Palm Meadows Golf Course
Palm Meadows golf course is a ‘must-play’ for travelling golfers providing a beautiful test among the palm trees. The course is conveniently located only 10 minutes from Surfers Paradise.
During the 80s and 90s, it was Gold Coast’s premier golfing destination hosting some of golf’s biggest names at the Palm Meadows Cup.
After a decline in the early 2000s, it is back in a big way returning to its status as a ‘must-play’ course on the Gold Coast. It is ranked in the top 50 public access courses in the country and Australia’s top 100 courses.
THE STORY BEHIND PALM MEADOWS
Designed by renowned Australian golfer Graham Marsh, Palm Meadows was the first golf resort course on the Gold Coast when it opened for play in 1987. It was owned by a Japanese company, Daikyo Kanko Co., who spent over $30 million on the course and clubhouse.
Palm Meadows was immediately showcased to the world hosting the Palm Meadows Cup from 1988 to 1992. At the time, it was Australia’s biggest golf tournament outside of the Australian Masters attracting golfers like Greg Norman, Bernard Langer and Sir Nick Faldo.
At the turn of the century, Gold Coast’s sub-tropical climate started to take its toll on the conditioning of the course. Social golfers steered clear and members dropped out, leaving the owners no choice but to close the course in August 2010.
The closure was only for four months when GC Golf Management took over the property and started an extensive restoration program on the course. Nowadays, it is looking as good as it has since the 90s and continues to surge up the rankings.
THE PALM MEADOWS COURSE
Palm Meadows is an enjoyable, yet challenging layout. Water will keep on your toes for all but four holes, whilst there are also 82 bunkers to steer clear from throughout your round.
When you rock up to the first tee, don’t expect to be eased into the test. The first hole is one of the hardest with water running down the left and a thick clump of bamboo on the right. Greg Norman famously lost his first tee shot into the ‘bamboo curtain’, so don’t think it is easily avoidable.
In the case you do find trouble on the 1st, the following holes are not as difficult. Choosing the right club and finding the right spots away from the bunkers, water and palm trees can open plenty of birdie/par opportunities on the front nine.
The back nine is when the course comes to life. It’s a bit more challenging than the first nine holes, but definitely more fun. You will work your way through a wonderful variety of long par-3s and tight par-4s before getting to the decisive closing holes.
The 17th is a classic long, short hole where a miss either left or right of the green will be hard to recover from. Even if you do land on the green you will have to navigate a heavily undulated putting surface. Accuracy will determine how you score.
THE SIGNATURE HOLE
Ranked in US Golf Digest’s top 500 holes in the world, Palm Meadows’ 18th is the course’s signature and quite possibly one of the best finishing holes in Australia.
From the back tees, it spans 523 metres and doglegs right around a large lake. How much water you wish to carry depends on how risky you are feeling.
The lake comes back to haunt you cutting across the fairway and green for another water carry. If the approach wasn’t hard enough, you have three bunkers protecting the flag that sits on a tiered green. Good luck!
DID YOU KNOW
In 2007, during the club’s dark days, the owners of Palm Meadows at the time, Hungtat Worldwide, proposed to turn the property into a racecourse, moving the site of the original Gold Coast Turf Club.
However, the Turf Club was not so keen on the idea and the course survived.
Hosted golf tournament: