Bribie Island is home to Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club, a mere hour from the Brisbane CBD, the island is the only one in Queensland connected by bridge to the mainland.
The Ross Watson designed course opened in 2006 after a 2-year construction period and has quickly attained lofty status amongst fellow Sunshine Coast tracks in the Golf Digest rankings and is widely considered to be some of Watsons best work. Many will see similarities to Magenta Shores, another Watson masterpiece, but whilst Pacific Harbour is graced with an exceptional sand base, it was virtually devoid of golfing shape and heavy earth moving equipment was required to create hazards and mounding which resulted in first rate holes of strategic value and the final design of the course.
Upon completion, Ross Watson summed up the development of Pacific Harbour Golf Club by stating: ‘Sculpting a memorable environmentally sensitive island links course has been extremely gratifying’.
A pretty par 5 awaits at the 1st at Pacific Harbour – this hole providing many alternative options between green and tee. No 2 is a gorgeous short 4 that tempts the longer hitter into aggression from the tee, a body of water lurks to the right with a narrow fairway adding to the challenge.
The aptly named “Sawgrass” par 3 7th, is as the name indicates reminiscent of the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, although not long at 142 metres from the back tees. It plays into a prevailing wind to a green 75% encircled by water to the right. The green sits atop a retaining wall supported by railway sleepers that invariably deflect the ball to the water if struck!
On the back 9 the feature holes are: the par 5 14th, named Glasshouse in reference to the stark jutting mountains nearby – a risk reward par 5 which can be reached in 2 by stronger hitters after firstly splitting the fairway traps that lurk from the tee. Winding all the way up the right side and crossing short of the green is a well-placed creek that will play on your mind if choosing to attack.
The 18th is a stout finishing par 4 at 405 metres. The tee shot must evade a monstrous gaping fairway trap to the right that is nestled up against water. That leaves a second shot quite similar to the tee shot at the par 3 7th, albeit likely to be a longer blow. The green, again surrounded by water and railway sleepers to the right, will favour those playing long-left with a devilishly difficult bunker shot across the swale in the green and headed straight at the water. It’s these constant challenges that see Pacific Harbour as the highest rated Sunshine State course in the most recent Golf Digest rankings and a must play when in the region. Just make sure you have the straight tee ball at your disposal!