February 5, 2009
Sunshine Coast: The Sunshine Coast is located 1.5 hours north of the Brisbane Airport on the eastern coast of Queensland Australia. It is about 1100 km north of Sydney and 1400 south of Cairns on the Barrier Reef.
The Sunshine Coast has a breathtaking coast consisting of the some of the best beaches in the world. The area is semi-tropical with the farms in the area planted with sugar cane, pineapples and bananas. There are plenty of topical vegetation, such as palm trees and tropical flowers.
Besides the beaches, the hinterland has some superb towns, The Glass House Mountains and the national parks are well worth a visit.
The major towns on the coast are Caloundra (Club Pelican and Caloundra courses), Mooloolaba and Maroochedore (Horton Park and Headland courses), Coolum (Mt. Coolum and Hyatt Coolum courses) and Noosa (Tewantin, Noosa Springs and Kabi courses).
Noosa is the most celebrated of these towns and it is here where the rich and famous come for their Sunshine Coast Holidays. Mooloolaba and Maroochedore are a larger area with high rise condos and resorts on grand stretch of beach. One of the differences between these areas is that Noosa has building height restrictions to three stories.
If you stay in Noosa or Caloundra then you have to drive a distance to most of the courses. If you stay in Mooloolaba or Coolum you are in a more central location. No matter where you stay the distance is not great at any time.
Golf: The Sunshine Coast is a great location to take a golf vacation. There are a number of courses that line the coast from Caloundra to Noosa.
The courses are: Club Pelican, Caloundra, Headlands, Horton Park, Twin Waters, Mt. Coolum, Hyatt Coolum, Noosa Springs, Tewantin and Kabi.
The top courses are: Club Pelican, Twin Waters, Hyatt Coolum and Noosa Springs. These are outstanding resort courses that every one will enjoy. The green fees for these courses range from $95 to $130.
The next group of courses are fine courses and cost from $40 to $45. These are Horton Park, Mt Coolum and Tewantin.
Caloundra and Headlands are average courses with Kabi being an all organic 9 hole golf course that is really 7 holes but you play two holes twice. They have another 18 hole par three layout as well. The fee at Kabi is $20 for any 18 holes.
Caloundra, Mt. Coolum and Tewantin offer monthly memberships. So, if you are staying for a month or more you might want to check out these courses.
The distance from Kabi in the north to Club Pelican in the south might be 60 or 70 kms. The four main courses are geared to social players while the other clubs are set up mainly for their members. This is reflected in the tees. Club courses have two sets of tees for the men and they are blue and white. The blue tees are only used when they have club competitions, so all social players are supposed to play from the white tees no mater what their handicaps. The resort courses offer one more set of tees usually the pro tees. You can play from where you wish.
The availability of drinking water varies a from course to course. In most cases, water is limited. I was disappointed in the big four courses as they did not have enough water fountains. I would like to see each cart with a cooler for ice and more fountains around the course so we could fill our water bottles. Maybe they only want to sell water from the drink cart. Failing that, put an ice compartment in the drink cart so we can refill our cups with ice. We always take a frozen bottle of water with us each day.
The Sunshine Coast is a year round destination. The weather is fine all year but I would suggest you avoid the school holidays especially the Christmas Vacation which goes from mid December to the end of January. During January and February the temperatures are between 28 to 31 and during their winter, July and August it is around 23-25 degrees.
On the Sunshine Coast you have two levels of green fees. The club courses all charge around $40 while the big four charge around $100+. The major differences between the two levels, are in the conditioning and the facilities.
For complete details on the top four courses please see the attached reviews.
Accommodations: There are heaps of accommodation on the Sunshine Coast. The range covers all prices from the top of the line to the basic motel.
In Australia they have a concept that is just catching on in Canada. It is called Holiday Letting. Holiday letting is when a person purchases a recreation property for their own use or for an investment. When they are not using it. they put it in a rental pool and rent it. Each one is decorated differently and the price depends on the season, and the age and location of the property. You can find these by driving around or going to a holiday rental office. These are located in all the major towns along the coast.
