CITY LIGHTS: BRIS­BANE

The cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia’s Sun­shine State is blessed with warm sub­trop­i­cal weather all year round, mak­ing it an ideal des­ti­na­tion for golfers seek­ing a shirt and shorts round at any time. Here, we show­case the Top-12 Cour­ses you will find within a 45-minu

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

The Sun­shine State cap­i­tal is an ideal des­ti­na­tion for golfers seek­ing a shirt and shorts round at any time. Here, we show­case the Top-12 cour­ses in the city.

1. ROYAL QUEENS­LAND GOLF CLUB

Royal Queens­land will cel­e­brate its cen­te­nary next year and many would ar­gue the lay­out is cur­rently the best it has ever been dur­ing the past 100 years.

Six years af­ter the first shots were struck, leg­endary de­signer Dr Alis­tair MacKen­zie vis­ited the course and o ered ad­vice on some of the holes and the lay­out in gen­eral crafted by Carnegie Clark.

“The ground is ex­cel­lently adapted for the con­struc­tion of a golf course which might even com­pare favourably with some of the British Cham­pi­onship cour­ses. The part of the ground for which the main course has been cho­sen is full of very fine golf­ing fea­tures. Al­though the ground at first sight ap­pears flat, yet it is full of mi­nor un­du­la­tions of a some­what sim­i­lar char­ac­ter to fa­mous sea­side cour­ses like St An­drews,” MacKen­zie said of the course be­side the Bris­bane River.

How­ever, the course was forced into

change sev­eral times over the years with the con­struc­tion of the two Gate­way Bridges across the east­ern end of the prop­erty.

The last ma­jor re­design – by Mike Clayton – was com­pleted in 2007, two years af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment de­cided to build the sec­ond bridge, which claimed seven holes from the course.

The key to the re­design was to in­cor­po­rate width into the fair­ways, have less rough and more short grass, which ul­ti­mately pro­vides play­ers – of all stan­dards – a greater strate­gic golf­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by o­er­ing more shot op­tions into the vast green­scapes. GREEN FEE: $230. Vis­i­tors must pro­vide writ­ten proof of a golf club mem­ber­ship and cur­rent of­fi­cial hand­i­cap.

2. BROOK­WA­TER GOLF CLUB

When Brook­wa­ter opened to much fan­fare in 2002 many were quick to draw com­par­isons with the home of the US Masters, Au­gusta Na­tional.

The var­ied ter­rain, cre­ative bunker­ing and un­du­lat­ing putting sur­faces bare a slight re­sem­blance to parts of Au­gusta. The fact that Greg Nor­man and his then de­sign chief Bob Harrison were re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the lay­out added fur­ther weight to the the­ory that Au­gusta in­spired this lay­out in Bris­bane’s south western sub­urbs.

But the truth is this par-72 is an orig­i­nal and there is an over­whelm­ing Aus­tralian feel about the course with tall Eu­ca­lypts, tall wild grasses and the oc­ca­sional kan­ga­roo bound­ing across a fair­way. The Nor­man and Harrison de­sign is one of Aus­tralia’s most spec­tac­u­lar in­land cour­ses and is en­trenched in the top half of the na­tion’s Top-100 Cour­ses rank­ing.

Brook­wa­ter impresses from the open­ing tee shot. From the cham­pi­onship black mark­ers, the 1st hole is a 380-me­tre par-4 where your drive must cross a deep val­ley to find the fair­way ris­ing up the other side. A drive of about 220 me­tres will have you stand­ing on the crest of the hill, with the fair­way veer­ing and cam­ber­ing left past spec­tac­u­lar fair­way bunker­ing and de­scend­ing to­wards the green, nes­tled be­tween two bunkers and tall tim­bers.

The lay­out has dra­mat­i­cally im­proved in re­cent times af­ter an ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion that saw changes to its greens, up­grades to bunkers and the cut­ting back of some pe­nal ar­eas of

rough to make the course more playable for the masses. As a re­sult, the course has been re­stored to the playa­bil­ity in­tended by the orig­i­nal de­sign, which makes it a must play lay­out when head­ing to Bris­bane. GREEN FEE: $100 (18 holes, Mon­day to Thurs­day); $120 (Fri­day to Sun­day).

3. THE BRIS­BANE GOLF CLUB

Bris­bane’s old­est club dates back to 1896 with the first com­plete 18-hole course, de­signed by Carnegie Clark, com­ing into play in 1904.

Two decades later, Dr Alis­ter MacKen­zie was in­vited to ad­vise on what changes he might make to the course. He pre­pared a re­port which po­larised the com­mit­tee at the time and only some of his rec­om­men­da­tions, mainly the ad­di­tion of bunkers, were put into play.

