So you want to play golf on the Sunshine Coast?
Never mind if your golf skills are more Happy Gilmore than eye of the Tiger, you’ll be in golf Nirvana on the Sunshine Coast – it’s one of the best places to tee off in our sun-drenched state.
Golfer’s idyll it may be but Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is a damn fine destination in its own right. Hiking through Kondalilla National Park, cruising the Noosa River or devouring 16 cronuts from the Eumundi Markets; only a glimmer of the holiday gold mine just lying in wait. And then there’s the relaxation: day spas, beach hangs and a thousand family-friendly activities to tick off the itinerary.
Perhaps your idea of a relaxation errs towards experiences of the golf persuasion, in which case, here are a few of our favourite Sunshine Coast golf courses for a hole-in-one with a good dose of sunshine.
Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort
Being named the 35th best course in Australia by ausgolf in 2015 is just par for the course (see what I did there?) for Noosa Springs, the only championship quality course in Noosa. Its picture-perfect greens and far-as-the-eye-can-see fairways are located only a few kilometres from Hastings Street so there’s plenty to occupy any non-golfing compadres, who might be likely to harsh your golfing mellow. Golf pro level: unlocked!
Tip for young players: bring plenty of golf balls, you’re going to need them. Noosa Springs is a tight track, with plenty of challenges thanks to a course that passes through natural bushland, hugging Lake Weyba as it goes. Play is varied and interesting (case in point: 12 of the holes feature water in some way) so it’s a superb test for any level of golfer.
It’s especially important to stay straight off the tees here, so if that means leaving the driver in the bag, do it. Otherwise, be ready to use all your fingers to count your score on some holes.
My favourite hole? The quinella of holes, four and five, is pretty hard to beat.
The par three, fourth hole is around 140 metres long, with most of that a water carry. The slender green is protected by water at the front and bunkers at the back. Good luck!
The par four 5th hole is 320 metres from the whites, with water all the way down the right hand side of fairway. You choose: either take an aggressive line and carry the water to be about 70 metres out, or play the safe line and hit in from around 100 out. This hole definitely suits a leftie better than a right-handed player.
It will be hard to avoid the fun but if you find yourself all golfed out, there’s a great spa on site with plenty of stress-relieving massage options, including a hydro-massage pool.
Pelican Waters Golf Club
Tiger, Shark; the world of golfing really has a thing for players with names of ferocious animals. But the sprawling seaside town of Caloundra is the only place where you can tee off for a round with the Shark.
This is Greg Norman’s first course on the Sunshine Coast and in 2015, Golf Australia rated it the 16th best public access course in Australia. Reasonably short at par 5,894 metres off the blue tees, the Pelican Waters course is another where you have to be straight off the tee to enjoy a good score. Dial it back, Rambo, because a good score often means leaving the driver in the bag.
Pelican Waters Golf Club is located at Golden Beach; a lazy little one-hour up the highway, north of Brisbane.
My favourite hole? The 485 metre par five 16th hole exemplifies this course; take a hybrid or long iron off the tee and aim it out to the right, then play your second so that you will be able to successfully negotiate a narrow approach shot, which will have to be played with a lofted club to ensure it pulls up on this smallish green.
Twin Waters Golf Club
If it’s good enough for 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott, who grew up with Twin Waters as his training ground, then it’s ‘probably’ okay for you. (The story goes that he got his first handicap while navigating the tricky pot bunkers, and playing the bump and run style golf best suited to links golfing.)
Scott still rates Twin Waters Golf Club as one of his top ten golf courses, putting it up on a pedestal right alongside Cyprus Point, St Andrews (Old Course) and Shinnecock Hills GC. Those are some pretty decent bedfellows, in my book.
As far as quality goes, Twin Waters is a very playable resort-style golf course and, as a nice little bonus, sits nestled alongside one of the Sunshine Coast’s favourite holiday resorts and Mudjimba Beach.
My favourite hole? I love the style of par four this course is home to. To play this course well you need to get into a good position off the tee and play a solid approach shot.
The sixth hole is a par four; 310 off the blues, 285 off the whites which best encapsulates this. Play a good enough tee shot and you’ll be left hitting into a narrow, slightly elevated green with bunkers at the front, and water off on the left for a nice bit of variety.