Tee off on the best Gold Coast golf courses
Fun fact: There are more Gold Coast golf courses per head of population than anywhere else on earth.
And it isn’t just a matter of quantity over quality: you’ll find plenty of world-class courses a short drive (or putt) away from Surfer’s Paradise.
The Gold Coast has courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Arnold Palmer, while also playing host to one of Australia’s leading tournaments each year.
So, while you’re on the Golf Coast watching golfing royalty at the Australian PGA Championship, why not pick up a sand wedge yourself and have a swing at these four championship golf courses.
RACV Royal Pines Resort
RACV Royal Pines Resort is home to 27 holes of golfing nirvana, and is your chance to play the same track that is home to the Australian PGA Championship.
The Australia PGA Championship, now into its seventh year at Royal Pines, will take place later this year from December 19 to 22.
Fans can expect to see the likes of Adam Scott and Cameron Smith in action battling it out for glory and $1.5 million in prizemoney.
The course features challenging, undulating greens and fairway bunkering that just teases you to take them on.
Plan your trip to see the tournament around some of the Gold Coast’s other must-do experiences.
My favourite hole? For a bit of fun, find the fairway marker on the 12th hole where Adam Scott nailed a 4-iron from 220 metres to within a metre to extinguish Ricky Fowlers 2013 PGA Championship challenge.
Sadly, my four iron approach ended up around 40 metres short of the green and my hybrid mulligan drifted right into the drink. Ouch.
The Links at Hope Island
Designed by British Open master Peter Thomson, The Links at Hope Island challenges you to think your way around the traditional Links-style course, which has an AGU course rating of 74.
After your round, count the birdies and bogeys on your scorecard while you relax on the terrace, which overlooks the course’s unique aquatic driving range.
Hope Island is an easy 25-minute drive from Surfer’s Paradise.
Why not stop in at futuristic driving range, Topgolf, on your journey north?
My favourite hole? The par 3 17th hole, which plays 230 metres from the championship tees and 180 metres from the whites.
It’s an all water carry with the front of the green protected by three bunkers waiting to snaffle any balls hit just long enough to clear the water, but not quite long enough to make the green.
Sanctuary Cove has not one, but two, exquisite courses: The Pines and the Palms.
The Pines is a private course, though guests at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort receive access to the course.
The Palms is a public course, which recently benefited from a significant reconstruction, and water coming into play on all but only a few holes – a challenge well worth accepting.
My favourite hole? The par 4 15th is a great par four, which kicks off with an intimidating tee shot that sees you hitting to a fairway with water all the way down the right-hand side.
Hit your tee shot too far left to avoid the water, and you will be left with a long second shot.
Palm Meadows Golf Course
Palm Meadows was one of the first championship quality golf courses on the Gold Coast and plays as par 72, 6,319 metres from the championship tees.
Holding true to the sand theme of most Gold Coast holidays, Palm Meadows has 82 sand bunkers. Hope you know how to use that sand wedge!
The 18th hole was once rated by American Golf Digest as one of the world’s Top 500 golf holes and is a par 5 that plays 523 metres from the championship tees.
The secret to success is apparently being well aware of your capabilities, rather than your aspirations.
My favourite hole? It’s a toss-up between the first and last holes here. The par 4 first hole features water on the left and a ‘Bamboo Curtain’ on the right.
Just hit it straight and you’ll be fine.
Need to spend some time off the fairway with the family?
Why not visit one of the many putt-putt courses on the Gold Coast, with theming varied from jungles to waterways to ancient Egypt, and nearly everything in between.
- King Tutts Putt Putt is located in the heart of Surfers Paradise and offers both indoor and outdoor courses.
- Putt Putt Mermaid Beach is a fun option on the southern end of the Gold Coast.