Renowned Scottish architect Dr Alister MacKenzie was commissioned to design a course for the new site of The Royal Melbourne Golf Club. When he arrived by ship in October 1926 he was delighted with the rolling, sandy terrain that grew wonderful turf and was easy to work with horse-drawn equipment.
Before starting work on the West Course design, MacKenzie asked for a listing of all members’ ages and handicaps, determined to make his course enjoyable for golfers of any ability. MacKenzie produced a masterpiece in the West Course during the short weeks he spent in Melbourne.
He then made club member and 1924 Australian Open champion Alex Russell his business partner. Subsequently, it was Russell who designed the East Course that opened in 1931.
From the 1930s, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has been the preferred venue for the big tournaments including the Australian Open, the World Cup, Bicentennial Classic and The Presidents Cup. Since 1959 these events have been played on the Composite Course made up of six holes from Russell’s East Course and 12 from MacKenzie’s West.