Waverley, Melbourne, Australia
The development of Pitch and Putt in Australia has taken many different routes, with some areas evolving what has become known as the Catalan standard, and others following what is seen to be the Irish standard.
Whilst courses around Adelaide took the Catalan path, the development of the Irish style of course evolved mainly from the city of Melbourne where the Waverley Pitch and Putt facility was established 17 years ago.
And any story about the Waverley course is also a story about Phil Shaw-Dennis, the courses owner, because it is under the strong guidance of Phil that the course has stamped itself as one of the best maintained and toughest courses in Australia and is a true test for players in elite competitions, always attracting a large number of competitors whenever there is a major competition calling.
In last years National Championship at Waverley, over 120 players descended on the course, mostly to lose the battle against the lightning fast greens but content to have subjected themselves to the test.
As one of the pioneers of the Irish style of Pitch and Putt in Australia, Phil Shaw-Dennis has seen courses come and go in the eastern parts of Australia, yet through all the ups and downs his Waverley course has maintained and strengthened its reputation, a testament to Phil's management skills.
His course now joins the growing band of courses nationally that are moving forward to a new era in Australian Pitch and Putt and at this years Australian Triple Crown, the perpetual trophy for the winner of the ladies division of the Australian International Open will be named after Phil, in honour of his contribution to Australian Pitch and Putt.
Whilst the course has a reputation for being difficult to play, those who have mastered it include the current course record holder, Marc Fisher. Marc has blasted his way around in 43 on two occasions, and his efforts have won him recognition through membership of APPA's elite National Development Squad.
Waverley also has a loyal group of players who regularly travel to any major championship around the country.
The course is not only very popular with the Pitch and Putt regulars, but also attracts many corporate events and the Victorian Junior Golf championship each year.
It is hoped that we will soon see a major international event being hosted at Waverley so the elite of Pitch and Putt globally can test themselves on the hard and fast greens.
The Waverley course is a very popular venue with a full range of competitions catering to all levels with something happening every day of the week. Next time you are in Melbourne, pop in and have a round and you will be well looked after by Phil and the friendly staff.