Royal Queensland is built along the banks of the Brisbane River, a river that was never a part of the play but became a huge part of the direction and history of the club. In the 1980s the government mandated a bridge be constructed across the river – and the club’s 12th and 17th fairways. For many years the members played under the bridge and out to the far end of the course and then back 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 characterized 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 quite a flat course 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 designed 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 superintendent.