Royal Queensland Golf Club – Host of Three Australian Open Championships
Royal Queensland Golf Club is the premier Golf Club in Queensland and one of the finest in the Country, boasting the number one golf course in the State and a proud reputation of providing its Members and their guests with an outstanding level of service.
This acclaimed golf course, expansive practice facilities, and five star food and beverage offerings provides our Members with the ideal environment to satisfy the joys of the great game of golf, whilst establishing new friendships through a wonderful camaraderie.
The (Royal) Queensland Golf Club was established in 1920 at Hamilton and was granted its Royal Charter in 1921 by King George V, with the King’s official letter of notification to the Governor of Queensland signed by the very famous Winston S Churchill, then Secretary of State for the British Government, and later Prime Minister during World War II.
The famous Scots golf course architect Dr Alister MacKenzie was persuaded to visit Brisbane while on a trip to Australia in 1926, and contributed his renowned design wisdom to a number of holes, and to the greens and bunkering of the course generally. At a farewell function for the great man prior to his departure overseas, he said: “Royal Queensland already compares favourably with some of the British Championship courses. It should have a very great future, and will be an excellent test of golf.”
Since those days the Club has become known as one of Australia’s finest courses, and has hosted three Australian Open Championships, as well as many Australian and Queensland Championship events at many levels, both amateur and professional. Most recently Royal Queensland was the venue for the Australian Players’ Championship in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and the Australian PGA Championship in 2000 and 2001. It has seen many world golfing greats, from Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, (each two-time visitors in the early and mid-1930s and both defeated in challenge matches by young local Norman von Vida ), to later masters of the game including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Peter Thomson. The Club has also been home to many outstanding Australian golfing personalities, a couple of standouts being Charlie Earp – Club Professional for 45 years until 2003 – and his one-time trainee Greg Norman.
A New Era for Royal Queensland
A distinctive feature of Royal Queensland is the striking profile of the Gateway Bridge which soars high over the course and the adjacent Brisbane River. In 2005, twenty years after its construction, the Queensland Government decided to erect a second identical structure to cope with increased traffic flow on the Gateway Arterial, with a completion date of 2011. The scope of this huge project meant that the Club would lose seven holes, and it therefore had no alternative but to undertake a reconfiguration of the historic layout. Accordingly, new designs were considered from a number of high profile Australian and overseas golf course architects before a unanimous Board decision to accept Victorian Michael Clayton’s outstanding concept. Interestingly, Michael was himself the winner of the Australian Amateur Championship when it was held at Royal Queensland in 1978.
There is no doubt that the Clayton-designed Championship course has ushered in a new era for Royal Queensland following its completion in December 2007, and will ensure that Royal Queensland maintains its top-level ranking among traditional Members’ Clubs in Australia. The course has now matured into one of the most highly respected in the country, with Members having the opportunity to enjoy it every day of the year.