On the previous visit to the Sunshine Coast we stayed in a two bedroom unit in Noosa at very nice three 1/2 star resort. This one we booked through Global Resort Network for only $299 a week. There are a number of these on the Sunshine Coast.
For this destination review I wanted to just concentrate on golf resorts. I have chosen four to refer to you. All are located on the course expect for one, Twin Waters, it is about 1 km away.
At the south end we have Club Pelican and the Crown Plaza Resort. The resort is positioned right next door to the club house. It is a new modern resort with all the amenities you would want or need in a resort. This resort is rated 4 1/2 stars and is the closest to the Brisbane Airport, about one hour away.
They have 107 rooms and 46 suites. You can find a studio from $130 a night or a one bedroom spa unit from $180. The resort is near the beach but right on the course with great views of the course and the hinterland. The pool area is very striking, offing a heated pool and a lap pool. A great place to relax after your round of golf.
As we travel up the coast we come to Novotel Twin Waters Sunshine Coast Golf Resort. This resort is very close to the Sunshine Coast Airport. If you are flying into Sydney then you would want to transfer to a domestic flight to the Sunshine Coast Airport.
This is a large 361 room, 4 1/2 star resort located in tropical garden setting and on a very eye-catching lagoon. They have a surf beach and offer all the necessary water sports. The golf course is just 1km away and they offer a shuttle service to the course. This resort gives you the feeling of being on a tropical island in the South Pacific. Beth said it reminded her of Fiji. The resort is set up to cater for children so pick a date outside the school holidays. The best rate we found for the end of January was $169 a night.
Our next stop is the small beach town of Coolum. A pretty little town located about 2/3 the way up the coast.
This is the site of the Hyatt Regency Coolum, a five star family resort, located at the base of Mt. Coolum. The room rates start at $190 a night. This resort has the whole lot, from a health spa to two km of beach front with a beach club. They are in the centre of 150 hectares of woodland, bush land, rain forest, and lakes. This course is the home of the Australia PGA Open each year. The Hyatt is designed as a village with shuttle golf carts available for moving you around the site. There is nothing lacking at this resort. If you plan on visiting the Gold Coast and you wish to stay at the Hyatt then you should plan to stay at their sister property at Sanctuary Cove. The Hyatt at Sanctuary Cove gives you two courses for your enjoyment. This would make an excellent golf package.
Finally we reach Noosa. Noosa is probably the most important destination on the Sunshine Coast. This is where the rich and famous play and holiday.
If you are looking for a resort on the course among some beautiful flora and fauna the Noosa Springs is for you. This resort has about 40 two bedroom apartments, fully equipped for a very peaceful stay. The resort is located just a few kilometer from Hastings Street and the beaches. While staying in one of the apartments you have access to a very high quality fitness centre and the new 8 million dollar spa. They have a very nice 25 metre heated lap pool and one of the best restaurants on the coast.
I am not an expert on spas, but this one really impressed me with all the facilities and treatments. Apparently the owners traveled the world visiting the best spas and from that trip they selected the very best features to add to their spa. This resort rates a five star rating and if you want to combine golf, fitness and spa activities this is the place to stay.
Getting There: There are a number of different ways to get to the Sunshine Coast. You can go direct to Brisbane from LA or direct to Sydney from Vancouver, San Francisco or LA then change planes for the Sunshine Coast Airport. From Vancouver you can use AC direct non stop to Sydney and then Virgin Blue or Jet Star to the Sunshine Coast. From LA or San Francisco you can fly with Qantas directly to Brisbane.
If you want to stop in New Zealand coming or going then the air line to use is Air New Zealand. They have direct, non stop flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Vancouver to Auckland. Change planes there for Brisbane.