Ac­claimed de­signer Ross Wat­son was com­mis­sioned to come up with a mas­ter­plan for the lay­out in 2007 and sev­eral holes were up­graded as part of the multi-year plan. The big­gest im­prove­ment to the lay­out came a few years ago with the con­ver­sion of all Bris­bane’s greens to Cham­pion Ul­tra Dwarf grass. Af­ter con­sid­er­able test­ing by the club, the grass re­placed its Ber­muda 328 putting sur­faces and now the greens are some of the best to be found in the Sun­shine State. GREEN FEE: $150 (vis­i­tors from in­ter­state, who can ap­ply for a tee time through the gen­eral man­ager); $60 (mem­ber’s guest, plus fee if play­ing in a com­pe­ti­tion).

4. INDOOROOPILLY GOLF CLUB (West course)

Indooroopilly was the hard­est hit golf club in the dev­as­tat­ing Bris­bane floods of 2011.

But, from that ad­ver­sity, the club and its 36-hole com­plex emerged and has since im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly to have one of its six 18-hole com­bi­na­tions – the West Course – achieve an Aus­tralian Top-100 Course rank­ing in 2014, ‘16 and ’18.

Hav­ing been es­tab­lished at nearby St Lu­cia in 1926, the club added a course at Long Pocket in 1964 and within two decades it had de­vel­oped 36 holes on the penin­sula with Ross Wat­son re­design­ing the older holes, which were re­named the West Course and in­cor­po­rate the Gold and Red nines.

In re­cent times, all the greens sur­rounds were con­verted to zoysia grass, which thrives in warmer cli­mates, and now forms a bar­rier be­tween the couch fair­ways and Ber­muda greens.

Sand plays a dom­i­nant role on the West course out­ward half, or Gold nine, with ex­pan­sive bunker­ing com­plexes on the par-5 3rd, par-4 6th and par-5 7th holes be­ing the most vis­ually in­tim­i­dat­ing across the en­tire Indooroopilly land­scape. GREEN FEE: $75 (Mon­day to Thurs­day); $95 (Fri­day and Sun­day).

5. NORTH LAKES GOLF RE­SORT CLUB

When North Lakes opened in 2002 it pre­sented sev­eral firsts for the Queens­land cap­i­tal. It was the first Graham Marsh de­sign for Bris­bane and the first course in Aus­tralia to use the fine-leaf Ber­muda Tifea­gle grass for its putting sur­faces.

These two fac­tors alone sug­gest North Lakes is a qual­ity lay­out. North Lakes is a chal­leng­ing lay­out boast­ing a great va­ri­ety of holes that ranks highly among Marsh’s large port­fo­lio of Aus­tralian course de­signs.

At North Lakes, Marsh pro­duced two cour­ses in one – with each hole oŒ er­ing two dis­tinct play­ing al­ter­na­tives. The ag­gres­sive player ca­pa­ble of hit­ting prodi­gious drives can score well if they fol­low a cer­tain line on the par-4s and par-5s. An ag­gres­sive line can re­sult in small downslopes or humps be­ing found and drives bound­ing on for an ex­tra 30- or 40-me­tres. All of a sud­den a short iron in­stead of a mid-iron is re­quired to reach a green. But stray from this nar­row line and trou­ble lurks. On the other hand, the con­ser­va­tive strate­gist and shorter hit­ters will also en­joy North Lakes’ rel­a­tively safe lines. Play­ing away from trou­ble at North Lakes is not di“cult. The fair­ways are rea­son­ably wide, the greens large and invit­ing while the rough is trimmed to a length that won’t have you driv­ing home with a wrist in a cast. There are more than 90 bunkers scat­tered along the route. Many are large and clover-shaped but are not omi­nously deep. For the player not on his game these will in­tim­i­date but there is su“cient room to weave your way past them on the fair­way and, in most cases, fly over them to hit the putting sur­face. Wa­ter also plays a ma­jor role. Marsh was keen to keep the nat­u­ral wa­ter­ways that were present on the site and en­hance them to be­come a fea­ture of the golf course, which is ranked in the Top-100 Pub­lic Ac­cess Cour­ses in the na­tion.

But, sadly, op­por­tu­ni­ties to play this lay­out are run­ning out with re­ports emerg­ing (at the time of go­ing to press) of the im­pend­ing sale and clo­sure of the course in 2019. GREEN FEE: $99 (18 holes, seven days); $49.50 (mem­ber guest, week­days); $65 (mem­ber guest, week­ends).

6. INDOOROOPILLY GOLF CLUB (Pres­i­dents course)

Indooroopilly’s Pres­i­dents course fea­tures holes from the Red and Blue nines and, ac­cord­ing to Golf Aus­tralia’s Top-100 Course rank­ing judges, is the sec­ond best lay­out at the club.

