Palm Meadows Golf Course is a Graham Marsh design that burst onto the Australian golf scene at the end of the 1980s. Palm-fringed fairways are routed around an extensive lake system, with water coming into play at fourteen holes.
It sets out with a tough opening hole, as water runs the entire left side of the fairway and a large patch of bamboo lies on the other flank at the landing area on this 353-metre 1st. You might say this rather sets the tone for the tough task ahead.
The 18th hole features in the book entitled The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes: “Water, wind, and sand offer the ideal stage for this theatrical finishing hole. It forms a semicircle around a lake, allowing players to take the safer route along the left side, or tempt fate along the right.
The water’s edge curves back and forth along the fairway, ending in a fifty-yard inlet that guards the green complex like a moat guards a castle. In the 1990 Daikyo Palm Meadow Cup, Aussie Roger Davies twice gambled and hit this green in two, making eagle the second time to beat Curtis Strange in a playoff.”
This event ran from 1988 to 1992 and was the richest golf tournament in the country at that time. Antipodean players won three of the five competitions – Greg Norman (1988), Rodger Davies (1990) and Greg Turner (1991) – with American Curtis Strange claiming the 1989 title and Irishman Ronan Rafferty winning the last event in 1992.
The first two editions of the Australian Ladies Masters were also staged at Palm Meadows in 1990 and 1991, with American Jane Geddes winning both events. The tournament moved to the Royal Pines resort in 1993, where it became an annual fixture on the ALPG Tour until its demise in 2017.