The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria operates a number of resorts in the states of Victoria and Queensland and their 27-hole Royal Pines complex is one of five different golf facilities (the other four are at Healesville, Torquay, Goldfields and Cape Schanck) where guests can play a round during a visit to these leisure establishments.
The Matsushita Investment and Development Company originally developed the Royal Pines Resort in the late 1980s and Japanese architect Tomojiro Maruyama designed the first 27-hole layout. Two years after opening, the resort hosted the ANZ Ladies Masters and that event has been a permanent fixture on the women’s professional golfing calendar every year since.
A fourth nine was added in 1996, creating a new 18-hole West course to complement the 18 holes on the East. Six years after this 36-hole set up was in play, the Royal Pines master plan was reappraised and the radical decision taken to scrap the fairways of the West and replace them with a 9-hole circuit that would still allow three different 18-hole configurations.
And so the Graham Marsh-designed nine opened in 2004, offering golfers the opportunity to now play three distinct courses – Gold (formerly known as the Aroona or “Running Water”), Green (previously called Binnowee or “Green Place”) and Blue (Wangara or “West Wind”).
You've probably heard about this resort course because of the various tournaments that have been played there over the past decade. However, in some cases, you can't equate a tournament being played on a course with it being a top level golf course.
I found Royal Pines to be 100% resort course that had clearly set up a good financial deal for tournaments to be played around its 27-hole resort complex, rather than tournament directors wanting to test the professionals in a tournament there because it was an outstanding golf course.
The 27 parkland holes wind around numerous lakes. Most of the holes are variations on a theme and I struggle to really recall any after the round; they certainly aren't influenced by the landscape and it all became very 'samey' very quickly. Conditioning and aesthetics were fine as would be expected and there was work going on to prepare the Aus PGA to be played. Nice enough but a rather boring generic course compared to the upper echelon of courses in the surrounding Gold Coast area. I think its current rating of 12th best in the state of Qld is a little too generous.
I've only played Royal Pines once and it was after the upgrades were completed by Graham Marsh. Royal Pines is home to the Australian PGA Championship with Adam Scott and 2017 U. S Masters Champion Sergio Garcia playing at this coming summers tournament. As well as host to the Australian ladies Masters in 2016.
27 holes occupy the resort and are all perfectly manicured as if a tournament was being played whilst you were there. The course has countless lakes and bunkers on undulating terrain for the best part, the Blue 9 certainly has the most in / decline.
The Gold coast hinterland mountains can be seen from the course as well as the famous Gold Coast skyline strip.
Good shaping in and around the greens now meet the golfer with bunkers and water, where as before they were fairly flat.
I enjoyed my 27 holes at R.P.
I'll certainly be back!
Played Royal Pines in July, The course was challenging and well kept. The pro staff there was friendly and worked with me to my trip more enjoyable. Thanks for the good work.