09 Jun 2023 | Clubs and Facilities |

Keperra gets a makeover with pitch 'n putt

by Australian Golf Media

Keperra GC pitch 'n putt
Keperra Golf and Country Club General Manager Gavin Lawrence shows off the new pitch-and-putt practice fairway. Photo: Ian Thurecht

By Jim Tucker

An engaging six-hole pitch-and-putt layout at Keperra Country Golf Club shows how strongly the Brisbane club has been revived after last year’s floods.

When the additional offering opens on Friday, it will be a salute to the smart use of space, design and how to appeal to all levels of golfer.

Keperra Country Golf Club General Manager Gavin Lawrence is an industry veteran and re-imagined something different for the club’s tired practice fairway.

The big advantage immediately was the narrow, flat, 200-metre-long area being in a prime location as you drive through the gates of the popular club.

Eyes now pop when members and visitors see mounded greens, flags, raised tee blocks and a range of holes from 40m to 60m.

Best of all, the whole process took just six months after course designer David Burrup detailed the layout.

“We’re not calling it a short course. It’s a more beneficial practice area or new-to-golf area that is far more interactive with the tees and targets,” Lawrence said.

“It’s still our practice fairway that will serve members but with far better application for our junior program and beginners.

“It completely changes impressions when you drive through the club’s gates.”

Head greenkeeper Keith Johnson and his crew did a fine job bringing the greens and sloped features to life and adding definition between the mini-fairways and light rough.

“Our practice fairway was never the best in Brisbane because we are challenged by space in this area. It had a rough, flat floor plan with a few flags but we now have genuine greens and it’s far better for players of all standards,” Lawrence added.

The prospect of small corporate groups enjoying a pitch-and-putt afternoon is another use at the home club of former PGA Tour regular John Senden.

How the club has bounced back is heartening after the severe damage caused by the major Brisbane flood of February, 2022 that inundated holes and tore through the green of the short par three eighth.

The eighth green is in play but with Band-Aids before a rebuild gets underway.

The bonus to the practice fairway is that one full-sized bunkered green has been created so a spare hole, of around 90m, can be utilised when the eighth is being rebuilt.

The course is in fine shape to host the annual Keperra Bowl for top amateurs in October. Marc Leishman, Elvis Smylie, Anthony Quayle and Matt Griffin are among the past winners while Justice Bosio won last year’s women’s title.

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