Twin Waters Golf Club

Beware nine bunkers: Twin Waters, 12th hole, Brendan James

By the end of the 1980s, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast had a handful of good member clubs. In the ’90s, as the region became home to Australia’s fastest growing population, more golf courses and more golf resorts went up. Perhaps the most popular layout to come out of that building boom was Twin Waters.

Its growing acclaim, among locals and those from further afield, could be attributed to three things: an enjoyable design, impeccable presentation and the thousands of golfers who have competed there in the Holden Scramble national final since the mid-’90s. Few, if any, leave this annual teams event with a bad word to say about the course, making it the best public relations exercise a course manager could hope for.

The tees and tifdwarf bermuda greens are beautifully manicured, and each fairway boasts an almost flawless cover of couch grass. The dozens of bunkers are neat and tidy, with trimmed edges, and obviously maintained regularly. Such five-star conditioning was not always a feature of Twin Waters. After a few years of decline, it took the purchase of the layout by Japanese surgeon Tsutomu Yamaji in 2005 to raise the standard. Dr Yamaji, based in Osaka, is a passionate golfer, and one of his first tasks as owner was to invest in the course’s presentation. It was money well spent. The superior conditioning complements the Peter Thomson, Mike Wolveridge and Ross Perrett design, which offers generous landing areas in between the hazards, making Twin Waters an ideal layout for the part-timer or holidaymaker. For the better player, the challenges are nonetheless considerable: ominous bunker schemes, numerous water hazards, rows of mounds, and thick bushland near the edges of most fairways. Twin Waters is enjoyable no matter what a player’s ability. And there are several holes every player will find hard to forget. A trio of holes, beginning at the parfour 6th, flank picturesque lakes and call for some straight and strategic ball-striking to avoid watery outcomes. Of these, the 379-metre, par-four 8th is the toughest. Your tee shot must fly over water and on to a fairway that sits diagonally to your drive. Players who dare shorten the hole by driving down the right half of the fairway need to avoid a massive bunker wedged between the fairway and the lake. A highlight of the back nine is the 325-metre 12th. This terrific short parfour tempts the longer hitter, in the right wind conditions, to blaze away in an effort to roll their drive to within a chip shot of the putting surface. The faintest mishit risks being gathered in by one of nine bunkers littering the fairway. The longest par-three at Twin Waters, the 202-metre 17th, is one of its best. It has even claimed the high-profile scalp of Greg Norman. The day after losing the 1997 Australian Open in a play-off, the Shark flew in to play the 17th hole with each of the leading teams in the Holden Scramble. Swirling winds made club selection difficult, even for someone in the world’s top 10, and Norman managed to hit the green with only half his tee shots. His best was just centimetres away from a hole-in-one.

The course Norman saw that day was in outstanding shape. At last, Twin Waters has returned to the glory of that day.

Memorable holes

2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 15th and 17th

Where to go

151 Ocean Dr, Twin Waters, Queensland 4564

Book a round

(07) 5457 2444

www. twinwatersgolfclub.com.au

Where to stay

The nearby Novotel Twin Waters Resort has luxury rooms and suites. The resort also offers a wide range of activities and can provide a transfer to the golf course.

Before/after your round

Suncoast Barra Fishing Park, less than 10 minutes’ drive from the course. The fi sh farm is fully stocked with barramundi, whiting, bream, trevally and snapper.

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