Is this the world’s best backyard golf course?

 

A Moreton Bay region man claims to have the world's best backyard golf course - and at half a million dollars to build and with its own clubhouse, pro shop and whiskey bar, golfing experts reckon he's on par.

Rob Nixon, 51, has spent a year creating his extravagant oasis on his family's Highvale property 30km northwest of Brisbane, and membership is booming, with 109 of the 144 exclusive spots already snapped up.

Mr Nixon, a high school dropout turned international accounting firm coach, said Yarravale Golf Club was the realisation of a 10-year dream.

 

Rob Nixon tees off from his back deck. Picture: Liam Kidston
Rob Nixon tees off from his back deck. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

 

 

Another view of Rob Nixon’s impressive backyard course
Another view of Rob Nixon’s impressive backyard course


"I've played 24 of the top 100 golf courses in the world, and 56 of Australia's, and wanted to bring the best of what I'd experienced to my own private course," he said.

"I have five things no other backyard course has - good golf, a clubhouse, members, a driving range and merchandise."

Add to that an enviable cellar of membership fees paid in bottles of wine, a library, and a wall of commemorative caps from the world's best professional courses.

Australia Golf Digest magazine has hailed Yarravale as extraordinary, and says while it had seen replica holes and imitation island greens of famous professional courses in the US, it had "never seen anything quite like this".

Rob Nixon’s Yarravale Golf Club and Clubhouse in Highvale. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson
Rob Nixon’s Yarravale Golf Club and Clubhouse in Highvale. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson

At the foothills of Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious, the par-81 golf course features a challenging 27-hole configuration of par 3s, all played on a triple-tiered synthetic green.

While Mr Nixon is a member of the elite Royal Queensland Golf Club at Eagle Farm, he now plays most of his rounds at home where he is "reigning best scorer, club president, club captain and head greenkeeper".

He said his wife Nat, a novelist, and children Hannah, Oliver and Harriet all enjoyed the facility, and the fairways were maintained with the help of a robot lawnmower.

On December 19-20, Yarravale - named after Mrs Nixon's grandfather's farm - will hold its inaugural championship, with 25 registered competitors.

"For every birdie we are giving a goat to a starving family in Kenya, and we are expecting around 100," Mr Nixon said.

As for that exclusive membership, it's by invitation only, and when the 144 slots in the cellar wall are filled, that's it.

 

 

Rob Nixon reckons he has the best backyard golf course in the world.
Rob Nixon reckons he has the best backyard golf course in the world.

 

 

The ‘membership fees’ keep Rob Nixon’s wine cellar stocked.
The ‘membership fees’ keep Rob Nixon’s wine cellar stocked.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Is this the world's best backyard golf course?

Yarravale Golf Club cellar where membership fees are paid in bottles of wine. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson
Yarravale Golf Club cellar where membership fees are paid in bottles of wine. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson
Rob Nixon’s wall of caps, collected from top golf courses he has played on, and with others yet to come. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson
Rob Nixon’s wall of caps, collected from top golf courses he has played on, and with others yet to come. Picture: Liza Allard/Allard & Thompson


REVEALED: Huge police response behind dramatic arrest

Premium Content REVEALED: Huge police response behind dramatic arrest

A large police response, including the dog squad, led to the dramatic arrest of a...

Family sheltered on kitchen bench above flood water

Premium Content Family sheltered on kitchen bench above flood water

“The water outside the house was waist deep and it was just raging,” recalls...

‘Beautiful’: Bellamy takes out incredible trifecta

Premium Content ‘Beautiful’: Bellamy takes out incredible trifecta

Rare triple treat for Coffs trainer who adds win number sixteen to his season...