If you want to visit South East Asia on the same trip then I recommend that you use Singapore Airlines from Vancouver to Singapore. Take a three night stop in Singapore then continue on to Brisbane. If you want to do Hong Kong then fly with Cathy Pacific and take a stop coming and going in Hong Kong.
There is another choice and that is to use Air Pacific, the Fijian air line. It is not as quick as the direct non stops but much faster then going via the South East Asia. With AP you can take a stop in Nadi, Fiji coming or going and go on to Brisbane.
If you land in Brisbane then you will have to rent a car or take a shuttle to the Sunshine Coast. I suggest you rent a car as you will want to explore the area and play more then one course. To book a car or your flight please contact Golf Down Under
Approximate flight times are 13 hours from Los Angeles to Brisbane or Sydney. Ten hours to Nadi. 12 hours from Vancouver to Auckland, 19 hours from Vancouver to Singapore with a one hour stop in Korea.
I would also suggest that if you have the time then you should take some stopovers or fly out of Sydney. At least take three nights to visit Sydney. You will have to organize you flight from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney but it is worth it. All air lines will let you fly into one city and out of another.
If you are flying from Eastern Canada then you will go to Los Angeles or Vancouver unless you take Cathy Pacific from Toronto. All the airlines offer connections from Toronto.
Dining: There are plenty of fine dining establishments on the coast. You can find information about all of them in travel brochures. If you wish to try a couple in Noosa then you should make a reservation at the Sails Restaurant at the eastern end of Hastings Street. It is right on the beach and the menu and wine list are outstanding. Another restaurant to try is the Noosa Springs Club House. They have won a number of rewards for the food.
What I want to do in this section is get you to try some different approaches to eating. Try a take away from the local fish and chip shop. They are every where. One we like, is on the wharf at Tewantin. In Canada your choice is, do you want one or two pieces. In Australia you pick your fish from the coolers, you tell the cook how you want it cooked. Do you wanted it battered, crumbed, or grilled. You can then order a salad and fries. At the wharf we like to go on Friday night, take a nice bottle of wine, get our fish and chips and sit and listen to the free entertainment as you enjoy the wine and the fish.
The other location for excellent fish is at the docks in Mooloolaba. This is where the fishing fleet dock and unload their catch. There are a number of takeaways and restaurants right there.
We had a large piece of Snapper for only $7.95. Chips were a few dollars more.
Yes, Australia has BYO, bring your own. You can always ask before going in as some do not offer this service. Most places will charge you a corkage fee. Last night we paid $5 for the corkage.
If you like your wine then Australia is the place to come. You can find thousands of different wines that you can not purchase in Canada. If you want the best selection then find the local Dan Murphy’s Bottle Shop. They are the largest and best bottle shops that I have found. There is one in Noosa. They have very knowledgeable staff and can steer you to just what you want.
If you like good value and do not want to spend the time or money looking for some fine wine values then let me suggest the clean skin concept to you. These are bottles of wine that have just been labeled with a minimum amount of information. You will not know the winery but you will know the grape and where it was produced. These clean skins are the result of an over supply of wine and the winery does not want to lower their prices on their labels so they sell the excess with out a label. Most of these sell for under $10 with some as low as $2. The general rule of thumb is the wine is worth double what you pay. It is well worth trying some clean skins.
In Queensland the Surf Life Savings Clubs have some of the best views you could ever hope for. It stands to reason that they have these views, because they are on the beach. The surf clubs offer dining and drinking facilities. There is nothing better then sitting on the balcony at one of these clubs and enjoying a good meal with a bottle of wine.
In Noosa and in Mooloolaba you will find two of the best surf clubs for food and views on the Sunshine Coast.
Another club you should visit for a meal or a drink is the Noosa Yacht Club. It is located on the Noosa River and you can sit on the deck during the day and watch sail boat races and other boats go up and down the river.
If you wish a true blue, fair dinkum, Aussie experience the you should take in the Sunday spit-roast. This is located at the Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Point, 20 minutes north of Noosa. They do a side of beef and a pig on spits. They have large platters of salad, hot potatoes and damper (bread). The spits are located in a rustic bush kitchen and the line up starts at noon every Sunday.
