Located just 45 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD is the only Graham Marsh designed course in Brisbane – North Lakes Resort Golf Club. Featuring one of Queensland’s best championship golf courses, excellent dining, and a dedication to providing the very best in service and quality, North Lakes offers a unique golfing experience in the greater Brisbane area.
Here is our review of the course:
Former Australian Test cricketer Gary Cosier was ready for us.
As general manager of the magnificent North Lakes Resort Golf Club, Gary, who played 18 Tests and made a century on debut against the mighty West Indies, greeted the Inside Golf team as we entered the clubhouse.
As he guided us through the clubhouse he explained the number of positive changes that had taken place there recently. The pro shop had been relocated and there were private areas allocated for weddings, private and corporate functions as well as casual and formal dining.
Because we had arrived early we had time to study the impressive lunch menu while relaxing on the terrace overlooking the 18th green. With a cold drink in my hand and a delicious chicken wrap to cut my hunger, my thoughts turned to the golf course. Two sips into my drink and I could detect an energy and determination in Gary that was genuine.
“The golf course is in really good condition, especially just coming out of winter,” he said.
He was right.
The Graham Marsh-designed course has four tee positions and stretches to 6455 metres from the black tees, 6174m (blue), 5859 (white) and 5496m (red). Natural native bushland, trees, grasses and three streams that cut across a number of fairways add to the challenge.
We played from the blue tees and the round began with a bang – a 328m par-4 tree-lined hole with a narrow fairway – an early reminder this is a tight course. The second (362m) offers a similar challenge. The 314m third hole doglegs sharply to the right and is a perfect example that par-4s don’t have to be 400-plus metres to be a challenge. An iron off the tee is the smart play because there’s water down the right, bush and bunkers up the left and five bunkers guard the green.
The par-3s (fifth and eighth) on the front nine are a delight. Not overly long at 154m and 148m, club selection is crucial. The 516m par-5 seventh hole (index 2) is a real challenge. A good drive to a narrow landing area is important, but a mis-hit second shot to the right could find the water hazard.
On the back nine I found everything turned up a notch.
The two par-5s are challenging, especially the outstanding 513m 15th where seven fairway bunkers await your ball and another four bunkers surround the green. The 134m par-3 16th hole is a beauty, but two tough challenges lie ahead.
While the 371m par-4 17th (index 4) is tough, the 18th (index 1) is scary. From the black tees the slight dogleg left hole stretches to 420m. Warning: Don’t go left off the tee because you’ll end up in the thick bush and if you miss the fairway right you could end up in one of two fairway traps. Miss the green left and it’s almost impossible to get the ball up and down.
I love courses that throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to “have a go”. North Lakes is one such course and I can’t wait to return.
I might even have a crack at the Black Tee Challenge, which is played once a month and offers a dozen Titleist Pro V1 balls to any player who can break their handicap.
The last time I played North Lakes was almost two years ago. It was nice to play again, though I was really hoping for my return visit that they would have widened all the fairways at least of few metres. Of course it has not gotten any wider or easier by any means. The biggest noticeable difference from two years ago is all the new housing being developed around the place (no disruption to play at all), which really changes the look of the 7 -year old Graham Marsh designed 18-hole layout. From a playability standpoint, there is not a lot of room for error so I recommend the higher handicapper player to choose their appropriate teeing area wisely or bring heaps of balls. From a conditioning standpoint it is still, by a long shot, one of the best presented Brisbane area courses.
The greens have some great undulation and the grain especially played havoc with my putting. My favourite holes are the Par 5’s, as they always seem to tempt me to have a hit for the green in two. In retrospect (and a few balls in the hazards) it would have been smarter to have left the driver in the bag and played three shots into most of these holes. Since the course meanders through the planned 5000+ housing development, there are hazards and OB’s on most holes of the course. One minor detriment to the facility though is the lack of on course ‘bubblers’ and only one toilet block at the 12th hole. So make sure you load up on drinks before going out, which is made much easier as they have eskies with ice on all carts. It was an exceptional day away from the office.
Graham Marsh is by far one of the best course designers around and after playing Twin Creeks Country Club in Sydney’s west a number of times – I have been very keen to try his other courses. (Robina Woods on the Gold Coast is a sensational layout too).
You need to bring your A-game to North Lakes. It’s a pretty tight course off the tee and in places the fairways are quite narrow. It’s a lot safer to play hybrids and 3-woods off the tee as it’s all about position with most par 4’s.
On the day we played we didn’t see a drinks cart which is a shame as that area can get warm during the middle of the day. Also we only saw one toilet/tap on the course which again didn’t sit too well with us during the day. Plus, the 9th doesn’t finish near the clubhouse so make sure you stock up before you tee-off. I think the pro shop staff should tell every player that water taps are limited on the course. Managed correctly, drinks carts can be extremely profitable for any type of course. When you’re out there having a hit with friends it just can add some much more value to your experience and people will simply keep on coming back.
Rating: 8 out of 10
North Lakes, QLD 4509
Tel: 07 3480 9200
Public Rates (Weekday)
6 am ~ 8 am: $89
8 am ~12 pm: $89
12 pm ~ 2 pm: $89
2 pm ~ 3 pm: $59
after 3 pm: $45
All Prices Include Shared Golf Cart
Bookings are Essential: Call 07 3480 9299 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org