Photography by Gary Lisbon
The venerable Royal Queensland Golf Club received a complete makeover late last decade when the duplication of the city’s Gateway Bridge required the acquisition of a portion of the club’s land. Mike Clayton re-routed the course and in the process asked questions of every facet of the previous Carnegie Clark-designed layout. The upshot was one of the most dramatic facelifts in Australian golf.
On a flat, largely featureless site, Clayton gave the club’s membership a golf course they could enjoy in varying ways every day. The spacious fairways ask players to choose a side to approach from, fulfilling Clayton’s ethos that driving in golf should be more like tennis groundstrokes in that players need to challenge the sidelines rather than aim for the safety of the court’s centre. And the rippled greens in most instances demand play from a particular angle in order to feed the ball close. A switch of wind or pin position from day to day often asks a completely different question of the golfer on each tee. Today, Royal Queensland Golf Club’s in-built changeability is its greatest strength.
Royal Queensland Golf Club
Ranking in 2018: 33rd
Prior rankings: 24th (2016), 27th (2014), 29th (2012), 30th (2010), 57th (2008), 60th (2006), 50th (2004), 62nd (2002), 63rd (2000), 35th (1998), 35th (1996), 33rd (1994), 23rd (1991), 18th (1989), Second Ten (1986)
Where: Curtin Ave West, Eagle Farm QLD 4009
Phone: (07) 3633 6500