More Than A Surfers Paradise
The Gold Coast is a golfer’s paradise, featuring two of Australia’s leading golf tournaments and courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Arnold Palmer. So while you’re planning a family vacation or a golfing holiday with friends, why not have a swing at these four championship Gold Coast golf courses.
RACV Royal Pines Resort
RACV Royal Pines Resort is home to 27 holes of golfing goodness and is your chance to play the same track that is home to two of Australia’s leading golf tournaments – the Australian PGA Championship and the RACV Australian Ladies Masters. The Graham Marsh re-designed combination of the Green and Gold nines features challenging, undulating greens and fairway bunkering that just teases you to take them on.
For a bit of fun, find the fairway marker on the 12th hole where Adam Scott nailed 4-iron from 220 metres to within a metre to extinguish Ricky Fowlers 2013 PGA Championship challenge. Sadly, my fouriron approach ended up around 40 metres short of the green and my hybrid mulligan ended up right and in the drink.
A: Ross Street, Benowa, Queensland, 4217
T: +617 5597 8700; F: +617 5597 8799
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. The par 3 17th, which plays 230 metres from the championship tees and 180 metres from the whites, is 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.
A: Hope Island Road, Hope Island, Gold Coast, QLD 4212
T: 07 5530 9000; F: 07 5530 9019
Speaking volumes for the golfing experience you will enjoy at Sanctuary Cove is the fact that Adam Scott is the club’s touring professional and Arnold Palmer designed The Pines. The Pines is a private course, though tour companies such as Premier Golf Adventures can get you past the velvet rope.
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. 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.
A: The Parkway PO Box 805, Sanctuary Cove QLD 4212 Australia
T: +617 5699 9000
Palm Meadows Golf Course
Graham Marsh designed the Palm Meadows Golf Course, which is only a five-minute drive from Broadbeach. Palm Meadows was one of the first championship quality golf courses on the Gold Coast and plays as a 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 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 1st features water on the left and a ‘Bamboo Curtain’ on the right. Just hit it straight and you’ll be fine.
A: Palm Meadows Dr, Carrara QLD 4211, Australia
T: +61 7 5594 2450
Emerald Lakes Golf Club
The Graham Marsh designed, 18-hole golf course is renowned for its multitude of pristine lakes and championship design. The par 72 course is the Gold Coast's best value-for-money venue, one that caters to all levels of golfer and also the only par 36 golf course on the Gold Coast to offer Golf under lights so you can play until 9:30pm, 7 days a week. Complete golfing facilities include a Driving Range, Coaching Centre, Pro Shop and a Mini Golf facility. The par 72-championship golf course is the former home of the prestigious Queensland PGA Championship, and offers generous greens, wide fairways and a multitude of pristine lakes.
A: Corner of Nerang Broadbeach Road and Alabaster Drive, Carrara QLD 4211
T: 07 5594 4400; F: 07 5594 5838