The 8 best public golf courses in Queensland
Queensland is one of the best places not only in Australia, but also in the Southeastern Pacific to play golf. Although it gets very warm in the summer, with temperatures reaching into the high thirties (100 degrees Fahrenheit), the ocean breeze helps keep golfers cool and lowers humidity.
The best part of the area, though, is the people. Many locals are happy and quick to offer secret Queensland golf spots and excellent local restaurants. Here’s our list of the 10 best public golf courses in Queensland.
Royal Queensland, Brisbane
Playing this course from the championship tees makes you work to make shots. Most of the holes aren’t plagued with difficult bunker locations; but for the ones that are, be prepared to break out the sand wedge.
The left fairways of holes five through seven are lined by the river and have excellent views of boats coming in and out. Royal Queensland is fairly expensive to play, but being playing on the beautiful manicured fairways and greens make it worth the cost.
The Glades Golf Club, Robina
The Greg Norman design at The Glades Golf Club on the Gold Coast boasts a reputation as one of Australia’s most prestigious resort golf courses. Norman is known for his trademark aggressive layouts, and the Glades follows suit, offering golfers a challenging round while setting in a visually stunning surround.
Unique to any course in the area, the greens at the Glades feature a new type of “Creeping Bent Grass” that ensures a superior putting surface all year round. Also plan to navigate through the 90-plus bunkers the Shark strategically designed to keep your score from staying too low. The par-72, 7264-metre tract spans 65 hectares, while nine hectares were retained to create a natural wildlife sanctuary within the course.
Bribie Island Golf Club
Considered “The Hidden Treasure” of the south-east Queensland golf course scene, the Bribie Island Golf Club features an 18-hole championship layout offering golfers of all skill levels an enjoyable round. Built on the rolling natural sand dunes of Bribie Island, the course was built employing environmentally friendly practices during construction.
Located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, the region is known as one of the very best golf regions. The Ross Watson design at Bribie Island is in a traditional Scottish links-style, with every hole featuring a distinctive layout. Multiple tee sets are available to offer a challenge for all levels of golfers.
Brookwater Golf and Country Club, Greater Springfield
The Brookwater Golf and Country Club has been often compared to the famed Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. The Greg Norman design features an undulating terrain with creative bunkering and sloping putting services, much like Augusta.
Located just 30 minutes southwest of Brisbane in Greater Springfield, the par-72 tract boasts an overwhelming Australian feel and you can expect to see the occasional kangaroo bounding across the fairway.
Brookwater is widely considered one of Australia’s most spectacular inland courses and was recently ranked No. 11 on Golf Australia’s Top-100 Public Access Course list. A recent course design update by Greg Norman Course Design improved the playability and aesthetics of the course, with the front nine opening in November 2016 and the entire 18 holes opening for play in March 2017.
Despite several playability improvements, Brookwater remains a long, tough, undulating tract that will test your game where others don’t. Your round will feature an array of heroic carries, tight drives and difficult approach shots, and from the championship tees, Brookwater ranks in the top-10 longest courses in Australia.
Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast
One of the best championship-style clubs in Queensland, Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club has two different courses. Make sure you can play both. The two courses, The Pines and Palms, are very different being designed by two different legendary designers. The Pines can be a wet adventure with several holes having water in play. Make sure to bring extra balls on this course, as tee shots and approach shots will challenge you to stay dry.
The Palms had its own unique set of challenges, but unlike The Pines, there isn’t as much water. Although you won’t be losing as many balls, the course is littered with bunkers and many of the surrounding greens, meaning you’ll want to practice getting out of the sand beforehand.
Links Hope Island, Gold Coast
A tribute to old-fashioned golf, the Links Hope Island golf course is a testament to all that traditional links-style golf offers, with fast running fairways, ridges, swales, pot bunkers and heavily contoured greens that would fit perfectly in any Scottish or Irish seaside tract.
Designed by one of Australia’s golfing greats, Peter Thompson, the 18-hole course has matured since its opening in 1993 and blends perfectly with the natural landform of the relatively flat piece of terrain.
While all four par-5’s will present a challenge, be ready early as the 550-yard 2nd hole is a stiff test, swinging left round a lake with a huge fig tree on the bend, at the water’s edge, threatening the tee shot. Finishing up on the 565-yard 18th hole, water again bounds the fairway to the left and a number of fairway bunkers present problems. But the biggest challenge you’ll find is on the signature 17th, where you’ll need a 150-yard carry off the tee to clear the water into a heavily bunkered green.
Pelican Waters Golf Club, Sunshine Coast
Greg Norman must really enjoy being around water with his vision of this course. Almost every single hole at the Pelican Waters Golf Resort has water in play and the entire front nine is a water hazard just waiting to gobble up shots.
The interesting part about this course is the lazy river design. A man-made river cuts through the course so the overhead looks like a waterpark. Holes one through three curl around a lake in the middle of the resort, and you can frequently see lots of native Australian wildlife.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this is one of the nicest and most pristine courses in the Queensland territory. Par for the course changes depending on whether you’re playing from the championship tees or the regulars.
Lakelands Golf Club, Merrimac
This is one of only a few par 74 courses with the option of playing par at 72. Winding long par fours combined with bunkers and natural scenery combined with difficult pin positions made for a great challenge.
These courses feature a lot of water and bunkers. To improve your score, work your sand wedge before heading out onto the course. Bunkers and sand shots are the scorn of amateur golfers.
A good point to remember when swinging out of the sand is not to try and contact the ball like a normal fairway shot – instead, try to hit 2-3 inches behind the ball and let the sand and club do the work. More importantly, is driving the club through the swing. If you stop in the sand, the ball is going to stop as well. Be sure to emphasize on the follow-through to avoid the ball remaining in the sand.
Another good way to keep the ball from flying the green into another bunker? Open the clubface to push the ball vertically and avoid flying the green.