The hotel was built in the 1870’s and is on 3.5 acres surrounded by gardens, palms and lawns. There is always music on Sundays and you get to meet a lot of Australians.
Activities: Like most golf destinations there are plenty of activities to entertain you when you are not on the course. Most of the activities are similar around the world and you can find brochures at any tourist information center. Just look for the big I. A very good information booth is in Noosa right by the surf club.
I have included a few of the must do activities that are well worth taking the time to see and experience.
Australia has maybe the greatest quantity and best quality of beaches in the world. You must spend some time swimming in the surf, walking the beaches or just sitting and watching the waves roll in. Please, always swim between the flags.
There are plenty of walks on the coast but there is one that you should make sure you do. Take the walk in the National Park at Noosa. You will find the start to this walk at the far eastern end of Hastings’s Street in Noosa. This walk takes you out to the end of the point as seen in the attached picture. Make sure you take some water with you.
What about shopping you ask. Well there is plenty to satisfy all shoppers of the world. Hastings’s Street is famous for shopping in Australia. The promenade in Mooloolaba is well worth taking the time to walk and do some window shopping.
There are some towns in the hinterland that are a must as well. Take in the shops, art galleries, and restaurants in Malaney and Montville.
Eumundi has maybe the largest out door market in Australia. It has something for everyone. The market takes over the whole town every Wednesday and Saturday.
There is nothing better then a drive through the hinterland that weaves it way through astonishing towns that surround the Sunshine Coast. Take the tourist drive up the coastal mountains through Montville, Malaney and through the Green House Mountains. Make sure you stop at the Mary Cairncross Park. This park has some of the best rain forest trails and views of the Glass House Mountains you will find in Queensland.
Just a short drive down the track is the Australian Zoo the creation of Steve, Crikey, Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter has put together a unique zoo that every tourist should visit. This large park is very well done. It is clean, green and houses some very interesting animals in attractive soundings. They have shows all day long, but the one you want to see is the Croc Show in the 5000 seat stadium. This is an all day outing so take along a picnic or just plan to purchase you lunch on the grounds. I suggest you get there before 10 am and stay until about 3:30. This will give you time to see the shows and enjoy the park.
Club Pelican Golf, Queensland, Australia
The greens were of normal size with some undulations but nothing that serious. The fringe was cut and extended out from the green. There were plenty of bunkers protecting the greens but a number of them were lacking sand or had just experienced a lot of rain. I found the greens ran true.
Excellent grass, smooth fairways, and no bare or rough spots. All sprinkler heads were marked, cart paths had distance markers as well. Lots of fairway bunkers and in decent shape. The first cut was good and in a lot of cases gave way to some dense bush.
Excellent tees, large flat and level. Lot of room to move the tee locations during the week. All signs and were good and the tees had official distance markers.
This is a Greg Norman course and it shows his signature when you standing on the tees. From this view you see a lot of bunkers that frame most of the holes and make them look really special. All holes are different and the course gives you two different nines. The first nine is more links style with a number of waterways or canals bordering the fairways. The second nine is cut through the Paper Bark gum trees. The first hole is a very good starting hole with bunkers framing the hole but giving the golfer a wide fairway for their first drive. The design gets better as we make our way around the course. Number two is a very good test of golf as it demands an accurate tee shot as it has bunkers and water on the right. I am sure this design generates a lot of comments from the golfers with regards to the design and the difficulty of the course.
The fees we saw were $110 but I understand you can find some discounts. This is about the same as the other top courses on the coast. The fee includes a power cart with GPS. They have a very good early twilight fee of $59 with gps cart. This starts at 2pm and gives you about 5 hrs to complete the round prior to darkness setting in.
