Lakelands Golf Club
Lakelands Golf Club is a pristine championship golf course designed by one of the greatest to play the game, Jack Nicklaus.
Just as the name suggests, there is plenty of water to contend with at Lakelands. Although it does add to the visual interest of the course when you pair it with its perfectly maintained fairways and greens and white, sandy bunkers.
In fact, Lakelands is consistently voted as Australia’s best-conditioned public course, as well as also regularly appearing in Australia’s top 50 golf courses.
THE STORY BEHIND LAKELANDS
Opened for play in 1997, Lakelands is Jack Nicklaus’ first signature golf course design. It was not his first time working on a golf course in Australia, he had previously done an exceptional redesign of The Australian Golf Club in the 1970s.
However, the Gold Coast landscape and climate is a lot different to that of Sydney. Nicklaus did a terrific job transforming a flat, seasonal floodplain into a world-class layout that continues to look in immaculate condition since its opening.
There have been some changes to Lakelands since 1997. The main one is the ability to get on the course. You used to either had to know somebody or be known to play but a change of ownership saw the expensive membership fees dropped and the course open up to the public.
THE LAKELANDS COURSE
Lakelands is a challenging championship course, but with five different tee options there’s hope for every level of golfer.
The first hole is the second toughest on the course, such is Nicklaus’ nature to always start with a difficult opener before softening off. Even with a good straight drive down the middle of the fairway, you’ll still have to pull out a six-iron to get anywhere near the green.
The 8th hole is a locals’ favourite. It’s a classic Nicklaus short hole with a bunker in the middle of the fairway as well as one on the left and right further up. You will have to gauge which club you would take for each shot.
The back nine comes in strong and it’s particularly brutal at Lakelands. The 10th is known as one of the toughest driving holes in the country. Length isn’t the only intimidating factor, there’s also the tough angle you have to work with from the tee box to avoid the water down the left.
The closing holes are intense. It starts with 495-metre par 5 that is protected by bunkers left, right and centre. Then the long par-3 on the 17th that requires a long iron or fairway wood to carry the water to the green.
The crescendo ends with one of the toughest finishing holes in the country – a 414-metre par-4 that has water running all the way up to an elevated green. Finish with a par here and you would have earnt your drink(s) at the clubhouse.
THE SIGNATURE HOLE
The signature hole at Lakelands is the 14th. There is plenty of water here highlighted by a picturesque waterfall we can only imagine was put in to calm you for the challenge that presents.
Water carry is unavoidable on this par-3 with all five tee boxes requiring you to try and evade a watery grave. The length is also deceptive. It is only 133 metres from the back tees, however, there is a four-club difference from the back and front the of the green.
Some might think a birdie is realistic but really three is a good score here.
DID YOU KNOW
Lakelands’ 10th hole is featured in Golf Australia Magazine’s top 100 long par-4s in the country, while its signature 14th is ranked in their top 100 par-3s in Australia.
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