The Red nine – the front nine of the Pres­i­dents course – fea­tures wa­ter on sev­eral holes, but it is the change of el­e­va­tion that makes this part of the course ar­guably the most in­ter­est­ing across the prop­erty.

The 6th hole de­mands a well-struck drive across the edge of a gully to find the fair­way, which lies di­ag­o­nally oŒ to the right. The drive at the 7th, which is In­dex 1 on the West course, must also be straight to avoid the lake on the right. A wa­ter carry with your long sec­ond shot is also re­quired to find the green beyond an­other lake, this one bor­der­ing the front and left edge of the green.

While the holes are gen­er­ally shorter on the Blue nine, the chang­ing el­e­va­tion and nat­u­ral twists in the ter­rain, com­bined with the nar­rower,

tree-lined fair­ways, gives rise to some strong par4s, like the 405-me­tre 6th hole.

GREEN FEE: $75 (Mon­day to Thurs­day); $95 (Fri­day and Sun­day).

7. KEPERRA COUN­TRY GOLF CLUB (Old course)

Keperra’s Old course dates back to the ori­gins of the club in 1931 and to­day is a de­mand­ing test.

So highly re­garded is the lay­out that its an­nual Keperra Bowl (to be played next month) is a R&A world am­a­teur rank­ing event and has pre­vi­ously hosted the likes of Jason Day, Rory McIl­roy and Marc Leish­man, who four years af­ter claim­ing the prized tro­phy was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

While Keperra boasts 27 holes, it is the Old course (1 to 18) that is re­garded as the best of the three course com­bi­na­tions.

Ma­ture tree-lined fair­ways are punc­tu­ated by bunkers and nat­u­ral wa­ter haz­ards, while the con­di­tion of the lay­out has al­ways been highly re­garded and is ex­pected to get even bet­ter af­ter the com­ple­tion a few months ago of a new ir­ri­ga­tion dam.

The 460-me­tre par-5 1st hole o—ers a mem­o­rable start to the round, where there can be as many birdies as bo­gies. A gen­er­ously wide fair­way turns right and plunges down­hill, just in the driv­ing zone for long hit­ters, be­fore hit­ting the flat next to a small pond to the right. The ideal layup here is about 80 me­tres out from the green to leave a straight­for­ward pitch to a large wel­com­ing green.

GREEN FEE: $39 (18 holes, Mon­day to Fri­day); $27 (Satur­day, nine holes af­ter 3pm); $45 (18 holes Sun­day).

8. PA­CIFIC GOLF CLUB

Nes­tled in the hills about 15 min­utes’ drive south east of the city, Pa­cific Golf Club is a highly re­garded lay­out and has pre­vi­ously been ranked in Aus­tralia’s Top-50 Pub­lic Ac­cess cour­ses.

The un­du­lat­ing na­ture of the land­scape has given rise to some very good holes and a chal­lenge that has been tested in three Queens­land Opens and an­nu­ally by the state’s best up-and-com­ing golfers in the Gary Player Ju­nior Clas­sic.

The Bulimba Creek and its trib­u­taries me­an­der through the course pro­vid­ing a chal­leng­ing fea­ture amongst the tree-lined fair­ways and re­cep­tive greens, which are re­garded among the best pre­sented in Bris­bane.

GREEN FEE: $25 (18 holes Tues­day and Thurs­day); $35 (Mon­day and Fri­day); $45 (Sun­day).

9. GAILES GOLF CLUB

One of the great trivia ques­tions about Aus­tralian golf is to name the Bris­bane course that hosted the 1955 Aus­tralian Open? It might take a while to get the an­swer – Gailes Golf Club.

The club agreed to host the Open when flood­ing else­where meant the event had to move to a bet­ter-drain­ing course. Gailes was the choice and the great South African Bobby Locke went on to win that cham­pi­onship.

More than 60 years on from that cham­pi­onship, Gailes re­mains widely re­garded as one of the best wet weather cour­ses in Bris­bane, while the win­ter­green fair­ways have a rep­u­ta­tion as be­ing some of the best in the cap­i­tal.

Much has changed at Gailes over the decades. Dur­ing the 1940s, for ex­am­ple, there were 184 bunkers scat­tered across the lay­out. Many of these have been filled in over time and there are 69 bunkers to con­tend with these days.

Gailes’ rolling land­scape gives rise to some very good holes, where strat­egy and shot place­ment are the keys to good scor­ing, with the 482­me­tre par­5 1st hole set­ting the scene for the re­main­der of the round.

GREEN FEE: $35 (18 holes, mid­week); $42 (Mon­day and Fri­day); $45 (Sun­day).