I believe you need a really solid game to play this course. I am sure golfers who like Brook Water, another Norman course will enjoy this course. The length is not bad at 6359 metres from the back tees. The ACR is high at 74. There are a lot of bunkers lining the fairways and protecting the greens. Make sure you know where the entrance to the green is before hitting that shot. I would also suggest you look at the GPS system on the cart for each hole. I failed to do this on a couple of occasions and found what I thought was a well hit and well placed shot ended up in the water or in a hidden bunker. I think a number of players will find it a little unforgiving. Play strategically and don’t try to pull off that perfect shot, at least not all the time as a miss will cost you. If you hit a bad tee shot make sure you hit a provisional as you will trouble finding the first ball. I am guessing the slope to be around 133.
The course is scenic because of the design with the bunkers, water ways, trees and wild life. It is nice to look at some of the fancy homes that line some of the holes on the front nine. We saw a number of kangaroos and plenty of bird life on the course.
We meet the pro shop staff , drink cart lady, and the restaurant staff. All were very nice and helpful.
This is a very nice club house with a well stocked pro shop, and seating in the restaurant, inside or out. The menu is for casual dinning and the restaurant is not open for dinner. I think this is because the Crown Plaza located right next door covers that requirement.
The carts are electric and have a very good GPS system. This GPS system was a big help in navigating the course. There was a continuous cart path that was paved around the greens and tees. The practice area is very complete with putting, chipping, bunkers areas and a driving range. They have a very good set up for instruction. The Crown Plaza is right next door and it has all the features you would want in a first class resort. It would be great to stay on the course and not have to drive each day. They had a bag drop and staff to take your clubs and get them on the cars. This feature was nice since we did not receive this service at a couple of the other top notch clubs.
I liked this course even though I had a very bad day, score wise. I will probably go back and play it again in a week or two. It was difficult but I like a challenge. The bunkers frame the holes and make you think. I would use the gps much more as far as looking at what is ahead as I got surprised a couple of times. The weather was great and we enjoyed the course.
Hyatt Regency Coolum Golf Course, Queensland, Australia
The greens were in excellent shape. Most were of good size with nothing too serve as far as undulations. A couple of greens had a few levels and the 18th had a decent slope to the left. The fringe was perfect giving way to the second cut that was even and smooth. The bunkers around the greens were good for the most part but a number that I managed to get in lacked some sand or were very hard packed. This was due to the sprinkler system soaking them at night and then drying out. When approaching the greens or teeing off check for position so you can avoid the bunkers. The bunkers were all well maintained other then the quality of the sand.
All the fairways were almost perfect. I always had a perfect lie. One test I have for fairways is how smooth the golf cart travels over the ground. Sometimes you get bounced around but not on these fairways. This is not to say that they are flat, in fact there were a couple of holes where the terrain was rolling and one (12) that had a decent elevation drop as you approached the green. The fairway bunkers were excellent, plenty of sand and very well groomed. The sprinkler heads were marked and they had a 150 metre post. The first cut of rough was even and on some holes it gave way to very dense tropical bush. The fairways were generous so the dense bush was only reached on a very poor drive.
There are 4 sets of tees, black, blue, red and yellow. The yellow tees are for beginners and the black tees for competition. They are in excellent shape and are large, thus giving the staff plenty of room to move the teeing area around so you do not have to hit from a divot or badly chewed up piece of turf. A few tees were surround by wonderful rainforest growth. One par three (11) had 6 different areas for tees. There were at least two tees that had some elevation to them. The tees had decent distance signage, ball washers about every three holes and official distance plates on the tee boxes.
