Make no mistake, if you are undecided where to go for your next golfing holiday or extended weekend away with a group of friends, put Tasmania at the top of your list.
11. HIDDEN GEMS
The majority of Tasmania’s golf courses are nine-hole layouts and there are some real hidden gems among them. Many of these smaller courses survive on the back of volunteer assistance, while a round might call for your green fee to be dropped in an honesty box at the clubhouse.
There are some ‘hidden’ nine-holers worthy of discovery and within an easy drive of Hobart. Tasman Golf Course is near Port Arthur with the most memorable hole being ‘Cameron’s Chasm’ – the 124-metre uphill par-3 8th played from one cliff top to another with spectacular views towards Tasman National Park.
The Llanherne links shares a boundary with Hobart’s airport and shares similar terrain as its more famous golfing neighbour, Royal Hobart Golf Club. In crafting the course at Seven Mile Beach, designer Peter Toogood was obviously inspired by his visits to the best of England’s heathland courses and Scotland’s links layouts as he oversaw the creation of Llanherne.
12. TASMANIA NATURALLY
Surrounded on three sides by the waters of Barilla Bay, the course at Tasmania Golf Club was once a thick wilderness of bracken, coastal wattle and other scrub that covered sand dunes and sandstone outcrops. Once the scrub was cleared on Barilla Bluff, a rolling landscape was revealed, giving rise to some unique and interesting holes created by the late Al Howard.
The best-known hole at Tasmania Golf Club is the 528-metre par-5 3rd hole – once described by Jack Nicklaus as one of the most spectacular in Australia. Howard might have been paying homage to the famous 18th hole at Pebble Beach in California when he staked out the routing of this hole. With beautiful views of Barilla Bay and the surrounding countryside, the hole follows the bay in a gradual curve to the left and offers the option for long hitters of shortening the hole by smashing their drive over the corner. The hole has been made even better in recent times with the removal of trees separating the left edge of the fairway from the water, which reveals the green to the player standing on the tee
While the undulating terrain and the natural holes laid across it is the outstanding feature at Tasmania Golf Club, the nicely manicured bentgrass playing surfaces really add to the memorable golfing experience here.
13. ROYAL SUITE
Royal Hobart Golf Club has been in existence for 125 years but the expansion of Hobart forced it from the eastern shore of the Derwent River and off to Seven Mile Beach in 1956.
Vern Morcom – whose experience as course superintendent at Kingston Heath for nearly 40 years and his design work on other courses in the Melbourne Sandbelt – was then commissioned to create a new layout, which would famously host the Australian Open, won by Jack Nicklaus, 15 years later.
There is no mistaking Morcom’s touch, with its fairways laid out over slightly undulating sandy land and fairways lined with tall gum trees mixed with thick native shrubs and some pine trees. This not only creates a sense of isolation on many holes but the challenge is to keep your ball on the fairway and out of trouble.
14. WORLD CLASS COMING
The future for golf in Tasmania is exciting. The development of Barnbougle Dunes, Lost Farm, and the recently opened Bougle Run, as well as the King Island courses – Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes – has put Tasmania on the radar of golf travelers across the globe.
And there are plans to add to this crop of world- class layouts.
Construction has started on Arm End, which is located 40 minutes’ drive, and 20 minutes by ferry, from Hobart’s CBD.
Arm End is a visually spectacular and dynamic landform surrounded by water with five separate beaches, several kilometres of cliffs and dramatic topography, which will has provided a blank canvas for the design team of Neil Crafter and Paul Mogford (Golf Strategies).
Crafter and Mogford have developed the masterplan for a links style course, which will be the centerpiece of a multi-use public reserve open to bike riding, walking, swimming and fishing.
Former Tour player and proud Tasmanian, Mat Goggin, is behind another development at Seven Mile Beach, near Royal Hobart.
Work has begun on clearing the sandy site of non-native pines and scrub to allow the Clayton, DeVries and Pont design company to fine tune the design of what promises to be another Tasmanian wonder course.
– This article was sponsored by Tourism Tasmania. To find out more about Tasmania, visit the website www.discovertasmania.com.au