10. RED­CLIFFE GOLF CLUB

Ac­cord­ing to sev­eral of this mag­a­zine’s Top­100 Cour­ses judges, the pic­turesque par­71 Red­cliŠe course is one of the most im­proved lay­outs in Bris­bane dur­ing the past few years.

Lo­cated at Clon­tarf, about 35 min­utes’ drive north of Bris­bane, Red­cliŠe com­bines the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a sand belt coastal strip with the river es­tu­ary out­look across Hayes In­let. Its close prox­im­ity to the ocean and river in­let en­sures there is al­ways some kind of breeze to speak of.

The course was opened for play in 1935, hav­ing

been de­signed by Stan Francis – a very good am­a­teur golfer, who played out of The Bris­bane Golf Club.

But much of the im­prove­ment en­thused about by our judges can be at­trib­uted to hav­ing greater ac­cess to re­cy­cled wa­ter as well as the work done as part of a mas­ter­plan the club com­mis­sioned course ar­chi­tect Richard Cham­ber­lain to put to­gether in 2011. While the rout­ing re­mained, much of the re­design fo­cused on up­dat­ing bunker­ing and in­creas­ing the tee­to­green strat­egy re­quired to score well.

When the pre­vail­ing south­easterly wind gath­ers strength, the clos­ing trio of holes re­ally gain some bite. Ar­guably the best of them is the 506­me­tre par­5 16th hole, which plays along the edge of Hayes In­let to the right and is a gen­uine three­shot­ter. The fair­way turns slightly right and en­cour­ages a play­ing line down the right half all the way to the green, with the sec­ond shot layup be­ing com­pli­cated by a clump of trees in the left half of the fair­way. A sandy waste­land also cuts in from the left for the fi­nal ap­proach into the slightly el­e­vated putting sur­face. A par here is well­earned.

GREEN FEE: $37 (18 holes, week­days); $42 (week­ends).

11. WYN­NUM GOLF CLUB

Lo­cated in Bris­bane’s bay­side sub­urbs, Wyn­num Golf Club gives the ini­tial im­pres­sion not much has changed since the club was es­tab­lished in 1922. The charm­ing Fed­er­a­tion­style club­house has a wel­com­ing Queens­land feel about it and the course is laid out in two loops in and away from this hub.

Ob­vi­ously things have changed there over the years and the course has moved with the times and re­mains an en­joy­able and ex­act­ing test for play­ers of all stan­dards. No two holes are the same and the va­ri­ety of left and right dog­leg holes adds to its ap­peal.

For the ma­jor­ity of golfers, the 412­me­tre dog­leg left par­4 4th hole is suit­ably in­dexed the hard­est hole on the course. If it’s not the hard­est hole it cer­tainly presents the most dišcult tee shot. Dense stands of tall gums and pines line the in­side of the dog­leg and, de­spite the gen­er­ous width of the fair­way, out­of­bounds can be found beyond the trees right of the short grass. With the drive suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated, the key is then get­ting the

club se­lec­tion cor­rect to con­quer this tough test.

While the va­ri­ety of the holes will im­press, the mem­o­rable as­pect of Wyn­num is its beauty – with well-pre­sented play­ing sur­faces and a lay­out that is easy to walk in pic­turesque sur­rounds.

GREEN FEE: $40 (18 holes, week­days); $42 (week­ends).

12. VIR­GINIA GOLF CLUB (Cham­pi­onship course)

Vir­ginia has gained a rep­u­ta­tion as one of Bris­bane’s most beau­ti­ful lay­outs, with its com­bi­na­tion of rolling fair­ways, me­an­der­ing creeks, un­du­lat­ing greens and 56 bunkers scat­tered through­out.

It’s hardly any co­in­ci­dence that such good play­ers have emerged from the Vir­ginia ranks over the years. The chal­leng­ing lay­out was the home club of Greg Nor­man and Wayne Grady dur­ing the 1970s, and the pair col­lected four club cham­pi­onships be­tween them in six years dur­ing the early to mid-70s.

Most fair­ways are lined with ma­ture trees, thickly in parts, while there are some lengthy holes that re­quire a cou­ple of spir­ited blows to reach the putting sur­face.

Some of the best holes at Vir­ginia cover the ter­rain with the most el­e­va­tion change, like the par-4 5th and 6th holes. Both these holes fea­ture a rolling un­even fair­way which comes into play from the tee and can in­flu­ence the lie you have for a sec­ond shot ap­proach.

GREEN FEE: $39 (18 holes, out­side of com­pe­ti­tion times).

BROOK­WA­TER GC

the bris­bane golf club

indooroopilly west course

north lakes

keperra old course

pa­cific golf club

indooroopilly pres­i­dents course

gailes golf club

red­cliffe golf club

vir­ginia cham­pi­onship course

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.