This is a Robert Trent Jones course so you know the design will be very good. The first three holes start off with some of the higher indexes. This lets you get into your game before facing the lower index holes. Number 18 is the hardest hole on the course and is an excellent finishing hole. You have a slight dogleg left with water all the way on the left and bunkers on the right. It is 363 metres (400 yards) in length. I liked all the holes for their design and for the fact that none were the same. A few of the holes that I liked more then the others were number 9, with water on the right, 10 with water front, left and right, and number 11 and 14, both par threes which forces a good shot as they both require almost a 100% carry. Jones put in at least 3 short holes, 2, 5 and 16 which makes you think about hitting driver or playing for position with a shorter club. The 12th hole was a good par 5 with gently rolling hills and elevation drop to a well protected green. A true test of the design of golf course is the type of comments you and your playing partners make after each hole. When you look back and say “ I liked that hole” or “ that was a good hole” and you do this for most of the holes then you know it was a well designed course. I believe we had a comment on almost every hole.
As I have mentioned in previous reviews this is a difficult component to evaluate. The fees this year were $110 for golfers staying at the resort and $130 for others. It is the highest priced course on the Sunshine Coast but certainly one of the best. You can play courses for $40 but those courses do not compare. It is like comparing a BMW to Pontiac Sunfire. If you like to play the best courses and you want quality then Hyatt Coolum is priced correctly. The course, club house, and the other amenities are outstanding.
The course measures 6326 metres (almost 7000 yards) from the back tees and 6344 yards from the blue tees. The course is rated at 72. If I was to assign a slope to the course it would be about 126 as a guess. With the water, sand, trees and bush the course presents you with plenty of challenges with out being to difficult or unfair. The landing areas on most holes were generous and did not present a problem deciding if you should hit driver or fairway wood off the tee. There is not an overly large amount of bunkers, but each green is protected and almost each fairway has a bunker of two in a strategic position. I thought the course was an excellent test of golf and at the same time almost anyone would enjoy playing there.
This resort is set in a tropical rain forest. The flora and fauna were outstanding. The trees were large and framed the various holes. There were plenty of small lakes on the course with water lilies that added greatly to the views. The course is also situated right under Mount Coolum, the second highest monolith in Australia at 280 metres. With the mountain, the course design, the vegetation, this is a beautiful course.
At the Hyatt we meet a lot of the staff. They have over 600 staff members and many of them are in very attractive Hyatt uniforms. We meet staff at the bag drop, drink cart, pro shop, starter, grounds crew, restaurant staff, and the staff that provide shuttle service to and from the parking lot. Even the ones that walked by had a wave and hello.
As soon as you enter through the massive large and heavy wood doors you know you are in a very attractive club house. A spiral stair case leads down to a very well stocked pro shop and a spike bar. On the main floor you have the resorts reception area, a billiard room, an outside patio, a bar and the restaurant that offers you a fine dining experience. The views of course and the lakes are very good. With the lush vegetation you know instantly that you are in a quality resort set in tropical gardens.
The first appearance you have of the resort is a massive entrance sign with attractive vegetation. Then you proceed along a tree lined road to the resort and the bag drop. The parking lot is paved and there are shuttle vans that run back and forth between the club house and the parking lot. The practice area is said to be one of the best in Australia. They have the range, chipping, bunkers, putting and a covered area so you can keep out of the sun. Cart paths were paved but only existed where you needed them, around the greens , tees and at par threes. The carts were electric with fold down wind screens. There were tennis courts, spas, pools and a few restaurants. The score card contained a map of the course and all signage was easy to see as we made our way around the course. All the areas were landscaped very nicely.
As you probably can tell we enjoyed our time at the Hyatt Coolum Resort. I thought the course was as attractive as any that I have played and the resort was a place where I would love to stay. The Hyatt is close to a number of towns, and not far from a few other courses if you wanted to play at a variety of courses. The course has been named the Australian Leading Golf Resort by World Travel (2008), The best Australian Golf and Family Holiday Resort by Luxury Travel. It is ranked #18 as a golf course in Australia by The Australian Golf Guide. However the best recommendation about the quality of this resort and course is that the this is the home of the Australian PGA Championship. The course is undergoing renovations and 5 new holes will replace the 5 holes that are across the highway. From our tour of the new holes it looks like Robert Trent Jones has created even better holes then the ones they are removing. The new holes will be opened in 2010. The course is 20 years old and it has the appearance of a mature, high quality private course that you might find in Canada. Thanks Hyatt Regency Coolum for a great day.
