here dish up tight lies, ti tree and vicious bunkers, Sorrento plays more like a sleepy country club in the Lake District (or somewhere equally quaint and lush). ¬†Peaceful. ¬†The club‚??s been around for over a century, which might explain the Old World mood. ¬†Greens felt settled; trees were mature; and the magpies were bolder than, well, your average magpie (they‚??re probably the upper crust of the magpie race, and probably reckon they can get away with anything, just like Packer & Co). ¬†One nicked my complimentary Moonah Links cookie right out of the cup holder in our cart ‚?? after Mike had already shoo‚??d it away while I was putting. ¬†The cheek! ¬†I‚??ve got the rascal on film (Mike will put up a vid in due course) and put the local police on the case, so I‚??m confident he‚??ll be brought to justice. ¬†If the Australian Justice System fails me I might take matters into my own hands and engage in some vigilante activity to add flavour to our Mornington Peninsula Experience before heading to the City. ¬†Oh stop being so silly Jamie.
On the way out to the tee John pointed out to Mike and I where changes to the course were planned, or already under way. ¬†Reckon the local gentry wouldn‚??t take too kindly to excessive tinkering with Their Course ‚?? their great great grandfathers having probably laid it down between Pimms & Ginger Ales in the Year of Our Lord 1863 ‚?? but the tinkering John spoke of appeared to make sense, and in my humble estimation is often a good thing (when done tastefully) to bring old courses into the new era. ¬†At least it keeps a few people in a job. ¬†
After several scores of indifferent golf strokes each we finally reached the 10th hole ‚?? our 18th for the day ‚?? and made our way contently to the clubhouse, to thank Andrew the manager. ¬†Another very nice chap ‚?? the place is full of ‚??em. ¬†Sorrento had been a distinctly different experience to the rest of the pack down here, a fact that hadn‚??t escaped our attention. ¬†A nice insight into a traditional club that will probably be around here for another century or three. ¬†
Avo has been spent on logistics and media engagements (had a chat with Scott from ABC Queensland, which should air in the coming week); although of course I had time for a dip in the salt water pool at Moonah, and even managed a spot of wine tasting at Ten Minutes by Tractor up on Red Hill. ¬†Lovely flinty chardonnay, but the pinot wasn‚??t my cup of tea. ¬†
Tomorrow we‚??re off to The Dunes for a shoot with Sunrise (Breakfast TV equivalent, for you Kiwis out there). ¬†And some golf. ¬†On the 14th ranked course in ‚??Straya. ¬†Super. ¬†¬†
Posting comments has been disabled.