Situated in the Goulbourn Valley region of Victoria to the north east of Melbourne, Australia’s newest and one of its most exclusive golf clubs, Cathedral Lodge already being talked about in glowing terms by those closest to it and from further afield.
Successful Victorian businessman David Evans and personality has been the driving force and financier of the project and used Augusta National and another Greg Norman-designed golf course Ellerston in the Hunter Valley, his love of the Augusta National experience and Royal Melbourne as his inspirations.
Evans is an investment banker having built his career with Goldman Sachs but then established his own investment bank.
He held an honorary Chairman position at the Essendon Football Club through some of its more difficult times so has an eclectic mix of sporting and finance backgrounds to assist him in the process of turning his passion and dream into a reality.
"Dad and I used to go to Masters every three-or-so years and one day I said to him, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could have something like this back home?’” Evans told Australian Golf Digest in a recent interview. “The idea was to create that private country club feel with the American service model and a beautifully manicured course that members would be proud to play.”
“The Cathedral Lodge property is unique in that it’s a canyon shape with a ridge running through the middle of it, where you go up the ridge on one side of the valley and back down it on the other side of the valley,” Norman also told Australian Golf Digest.
“At the very beginning when we were just starting to push dirt around, I hiked up to one of the highest points on the property and just stood there for 15 minutes on my own, watching the sunset and listening to the birds.
“I was in my own place and actually recorded a video of it and posted it on Instagram. I rarely do that on design jobs but Cathedral Lodge captured the beauty of Australia – I simply had to share it with the rest of the world.”
Evans is a member at Royal Melbourne and has used is love of that course to assist in his plans for Cathedral Lodge.
“Greg asked me what I was looking for and I said, first and foremost, I wanted fast but fair greens like Royal Melbourne," Evans further explained to Australian Golf Digest.
If pre-opening hype is any indication, the arrival of Cathedral Lodge onto the list of newly-opened courses will likely be a welcome one but don't expect to just roll up for a game at any time. Memberships are being limited to just 170-180 and will no doubt target the high flyers of Australian business.
According to reports, around 60 have already signed up.
MASTER PUTTING COACH PHIL KENYON
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