AFTER 20 years of planning, consultation and construction employing volunteer labour and nous, Maleny’s 18-hole golf course is now open, offering a unique links-style playing experience inspired by a much lauded Scottish design.
President Jeff Kruse said Maleny Golf Club’s Par 68 layout had, for both economic and ecological reasons, drawn inspiration from the award-winning Machrihanish Dunes course on Scotland’s west coast and its motto “golf the way it began”.
“Just like Machrihanish Dunes, which was constructed within a sensitive coastal environment and opened in 2009, we sought to leave the course landscape largely undisturbed apart from construction of the tees and greens,” he said.
“We’ve taken full advantage of some excellent natural assets – gentle rolling hills, well drained volcanic soil, existing kikuyu pastures, pleasant climate, surrounding rainforest and some wetland.”
Deep revetted bunkers guard most of the Tiffdwarf Bermuda grass greens while knee-high kikuyu rough separating the fairways awaits errant tee shots as players navigate their way around the 18 dramatic, fun and visually pleasing holes.
Construction of course, designed by Graham Papworth, started in 2014 with a total budget of around $1.6 million, following extensive community consultation.
Mr Kruse said the club had shown that development of a golf course need not be expensive and could deliver positive environmental outcomes such as the rehabilitation and protection of endangered wetland and flora.
“We have essentially taken a very sad and degraded former agricultural site and a dairy farm and transformed the area into a valuable council-owned asset which will well serve the community and local tourism for generations to come,” he said.
The club, which boasts a top drawer maintenance facility and fleet, has cleverly combined two shipping containers to establish a rustic HQ incorporating a deck and marquee where players can enjoy a post round beverage or two.
Visitors are always welcome on the course located just a few minutes from Maleny. Managed by former international touring professional Wayne Perske, the golf club also has clubs, pull buggies and electric carts for hire.