Brisbane Golf Club has a sense of occasion, tradition and prestige.
Rated in the Top 100 golf courses in Australia, boasting arguably the best greens in Queensland and an 18-year-old Club champion, Brisbane Golf Club is steeped in history and is a fascinating mix of then and now.
The first inclination this club holds a distinctive difference comes when entering the carpark at Yeerongpilly (adjacent to the Pat Rafter Tennis Centre) and the sight of a magnificent 1910 Queenslander-style, heritage-listed clubhouse.
And, when playing the par-5 12th hole on the western border of the 21-hole course, a giant circa-1850 Crow’s Ash tree looks proudly over the 44-hectare property. As the first golf course established in the city – in 1896 – and the third-oldest in Queensland, Brisbane Golf Club celebrates its 125th anniversary next year and proudly blends the old with the new.
Originally established in the nearby suburb of Chelmer, vital residential development forced the committee to seek a new home, and eight years later Scottish immigrant Carnegie Clark designed the first layout on the current property. A number of changes have since been made with Dr Alister MacKenzie, Ross Watson and Wayne Grady among the better-known architects to have influenced the current design.
A Watson masterplan, commissioned in 2007, activated extensive changes, but a catastrophic flood four years later brought about a transformation that has applied an indelible stamp to the course. Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda grass, used in more than 700 golf courses in the US, was installed on all 21 greens at Brisbane and gives the course a significant point of difference.
Club captain at the time, Terry Campbell, boasted that the new greens would offer a smoother, faster and more consistent ball roll.
“Golfers able to read the slope of the green and judge the pace of the surface, can putt with the confidence that the ball will go exactly where it is aimed,” said the club stalwart who has since been conferred life membership.
And current club champion, decorated 18-year-old amateur Louis Dobbelaar, agrees.
“The course is always in super condition and, as expected from a layout which has hosted the Queensland Open 21 times, is always a genuine challenge,” he said.
“But it is the greens that set it apart. They are firm, and usually hard, but very true. Once you have judged the speed, putting becomes a confidence component only.”
Considered as ‘exclusive’ in the past, the club now attracts an eclectic list of members, described by former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy as ‘smart casual’. Healy, one of five club ambassadors alongside sporting luminaries Pat Rafter, John Millman and retired thoroughbred Winx, says the friendliness of the members is one of the real pleasures of his weekly competition round.
Brisbane Golf Club created history in 2018 by becoming the first club to win the Brisbane District Golf Association Division One Pennant undefeated, and back-to-back. In the same year the club also won the Gold One Brisbane District Ladies Golf Association Pennant.
From the blue tees the 18-hole layout is a par 72, 6,105 metres for women and 6,676 for men, with a Slope of 130. A total of 73 bunkers sit on holes one to 18, with an additional six bunkers on holes 19, 20 and 21, which are utilised for variety as well as when course maintenance is required.
Brisbane Golf Club
Where: 70 Tennyson Memorial Ave, Yeerongpilly QLD 4105
Phone: (07) 3848 1008