Review for Brookwater

Reviewer Score:


I first came to Brookwater in 2010, and loved it, despite the fact that it regularly dug me a hole in the ground every time I strayed off line. So on hearing that there had been some changes (mainly in the vein of restoration and some softening of green contours), I took an opportunity to go and assess what may or may not have changed.

And I’ve got to say it – I don’t love it as much. Brookwater Golf Course - Photo by reviewer It’s true that my tastes in golf courses have changed – I’m a member of a links again now (for the second time in my life) and I’m enjoying the firm and fast conditions that brings. I’ve also come to appreciate the idea of strategic golf, with width off the tee, with the defences being provided by green and greenside hazards and contours.

Don’t get me wrong, Brookwater has some darn nice defences around the green, and the challenges presented to your approach and short game lend themselves to some spectacular shot-making opportunities, which for me is what’s fun about golf. But there’s also stern defences off the tee – it’s very narrow - heck, there’s stern defences everywhere. I still had a great time, and so will you if you don’t particularly care about your score. I never did understand why e.g. a 10 handicapper insists on being capable of potentially breaking 80 anywhere he plays. All golf courses are different and that’s a good thing.

For me, there was an opportunity to widen the playing corridors a little with the recent renovation, which wasn’t taken. It’s an unceasingly claustrophobic course and I saw spots where a bit of width could have added variety. Like 10 – you’re already faced with a Brookwater Golf Course - Photo by reviewer daunting uphill approach, do you really need overhanging branches too, which you get if you’re only 10-15m off line? 13 had just had some thinning out of the trees without widening the corridor, which seems crazy because that hole is a tightrope. Feels like the wrong trees got taken out. 15 is just insanely demanding – although in this case, I think they widened it recently, and probably couldn’t do any more about it, due to a creek (?)

The ambience of the course has been lost a little with much of the bush flattened to make way for high end housing. These are the realities of funding golf courses and perhaps we need to remember that it doesn’t affect the gameplay, and accept it.

Still, there are many fabulous holes here (3, 4, 16, 17), my favourite of which was the par 5 17th. Great strategy here – easy to hit fairway, but if you’ve any designs on hitting the green in 2, then the perfect fade is required. Then you’d have the second to a tiny, fiercely guarded target which is only really feasible with a wedge in hand (for your 3rd) – but these are the shots we love to have a crack at, they’re the reason we play. Right?

A great course for pros or masochists. Even though it beat me up, I’d go back.

Matt Richardson

Date: December 17, 2018

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