What was once an unremarkable and dreary golf course, has been revitalized by Mike Clayton and his team who turned a dull paddock beneath the Brisbane bridge into a flat, strategic masterpiece. The bunkering style is truly unique, distinctive and strategically positioned while the contouring of the greens and surrounding areas is first-class and will ensure that regular players remain interested in their golf for many years to come.
Royal Queensland was virtually rebuilt in 2007 following the government’s decision to expand a bridge across the club’s property. Unlike somewhere like The Lakes in Sydney, at Royal Queensland the virgin land was clay-based and virtually devoid of any redeeming golfing features. This makes Clayton’s work here even more impressive, but for the members to properly enjoy these fascinating holes the fairways and green surrounds will need to be kept tight and bouncy, which is not easily done in Brisbane.
What’s special about Royal Queensland is that the course is so unique; it doesn’t look like anything else you’ve played and despite the unfavourable terrain it’s beautiful and manages to hold your interest throughout the round. Shaped virtually from scratch, the par threes are very good, especially the pushed-up 8th and long 17th, while the short fours and par fives are all bunkered strategically to encourage aggressive play but appropriately punish those over-stretching themselves. Especially impressive is the ease with which lesser skilled players can get around. Play smart and there are endless ways to approach a particular hole, but always with enough temptation to incite the dangerous play from a cavalier golfer.
There aren't many better flat courses than this in Australia.
Royal Queensland is a storied Brisbane club that at one point golfed on a course designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The MacKenzie course is long-gone, but the club has a long tournament history having played host to three Australian Opens, the 1966 Open won by Arnold Palmer, the Australian Amateur, several TPC and Australian PGA events.