Royal Queensland is built along the banks of the Brisbane River, a river that has long been an influential part of the history of the course. In the 1980s the government commissioned a huge bridge to be constructed across the river. – and the club’s 12th and 17th fairways. ” It’s the best course I have played with a bridge over the top of it,” quipped US. Open champion Corey Pavin in 2001.
For many years the members played under the bridge (although Greg Norman, the club’s one-time assistant professional, once famously played over it) and out to the far end of the course but, in 2004 the government committed to building a second bridge alongside the original. The members were forced to abandon the six holes on the ‘other side’ of the bridge and make a new course. Few courses could lose so many holes and remain a viable eighteen-hole course, but fortunately there was enough space to create an entirely new layout.
The new course is characterised by wide fairways, very little rough, bunkers cut right into the middle of fairways at several holes and a number of undulating greens. It is flat but it asks the strategically aware to think about where best to set up the best line of approach for the next shot. No course we have done better exemplifies the principle of players having to make up their own minds about how best to play a hole as opposed to being told exactly how to play it by the architect or the greenskeeper.