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Take a swing at the Gold Coast’s world-class range of Golf Courses

Alex Mitcheson | September 2, 2021

The Links Hope Island

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the Gold Coast is a mecca for sport. Sporting teams flock here to train, locals immerse themselves in a plethora of activities, and the fantastic year-round climate means being out and active is simply a way of life.

One sport that enjoys great representation and is enjoyed by a vast number of people here on our coastline is golf. With an impressive 35 registered courses to choose from, the area boasts the most significant number of courses per capita than anywhere else in the country. For a budding golfer, the Gold Coast lays out a smorgasbord of choice. From world-class PGA event hosting clubs right through to humble and down to earth courses offering a cheaper hit – there’s a course for players of all skill levels. Whether you live here or plan on visiting, you can be self-assured about keeping your swing in check and maintaining your handicap here on the Gold Coast.

RACV Royal Pines

RACV Royal Pines Resort is home to 27 holes of utter golfing utopia. The course presents a lover of the sport’s chance to play the exact same holes which made up the highly prized Australian PGA Championship for seven years between 2012 and 2019. With Australia’s own, and one of the world’s best, Adam Scott being the latest person to clinch the trophy here on the Gold Coast.

Overall, the entire course has changed significantly to the original routing posed by Tomojiro Maruyama, with all three nine-hole courses – Blue, Green, and Gold – reshaped by Graham Marsh in 2013. The Green-Gold layout experienced the most significant changes since hosting the Australian PGA Championship in 2013 to accommodate the competition. However, the condition is consistent year-round, with plentiful waterways working their way through the 7,000-metre course to promote a high-risk, high-reward style of play, whilst the undulating greens offer a smooth rolling surface and enjoyable putting — should you manage to hit them!

RACV Royal Pines

The Grand

The Grand Golf Club is nestled along the beautiful Nerang River and is a short drive from the heart of the Gold Coast and locations like Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. Undeniably, the Grand Golf Club is one of the best private clubs to have a brilliant day of golfing in southeast Queensland. The moment you enter this tucked away enclave, guests can’t help but be captured by the tranquillity and the scenic vistas of this removed venue.

In the early nineties, a group of Japanese owners opened the $30 million course, yet the club was forced to close due to financial burdens within days. The entire course would lay idle for the next five years until a group of local businessmen, all avid golfers, purchased the site and set about bringing it back to its former glory.

Originally world-renowned golfer and entrepreneur Greg Norman designed the course in its first guise before being re-commissioned to upgrade the entire design. In 1997 after some extensive work — involving the greens being rebuilt and bunkers added — the course was opened again to the public in October.

Beautifully manicured, the layout covers exceptional golfing terrain with many memorable holes.

The Grand

Emerald Lakes

The par 72 course is one of the more dynamic yet best value-for-money courses and caters to all golfer levels. This lesser-known course became well known, and quickly so, when it became an Australasian PGA Tour stop in 2004 as the venue of the Queensland PGA Championship. The following year, Brad McIntosh carded the Tour’s first ever 59 shot round, ultimately putting Emerald Lakes firmly on the golf world map.

A pristine course offering numerous birdie opportunities for the advanced player but also holes requiring utmost caution if you are to succeed here. Should you feel like a game with novelty, there’s the option to play nine holes under lights, so you can play until 9:30pm, seven days a week — the only place on the Gold Coast to do so.

Lakelands: Let yourself experience the brilliance that the world’s best golfer, winner of eighteen majors, brings to golf course Planning. Jack Nicklaus has designed well over 150 golf courses on five continents playing host to numerous professional tournaments. And whilst it took twenty-five years for Nicklaus to discover the perfect site for his first signature golf course in Australia, the wait, it seems, was well worth it in the end.

If you find the first few holes here agreeable, then beware. The intention here is to ease players into their round and let the challenge gradually build throughout the duration of the round, which is why most of the harsher holes are found on the back nine.

The faultless conditioning of the course has been recognised with various awards over the years and, coupled with its first-class design, certifies this course sits securely among the top tier of Australian courses. If you’re visiting the area and can only squeeze in one round, Lakelands should be the place you book a round at.

Lakelands Golf Club

The Links Hope Island

Designed by British Open master Peter Thomson, The Links at Hope Island opened for play in 1993 and straight away was somewhat of a shock entry onto the Australian golfing landscape. Golfers had never seen anything like it: a challenging links-style course looking as if it had been hauled straight from the wind-swept coast of Scotland and relocated to subtropical Queensland.

Whilst extremely reminiscent of traditional links, the course is cleverly combined with the luxury of a high-end young resort. Immaculately groomed trees, plenty of water hazards, mounds, and pot bunkers mean the course is one of the most challenging here on the Gold Coast —demanding great consideration concerning club selection and selecting the right line of attack.

A tough hole like the par-3 17th requires a tee shot to carry over water from as far back as 224 metres. How you play a hole of this nature is completely up to you!

Rural and less challenging courses

Although golfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to magnificent courses of steadfast pedigree, there are a number of places where you can still enjoy hitting some balls in fabulous weather, which are a little more down to earth and kinder to your budget.

Coplicks Tallebudgera and Tally Valley golf courses are two charismatic 18-holers located in the attractive rural surroundings of the Tallebudgera Valley. Home to abundant wildlife; it’s not unheard of for players to see Koalas and the odd kangaroo whilst finding their way out of a bunker or scanning the rough after a wayward hit. Coplicks borders the Tallebudgera Creek, and Tally Valley has a great deal of history and an iconic windmill at the entrance, which you cannot miss.

Tallai Country Golf Club borders the majestic hinterland and offers terrific views legitimately threatening to hamper your game! Keep your focus, though, and this charming 9-hole course proves to be reasonably tricky but overwhelmingly friendly — a great place for regular hits and a more relaxed pace for those visiting from elsewhere.

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