Whilst the Composite Course at Royal Melbourne is regarded as the best layout in Australia with the six holes from the East more than complementing the 12 from the West - how does Royal Melbourne (West) compare against Kingston Heath as a pure 18 hole layout ?
I've played both courses a couple of times now and for mine Kingston Heath is definitely the superior layout. I'll put my case forward on a hole by hole basis.
#1: Both have long opening holes but KH places a greater premium
on the drive. KH +1
#2: RMW easy P5 v KH tight dogleg left P4. KH+2
#3: RMW easy short P4 v KH 'World Class' short P4. KH +3
#4: RMW great blind P5 v KH mid-length P4. RMW+1
#5: Both are P3's of similar lengths but RMW's best P3 gets the nod. RMW+2
#6: Both are strong long P4's of very similar lengths but RMW 'World Class' excellent dogleg right P4 is clearly superior. RMW+3
#7: RMW uphill P3 v KH first P5 - I believe the latter is a great P5 and the depression at the front of the green makes the pitch even tougher now. KH+4
#8: RMW mid-length P4 is better than KH long blind P4. RMW+4
#9: RMW uphill P4 v KH blind short P4 - call it evens.
#10: RMW relatively easy short P4 v KH short P3. I dont know why
10 at RMW is rated so highly, for mine the fairway is too wide
and it's only a 3I + sand wedge ?KH exposed and well bunkered
green is a better hole placing a premium on iron play. KH+5
#11: Both are long P4's which place a premium on the drives. RMW+5
#12: Both P5's with KH clearly a better hole. You can go right or left of the bunker in the middle of the fairway on KH and then the hole progressively narrows to the green. KH+6
#13: RMW short P3 v KH short P4. RMW +6
All square going into the last 5...
#14: RMW short P4 v KH classic strong long P5. KH+7
#15: No contest - KH fantastic uphill P3 v RMW easy P5. KH+8
#16: RMW long P3 v KH difficult dogleg right P4. KH+9
#17: I like KH variety in this great long P4 v RMW long P4. Very hard to choose but I will give RMW the nod (just). RMW+7
#18: Both are long and tough P4's to finish but the greensite at KH is clearly superior. KH+10
Thus, on the basis of the above KH is a clear winner in my book - am interested to hear your thoughts ?