Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club was established in 1927 on Crown Land where Gold Coast Airport is now located. The club moved 5 kilometres southeast to its present location on the west bank of the River Tweed in 1936, starting out with a 9-hole layout.
In February 2021, course superintendent Peter Lonergan told us:
“The original course in the 1930s was laid out primarily by club members and volunteers as were the extensions to 27 (in the 70s) and then finally 36 holes. There is mention of some people giving advice as to the routing but nothing really official. Club life member Alf Rush is credited with a lot of the work over many of the early years.
Geoff and Ted Parslow did a masterplan in the 1980s which saw a lot of changes done. Graham Papworth did the work when part of the West course was redeveloped in 1995. Peter Williams, former course superintendent at Royal Melbourne, designed and oversaw the complete re-construction of the River course greens in 1999/2000.
Richard Chamberlain oversaw a course improvement plan in 2015 (which involved the removal of many bunkers and trees) and Graham Papworth assisted with the redesign of the West greens in 2017 /2018 when they were converted to TifEagle.”
Today, the River course extends to 5,919 metres from the back markers, which is just a little shorter than the West, demanding accuracy and placement of shots on a heavily treed layout. Highlight holes include short par fours at the 11th, 12th and 13th which are all routed through a section of rainforest.