INDOOROOPILLY GOLF CLUB, BRISBANE – APRIL 2012
Location: Indooroopilly, Brisbane.
First Est.: 1926. Moved to present location in 1985.
36 Holes: West Course: (Red & Gold) – Par 72, 6469m.
East Course: (Green & Blue) – Par 72, 6332m.
Indooroopilly Golf Club was established in 1926 with the original 18-hole course situated at St Lucia. In 1985 the club moved to its new home on a bend of the Brisbane River at Long Pocket with a fine 36-hole traditional style championship complex. The first 18 holes were developed in the early 1960′s, designed by Sydney course architect, Al Howard and the second at the end of the next decade.
The original 18 holes became known as the ‘Old Course’ and the second 18 holes called the ‘New Course’. The older layout was later renamed the West Course and the second 18 holes then became known as the East Course. Ross Watson, Golf Course Architect, was responsible for redesigning the West course.
I was fortunate enough to be allowed to play on the ‘members’ West course, which is understandbly held in high regard.
On arrival it is clear that Indooroopilly is a course that has a lot to offer. An impressive chipping/putting green situated to the right of the clubhouse together with a superb, large grass practice area installs a feeling of quality, before even setting foot on the course. Indooroopilly suffered badly in the January 2011 flooding and has only had 15 months of growing time since the disaster. Even so when I played the course in April 2012, it was in great condition, however the course marshal informed me it was not yet at its best, so I can only imagine how good it would look at its peak!
The first hole (on the red course) is a striking test to begin a round with. (For the longer hitters you can either try and thread a driver between the lake on the right hand side of the fairway and the trees to the left or lay up with a fairway wood thus preventing you from reaching the green in two. Once you get to within 150 yards of the upturned saucer green with water bordering its right hand edge you get the feeling this is a course that isn’t going to ‘take it lying down’.
Many of the greens on this picturesque course are raised with sloping run-offs, making long approach shots difficult; everywhere around the putting surface the grass is kept short and neat, making it a pleasure to chip in and around the greens. The greens themselves, albeit not the quickest in the region at the time I played, are as smooth as a pint of Guinness! They hold their line well promoting confidence for a “well struck” putt.
The third hole, a sweeping Par 4 dog leg left to right, also featuring a raised green, is thoroughly enjoyable to play, with a well struck tee shot leaving around an 8 iron to the green. But beware of the double tier green (which is tough to spot from the fairway), you could leave yourself a monster putt if not careful! And anything downhill is devilishly quick.
The 7th is a strong hole, having layed up off the tee with a long-mid iron, you are now left with a mid iron in to the extremely well protected, tightly enclosed green, with water short and bunkers long and right. This hole dictates to you how it should be played and there is no getting away from it.
The final hole on the Red course is a spectacular par 5 that meanders its way around water back towards the clubhouse. It can be played as a two shot demon for those willing to risk it all, but a safer play is to hit two fairway woods in to position leaving a short pitch to the green, but beware this is a half island green, and anything long and left will get wet!
The tree-lined nature of this course is especially pleasing on the eye, and although tight it is fair. It also plays longer than the card suggests on many holes. Another fine example of this is the par 5, 3rd on the Gold course. With a well-bunkered landing area off the tee, it’s undulating and rising fairway makes it is far from easy to make a par here.
The par 4, 6th on the Gold is dead straight and requires a lay-up or a drive that needs to be threaded between numerous bunkers, leaving a shortish, but deceiving approach to a green well protected with bunkers.
Finishing off the Gold course, both the par 5, 7th and the relatively short par 4, 9th are a fitting end to a round of golf. The 7th is easily reachable in two for the longer hitters, but a well-guarded green prevents a “running in” shot, so it has to be carried all the way. And finally to the 9th, which draws round to the clubhouse, with water surrounding the left side of the fairway. If you’re looking for a spectacular finish this hole offers it. The green can be reached off the tee, but beware, anything not struck with authority or that strays left of centre may well scatter the ducks in the water!
Overall, Indooroopilly is the jewel of Brisbane golf. It is such an exciting and visually pleasing course combined with beautiful facilities. There is a certain air of prestige around the course, from the well-maintained, beautiful rock gardens that weave throughout the complex, through to the practice facilities that would do justice to a PGA tour event. Indooroopilly has it all, the exclusivity, the quality and ultimately the atmosphere of a great golf course.
I sincerely look forward to my next round here!