Noosa Springs Golf Club, Queensland, Australia
Exceptional greens. They were in great shape, ran smoothly and true without a lot of difficult undulations. The first cut of fringe was slightly higher then the green and the second cut was at fairway height. After the second cut you were in a well cut, slightly higher rough. All bunkers were perfect.
They were excellent and all the components which make up the fairway were there as well. They had distance markers at 100 and 150 metres. This was the first course we played on the Sunshine Coast that bothered to put in the 100 metre posts. Sprinkler head were also marked to the center of the green. The fairway grass was first-rate, smooth, no bare spots and a few had some small rolls. The bunkers were ideal. The sand was plentiful, the bunkers were trimmed. The first cut was even and gave way on some holes to dense bush. In most cases the fairways were generous . The cart path was continuous, cement, and in top shape. You could drive on all fairways including the par threes.
Four large teeing areas, labeled black, blue, white and red. All tees were excellently well groomed. They had official markers and also markers on two holes so you could tell how far your tee shot needed to be to carry the water. Attractive signs with good maps of the hole. Not a lot of extra items around the tee box as everyone has a cart.
All the holes are different and enjoyable. Three of the par fives are relatively short at 460, 480, and 455. Two of the par threes were very good. Number three is almost all carry and # 16 was similar. There is some slight elevation change on the back nine around 12 through 14. I liked number 5 which is a good risk reward hole. It is not long, 320, but you need to carry 202 to clear the water if you took the short cut. There is however a bail out area which then gives you a much longer second shot. Anything right is in the lake. Number 17 presents a lot of challenge. There is water to the left, dog leg left, bunkers on the right and the green is located to the left with the water protecting it on your second shot.
The green fees were $120 which puts it right in the same ball park as the other big three courses on the coast. Power carts are of course included with the fee.
Not a long course at 5914 metres but there is a good deal of water and bunkers are placed at important locations protecting the dog legs or from preventing you from attempting to go to far away from the water. The par fives are relative short and the par threes have only one longer hole, #16 at 181 metres. The ACR’s are 73, 71 and 69. If you can avoid the water you should score well.
The vegetation, the pristine condition of the course, the lakes and some stunning architectural homes made the vistas very attractive. There were plenty of palms, tall gums and other rain forest trees.
We meet a lot of staff during our stay and all were very friendly, helpful and cheerful. They were proud of their resort. I was impressed that the grounds crew shut off their mowers when we were in their vicinity.
Marvelous club house. The entrance was striking, the pro shop was very well stocked, and the locker rooms were stunning. The restaurant had very nice inside and outside areas for your dining. The menu offered fine dining but also some traditional club house meals such as a BLT. They have a good wine list and are open for dinner as well. We notice a lot flowers inside and outside the club house. The gardens were very tropical and I think there were at least two water fountains. Parking lot was large, surrounded with more topical vegetation and paved.
Where do I start. The bag drop was where you thought is should be and the staff greeted you and took your bags to the cart. The cart had a pencil and tees, I know not a big deal, but on the coast this is the first pencil and tees that was included with the green fees. The practice facilities were very complete, in fact they have the only range available for practice at night. The resort has about 40, two bedroom apartments so you could stay on course if you desired. The drive in was maybe the most impressive entrance to any course that I have played of visited. The resort offers pilates, tennis and maybe the number one spa in Australia. The fitness center and pool are superior and can be used by the public. The washrooms on the course were very good. They had an interesting score card as well. On one side you have the men’s and on the other side you have the ladies score card. This gives a complete card for the ladies instead of the traditional column down the right side. The beverage cart came around three times while we were on the course. The course is also gps’ed for iGolf.
