08 Aug 2023 | Clubs and Facilities |

Pelican Waters gets a new look

by Golf Australia

Toini Norman image
Toini Norman tries her luck at Pelican Waters, watched by daughter Janis.

By Jim Tucker The sweet swing of 92-year-old Toini Norman has welcomed the exciting rebirth of Pelican Waters Golf Club. Honour boards are flecked with her deeds as a multiple club champion and more holes-in-one than some professionals. Who better to entrust with the ceremonial reopening on the new 10thhole of the first course designed by son Greg for Queensland’s Sunshine Coast? More than two decades on from the first incarnation of Pelican Waters, the golf club is a great example of rejuvenation under a new logo, a modern twist and broadened appeal. The course’s extensive reconfiguration has meant far more than distinctive new holes like Nos. 10, 17 and 18. There is a new short game practice area as good as any in the country as well as a mini-golf course for the whole family to enjoy. When complete, a state-of-the-art driving range and coaching facility will be home base for Head of Coaching Grant Field, the renowned mentor of 2022 Open champion Cameron Smith, New Zealand PGA champion Louis Dobbelaar and TPS Murray River winner Sarah Jane Smith. The short game area is a source of pride for Head of Golf Dale Williamson, who first suggested the addition to the original redesign plans. Now, everyone who arrives at the more welcoming, open-plan clubhouse has their gaze instantly drawn to the feature. The short game area's functionality is impressive with three greens, with four separate pins apiece, plus a fourth green to practice bunker play and putting. “Grant jumped on board with the short game area idea immediately. I’m proud to say it is one of the best around and it adds a different dimension,” Williamson said. “You’ll have one member of the family on the range, others on course and another enjoying short game shots from 40-50 metres.” The backing of Managing Director Scott Elliott and his Palm Lake Resort for Over-50s extended to more cart paths and direct access to the course for homeowners. The Grant Field Golf set-up will include two coaching studios alongside 15 shaded bays and six designated corporate bays on the driving range. The course will likely play as a Par 70 at around 6050 metres and hopes to host the Queensland Open again in 2024 closing with a new par-4 with water down the left and the green in front of a packed clubhouse deck. “The idea wasn’t to design new holes to torment the average golfer. The 17th is a short 125m par three and the 18th will be challenging and fun except into a stiff sou’easter,” Williamson said. Williamson’s enthusiasm is obvious. He’d been a Head of Golf without a golf course to sell for more than 12 months. Williamson, 43, did his time at Caloundra Golf Club and Pelican Waters before more than a decade away from the game as a landscape gardener. That’s why getting on the wood-chipper and nearly six months on the greens staff of Course Superintendent Troy Muir was a comfortable shift when he really was hands-on in the redevelopment. “Golf has just gone gangbusters over the past few years so to have 18 holes open again for the public is a joy for everyone,” Williamson said. “We basically hosted the 2021 Queensland Open from the car park with the clubhouse out of action before the work on the golf course began.”

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