No other Australian Open venue – and perhaps no other Australian golf course – has shut its doors a day after it first opened. Yet that’s the macabre tale of The Grand, tucked away in the Gold Coast hinterland. Designed by Greg Norman and former design partner Bob Harrison for a consortium of Japanese owners, the course opened in 1990 before the reality of funding the day-to-day operations hit and the gates shut the next day. It remained that way for five years before a collection of Australian businessmen sought to revive it and welcome a small but exclusive membership where the members had complete control.
Norman and Harrison returned to revive the layout as a goal of hosting the national championship was met when The Grand staged a memorable Australian Open in 2001, won by Stuart Appleby. The course is the best on the Gold Coast, with a bushland setting and a tumbling landform paving the way for a series of dramatic holes, best illustrated by the back-to-back par 5s at the 11th and 12th holes where timber and water combine to perplex golfers.
The Grand Golf Club
Ranking in 2020: 39th
Prior rankings: 39th (2018), 35th (2016), 44th (2014), 43rd (2012), 42nd (2010), 44th (2008), 51st (2006), 48th (2004), 52nd (2002), 55th (2000)
Where: Gilston Rd, Gilston QLD 4211
Phone: (07) 5596 0400