THE first thing that strikes you about Brookwater Golf and Country Club is its beauty.
Carved out of thick forest on rolling terrain on the western outskirts of Brisbane, each hole is a masterpiece of design.
The course is spectacular, many fairways framed by eucalyptus trees whose stark white trunks often act as targets for golfers seeking to plot their way around a course that presents unique challenges.
On many holes you’re aware only of the hole you’re playing, so thick is the woodland and so undulating are the hills and valleys.
It’s almost like navigating your way through a tunnel in the bush.
It’s a Greg Norman design, so you know it will be challenging. But that’s the charm of
Brookwater Golf & Country Club – play it well and you know you’ve achieved something worthwhile.
Opened only 20 years ago as the centrepiece of Greater Springfield, a master-planned, innovative community that is home to almost 50,000 people, and now the base of the Brisbane Lions AFL club.
Brookwater Golf & Country Club is a par 72 championship golf course measuring 6,469 metres.
It was so well designed and lovingly maintained that it quickly found favour with golfers of all levels.
It’s ranked among the country’s top 35 golf courses and is arguably the very best in Queensland.
Now, with new management in place and a new direction taken, Brookwater Golf Club is planning further improvements to the course and clubhouse, seeks to lift membership numbers and cement its place as a focus of community engagement.
Under the supervision of Greg Norman’s design team, all bunkers will be renovated, upgrades and renovations will take place in the clubhouse, a different food and beveragestrategy implemented, and new membership categories introduced.
The owners, who have financially supported the club through some challenging financial times, have committed to continually improving the course, but with a clear focus to make the club more financially sustainable.
They see increased membership as being critical to that strategy, and they believe incentives should be made to encourage Brookwater residents to become members of their own club.
Club manager Patrick Young said Brookwater took its responsibility as a community hub seriously, and wanted more local residents to regularly visit and enjoy the club’s facilities.
The club is negotiating with clubs throughout Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe and North America to extend its full reciprocal programs to add value to memberships.
There is presently no wait list for any of the categories, though there will be a cap on numbers.
Brookwater is designed in two circuits of nine holes, the front nine running in an anti-clockwise direction with the back nine clockwise.
No two fairways are parallel, and some holes seem to occupy their own private valley, providing that unique sense of isolation.
There are plenty of elevated greens requiring precise approach shots, sloping greens and imposing bunkers with high faces.
Fairways are generally narrow, placing a premium on accuracy off the tee, and the course has so many dips and rises that it is rare to have a flat lie.
Nor are there any easy par fives. The spectacular fourth hole, all 551m of it, requires three well placed shots to reach the green, pitched sharply in the Augusta manner.
The 8th is 527m long, the dog-leg right 17th hole a more manageable 483m, while the 13th is another 550m monster.
Golfers must plot their way around the course, sticking to the fairways, playing conservatively and taking care with every putt.
Some visitors have described it as golf on a tightrope.
Greg Norman and his golf course design partner Bob Harrison came back in 2017 to conduct a 15-year renovation, tinkering with some greens, fairways and bunkers.
They reshaped and resurfaced the greens, allowing for more available pin positions and easing the severe slopes that thwarted so many golfers. It’s still tough, but perhaps not as daunting as in its early years.
The course is surrounded by stylish homes, but the residential community is so subtly located that it provides no distraction at all and, indeed, is almost invisible from most holes.
Brookwater hosted the Queensland Open and the Emirates Golf Challenge in 2015, and is a popular destination for social clubs, golf groups and individuals from all over the country.
The management team is proud of the property and feels Brookwater is worthy of hosting a major annual golf event.
Perhaps something like the old Australian Masters Championship which, for many years, was a highlight of the national golfing calendar.
Certainly, hosting a major event and showcasing the club to a national audience, is one of Brookwater Club’s priorities for the future. The future holds plenty for Brookwater and its members.