Golf clubs throughout south-east Queensland are beginning to see the full extent of the damage caused by record rainfall the past week as floodwaters start to recede.
Brisbane received 611.6mm of rain between 9am Friday and 6pm Sunday to set a new highest three-day total, beating the previous record of 600.4mm from 1974 in records dating back to 1840.
From the Sunshine Coast down beyond the Queensland-New South Wales border the vast volume of water and already high water table has inundated golf clubs within the communities counting the cost of a crisis that is being compared to the 2011 floods that the Insurance Council of Australia estimated cost $2.38 billion in damages.
Management at both The Brisbane Golf Club and Carbrook Golf Club believe the damage this time is worse than what they experienced 11 years ago while long-time PGA Professional Tom Linskey estimates he has seen similar floods at Meadowbrook just three or four times during his career.
The Coaching Studio established by PGA Professional Jay Simpson at Meadowbrook was evacuated before ultimately having a metre of water flood through it, the clubhouse and adjacent pro shop thankfully spared.
It was a similar scenario at Carbrook where extraordinary aerial photos just how close the clubhouse came to suffering the same fate as the entirety of the golf course, General Manager Scott Wagstaff describing it as “easily the worst we have seen”.
The rain that inundated the southern areas of the Gold Coast forced the abandonment of the second round of the Tweed Coast Open at Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Club and on the Sunshine Coast clubs such as Maroochy River Golf Club reported previously unseen levels of water across the golf course and adjoining roads.
Incredibly, some clubs on the Sunshine Coast such as Twin Waters Golf Club were able to welcome limited play on Monday and were expecting to be back to full capacity – with bunkers out of play – on Tuesday.
Two of the most recent hosts of ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments have also been hit hard with Royal Queensland Golf Club and Nudgee Golf Club seeing large parts of their courses go underwater.
Skies began to clear in the south-east at around lunchtime on Monday with the full extent of the damage to be evaluated in the coming days.