The Pacific Harbour Golf & Country Club is located on Bribie Island at the northern boundary of Moreton Bay, just under 1 hour north east of Brisbane. The island is the only one on the Queensland coast that is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and the golf course here is part of a larger residential subdivision that appeals to both holidaymakers and retirees.
Designed by architect Ross Watson, and reminiscent of his work at Magenta Shores, the course occupies a property that is quite sandy, but one that initially lacked in ground contours and interesting golfing shape. Watson had to push material around to create his holes and water hazards, and gets credit for a course that is attractively built, well bunkered and with enough strategic choices and quality holes to keep most visitors pleased.
Pacific Harbour opens with a nice looking par five that provides a number of routes from tee to green. Like several other long holes here, there is probably too much sand through the fairway, although these bunkers are mostly solid and properly positioned to complicate whichever path the golfer chooses to take. The 2nd is then a fine short par four along a waterway; with a narrowing fairway that gets more difficult to hit the more aggressive you choose to play from the tee. Despite being an effective short four, the putting contours on the 2nd seem a little busy and another small, though genuine, criticism of this course is that Watson appears, at times, to build complex green sites simply for the sake of it. The 2nd and 10th aside, he also struggles to make his mid-length par fours as meaningful and interesting as the shorter and longer holes. The 16th, for instance, is a simple lay-up, wedge hole that most dare not attack from the tee because of the difficulty of the aggressive line. The same is true of the 12th, which isn’t long but so heavily bunkered through the fairway that it discourages attacking play from the tee.
On the positive side, the double green built for par fives at the 11th and 14th is a really effective target, as is the steeply tiered green on the 15th and the multi-route par four 10th. The par threes, as a set, are also attractive and memorable.
While it has its problem spots, Pacific Harbour is a solid resort style layout and a course that most will thoroughly enjoy playing.