I made this comment a couple of times during our round , "I can not really find anything to fault them about". It is a very good full service course. There are maybe only two things that I could suggest that they might wish to add. At the end of the round they could take you clubs off the cart, and clean them. I would also like to see the courses on the coast have more water available for drinking. A few more fountains, an ice storage on the beer carts so we could keep ice in our cups, or include a cooler on each cart with ice.
Twin Waters Golf Club, Queensland, Australia
All the greens were excellent and though not small were a little under average size. Having said that make sure you watch your club selection on #8 as it is 39 meters deep. A number of the greens were undulating and you had to take notice of the slope of the green. They were not overly serve so nothing really tricky. The ball rolled true. The green side bunkers were very well maintained with plenty of soft sand.
The fairways were excellent. Smooth, fully grassed, slightly rolling, with a lot of mounds. They have the looks of a modern inland links style. Sprinkler heads were marked as well as the 150 metre distance. The first cut of rough was fluffy and your ball tended to sink down in the grass making it a little harder to hit the next shot. This cut gave way to some dense bush on a number of holes but the fairways were wide enough that I did not experience the dense bush. Fairway bunkers were in excellent shape and just enough of them to keep you thinking. A few of the fairways had some testing little pot bunkers.
They have 3 sets of tees, blue, white and red. They are large flat and line up with the fairways. They had nice signs, ball washers, some benches and a number of drinking water fountains. Since they were large it was not a problem for the staff to find good places to put the teeing areas. The tees had official distance markers.
This is a Peter Thompson designed course and it shows in the inland links style. There are a number of holes where a low running shot is the best way to get to the pin. He also placed a number of pot bunkers around the greens and also on a number of fairways. The course is carved out of the natural bush which is made up of paper bark gum trees. The first hole is good par 5 with enough room for most golfers however is has mounds and bunkers lining the fairway. Number 6 has water on left and bunkers on the right with a very large bunker protecting the green. All three par threes were of decent quality. Number 8 is the hardest hole on the course with a large lake that requires a good drive. It is a dog leg right with large bunker in play from the tee. On number 12 I counted 10 bunkers that were in play from the tee. The round finishes with a very good par 5 with pot bunkers in play on the first and second shot. The green is slightly elevated and undulating. The course is very flat so walking is easy.
This course has the lowest green fee of the top ranked courses on the Sunshine Coast. You can walk the course for $75 with a cart it is $92. For this you get a well manicured top ranked course. The Australian Golf Guide ranks this course as #43 in the country.
I am guessing the slope to be around 123. You can play this course with out loosing a ball or you might lose a number. It is not difficult to keep the ball in play but there is danger from the water, rough and the bunkers. In fact I counted 73 bunkers on the course.
The course is flat but very pretty. It has lots of interesting flora and fauna. There were plenty of kangaroos , black swans, geese, ducks and other birds in the lakes and ponds. The Sunshine Coast Airport is right behind the course and the planes are very low when they go overhead. It is not a bother and is kind of fun to wave to the pilot. There were a number of brightly flowering tees that dotted the various fairways.
We did not meet a lot of staff but the pro shop fellow was very helpful and friendly.
A very attractive club house with a nice out door patio for drinks or casual dinning. We found a lack of signs when we pulled up to course as to where was the best place to drop our bags. We ended up carrying them a long way. The parking lot was paved and the gardens around the club house were very good.
Since the course is part of the Twin Towns Novotel Resort, even though it is maybe a kilometre away, it has plenty of extras. The practice fallibility was top notch with everything you need. They have a number of tennis courts that you could play if you did not want to golf each day. There were toilets located on 2, 8, and 13 and were in very nice condition. The power carts were electric with a split wind screen. They had a drink cart that we saw once but it was an over cast day and not too many golfers. They had very good cart paths that were continuous but you did not have to stick to them expect on the par threes.
We had a very good time which probably reflected the fact that I scored very well. The course is in good shape but as mentioned we played on Sunday so maybe some of the first cut on the fairways and around the tee boxes did not get cut the last few days. We liked seeing all the birds and kangaroos. This is a course that I would be happy to play again.