Routed around a very large residential development to the northwest of Canberra, the course at Gold Creek Country Club is a Bruce Devlin design that opened for play in 1996. Featuring couch grass fairways and bent grass greens, the playing surfaces here are as good as you’ll find anywhere.
The course had only just opened when it hosted its first major tournament, the Australia PGA Seniors, with Lee Trevino winning the 11th edition of this national event – though he wasn’t the first American winner, as Orville Moody claimed the first two championships at Rich River in 1986/7.
The signature hole on the card is the 132-metre par three 7th; a short hole where distance control is essential to end up on the same tier as the pin. A bail out into the bunker on the left will leave a tough sand shot back towards the water hazard.
The 517-metre 14th is another great hole on the back nine. It starts with a spectacular downhill tee shot from an elevated tee to a fairway that double doglegs its way towards a long, narrow green with a protecting bunker to the right of the putting surface.
In the early days when I first played Gold Creek, many of the trees were mere saplings. And as it predated many of the houses that were consequently built, the course had a relatively rural feel in places.
These days the trees are mature and the course surrounds are wall to wall houses, so playing there is quite a different experience
A golfer moves around the course going under roads a number of times to access different section of the course. Given the distance between some greens and the next tee, the course is perhaps best suited to carts rather than walking.
Right from the start Bruce Devlin specified pure couch fairways and bent grass greens and in the early days the playing surfaces were exceptional.
In 1996 the club proudly hosted the Australian PGA Seniors championship which was won by Lee Trevino, and it was in great condition.
More recently the club has struggled financially and this is clearly reflected in the current maintenance levels of the course. It's a great pity as the rolling tree lined terrain is a pleasant place to play and Devlin's design provides a good test. A posiitve is that during COVID more members have signed up.
Let's hope this trend continues as I would love to see the course back in top nick- the bones of the course as 'good as Gold'
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
A parkland course that when it opened had a resort style feel, located in the northern suburbs of Canberra. Time has taken it's toll though and the facilities and course are showing their age, especially the front nine which was in poorer condition compared to the back. This is likely due to an ongoing plan from the course owners to convert the course to only 9 holes. Apparently a shrinking membership base can't support a full 18-hole course in the long term.
I last played at the start of last spring and conditions were okay. Plenty of housing around the entire course, but still with plenty of natural vegetation too. Excellent view from the clubhouse, of the course and the Canberra skyline fringed by the Brindabella Mountains. Solid club, although I'd rate the nearby Gungahlin Lakes better.