It has been nearly a decade in the making, but the much-anticipated Seven Mile Beach project in Hobart is one step closer to becoming a course with the appointment of a world class design team.
Clayton, DeVries & Pont (CDP) has been commissioned by The Golf Preserve (TGP) to design and supervise the construction of the 18-hole layout, which will be the realisation of a long-held dream for former Tour player and Hobart local, Mat Goggin.
Goggin, director of TGP, secured permits from the Tasmanian Government allowing for the construction of a golf course on the site back in 2014 and last year TGP acquired a lease over the land.
“For years, I had been espousing the potential for golf at Seven Mile Beach to Mike Clayton,” Goggin said in a statement announcing the design team.
“Before I approached the Tasmanian Government, I needed someone whose judgement I trusted to tell me bluntly if what I saw as incredible land was exactly that and not the hallucinations of an untrained eye.
“I convinced ‘Clayts’ to come to Hobart for a site visit. As we walked around on that day nearly ten years ago, using blunt language for which he is somewhat renowned, he swiftly concurred that the site is indeed as incredible as I suspected.
“I am excited that we have hired Clayton, DeVries & Pont to discover and build a course worthy of the site’s immense potential.”
Clayton recalls that visit and is excited to be involved in the creation of what promises to be a world class layout.
“Almost 30 years ago, I was playing in a tournament in Sydney with Mat Goggin when he told me about a perfect piece of land in Hobart,” Clayton said.
“Mat said ‘You won’t believe how good it is and one day I’m going to build a golf course on it’. He was right.
“The first time I walked the land at Seven Mile Beach with Mat I could not believe it. Here was a beautiful tract of sandy dune land on the edge of the beach, ideal for making a course to match the standards set by the very best in Australia.
“Mike DeVries, Frank Pont and I are thankful Mat has given us the chance to design and build his dream course on the land he first discovered as a young boy. It’s been a very long time in the making but we’re excited for what this course can offer the game, not just in Tasmania but also further afield.”
“Holes will tumble across the bigger dunes, have quieter links terrain in the lowlands, and hug tight along the shore, all the while highlighting the vistas of the ocean and nearby Hobart." - Seven Mile Beach course co-lead designer Mike DeVries.
Clayton, of course, was co-designer with Tom Doak on the widely acclaimed Barnbougle Dunes course at Bridport on the northern coast of Tasmania and was an obvious candidate to oversee Seven Mile Beach’s design.
In 2019, when Clayton decided to partner with DeVries and Pont to form CDP, the prospect of harnessing his talents with those of Mike DeVries for this project proved to be too alluring for TGP, and an agreement was reached between the parties shortly thereafter.
Site preparation will continue during the first half of 2021 with construction scheduled to commence in the second half of the year.
“We are delighted to be announcing Seven Mile Beach as our first new build project,” said CDP Chairman, Edward Cartwright.
“CDP’s ability to deliver a collaboration between Mike Clayton and Mike DeVries, who were axiomatic in the delivery of Barnbougle Dunes and Cape Wickham Links respectively – two Tasmanian courses which consistently rank in Australia’s top three and the world’s top 75 – means that we are very well suited to deliver this assignment.
“The rest of the team will support the two Mikes, who will act as co-lead architects.”
DeVries will move with his family back to Tasmania (having lived on-site for the Cape Wickham build) from the United States when construction starts. He’s excited about what the finished course will look like.
“Seven Mile Beach’s design will take full advantage of the diversity of the site, from the high dune that serves as a ridge on the north side of the course down to the low-lying dunes at the beach,” DeVries said.
“Holes will tumble across the bigger dunes, have quieter links terrain in the lowlands, and hug tight along the shore, all the while highlighting the vistas of the ocean and nearby Hobart.
“The climate is ideal for the growth of fescue and that turf will provide for a running game and creative shots that are found with true links golf. The routing is continuous but has multiple junctions that give it intimacy while also providing for opportunities to play the course in a different sequence or as a shorter loop. The design will stretch to about 7,000 yards at a par of 72 and encounter all points of the compass, despite its predominant east-west orientation.