The course at Brookwater Golf Club has become quite a talking point in its few short years of existence. It is essentially a public course and therefore receives a very good airing with the golfing public. The word from the golfing vox populi is that it is a very tough test, too tough some say.
Brookwater has been carved out of native eucalyptus forest on rolling land. Some more exuberant reviewers have called it Queensland’s answer to Augusta National. Even if it isn’t quite the dogwood and azalea lined glory of America’s South, the presence of the eucalyptus closely hugging the fairways certainly renders a unique atmosphere, particularly in the earlier holes where no sign of residential development is visible.
The Greg Norman and Bob Harrison design has been executed very well. The holes sit comfortably in the land without anything seeming too forced. The course is laid out as two circuits of nine, the front nine in an anti-clockwise direction and the back nine clockwise. No two fairways run parallel and with the ubiquitous eucalyptus cover you have a nice feeling of isolation.
For the vast majority of us who have only a vague idea as to how the ball will leave the driver face, there is a requirement to plot your way around this course. I found that the best way to do this is to gauge the widest point on the fairway and club to that point. By making some allowance for miss-hits, you lessen the risk of becoming a red-faced woodsman. By following this strategy, the longer hitter will find the driver superfluous on most of the par fours.
The above passage is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.
Greg Norman Golf Course Design completed a renovation in 2017 after a progressive overhaul that included strategic design changes to greens, fairways and bunkers.
Another wicked design on the outskirts of Brisbane from The Shark, Greg Norman. Huge Eucalypts surround the whole course with tough tee shots these trees come into play, which requires the golfer to be very accurate from the tee box.
Massive undulations are current throughout this top 30 Australian course with bunkers that are Greg Norman design renowned, IE very dramatic.
Brookwater in some ways is a mini Augusta, as is Bonville GC in NSW.
Do yourself a favour and make the trek out to play here. Playable all year round
I can see why the other reviewers have made comparisons with Augusta – I’m guessing it’s the aesthetics of the place that did it – but the design is a million miles away from what the TV reveals every April at Masters time. This is a narrow and highly punishing golf course – I’m an 8 handicap, I played very well, hit 11/14 fairways, 9/18 GIR’s, did not 3 putt once, and still shot 15 over. This is golf on a tightrope, and there’s just so many double and triple bogeys waiting out there for you should you fall off. I only pulled my driver out 5 times, and probably that was overzealous – I’m guessing I have never been this conservative off the tee.
The first six holes are as stunning a run of holes as you’re likely to find anywhere, and the last 3 are also magnificent. In many senses, if you judged courses purely by adding up the relative qualities of each individual hole, this would be one of my favourite ever courses. The reason I can’t quite be this enthusiastic is that there’s too much of a feeling of sameness. Almost all of the holes are chutes through the trees. The huge majority of the green complexes follow one of two rules – either a pulpit or plateau green with bunkers left and right cutting into the front corners, or a green bunkered only down one side, with the green sloping towards the traps, and a depression at the top end presenting a downhill chip with little margin for errant touch. None of this detracts from a one-off visit, but the member I played with (a 4 handicapper) said he had grown a little tired of playing there after a couple of years. This is probably a reflection on the difficulty of the place, but I can see the potential for staleness to set in, and it is probably this very minor quibble that stops me considering this course to be a world-beater.
Still, overall I thought this place was fantastic, I love the fact that it’s very accessible to the public, and that it’s very reasonably priced. It’s very much my sort of course, and I would definitely recommend it to any serious golfer (anyone over 15 handicap might be advised to consider one of the more wide-open resort courses on the Gold Coast). But I know what the previous reviewer meant when he said he felt like a sleep afterwards – very apt. Matt Richardson