Royal Queensland Golf Club was founded in 1920, and the original course designed by Carnegie Clark opened a year later.
The club also achieved Royal status in 1921
It is said that Dr Alistair McKenzie had some input to the course bunkering in 1926 on a flying visit.
In the 1960's the Queensland government built the imposing Gateway Bridge through/over the site dividing the course. At the stage a number of holes remained on the other side of the bridge from the core poperty. However when the Gateway Bridge was duplicated in 2007, the club abandoned play on those holes, and engaged Michael Clayton to essentially build a new course using some new land with the existing core of the course...
Sited on what is basically flat land, Clayton has done a remarkable job to produce a course that retains the golfers interest throughout the round.
Despite the lack of elevation change, Royal Queensland is a distinctive site. The trees remind one of a botanical garden, and this is emphasised by the high level of maintenance throughout the course.
The classic looking clubhouse & pro shop, the activity of the nearby port, all overlooked by the imposing structure of the bridge, can leave you in no doubt as to where you are...
Clayton has introduced a subtlety to the green complexes and bunkering which combined with the lack of elevation change make it hard for the first timer to see or visualise the lines of play.
It is a however very much a strategic course, demanding decisions on line and length constantly.
I am quite sure members would relish every opportunity to play.
The playing surfaces are in excellent condition, and the flatness makes it a lovely course to walk.
It is a course where you have to think your way around, or pay the consequences!
Notable holes include:
- hole 3, a longer par 4 with waste areas defining the line of play
- hole 4, a par 3 with bridge backdrop (see picture mid article)
- hole 5, a longer par 4 adjacent to the port
-hole 11, a medium length par 3 with shallow elevated green
- hole 15, a winding par 5 with fairway bunkers putting all shots in peril
- hole 17, a dramatic par 3 with a difficult raised green surrounded by waste land..
Royal Queensland is a quality course, and has hosted 3 Australian Opens to date.
First timers will probably not fully appreciate RQ given the lack of elevation change and visual clues- but once you know where you are going the intrigue grows.
It is after all a private members course, and a good one.
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