Australia, Golf, Travel

Links golf Tasmania style, stay ‘n play at Barnbougle

Barnbougle Golf Tasmania

Photos & text by Karin Barnhoorn

Barnbougle, with its golf courses Lost Farm & Dunes, was our much-anticipated final destination of a Tasmanian road trip. Some people travel to Tasmania to find out more about unique species, like the Tasmanian Devil (nasty rodent), others travel halfway around the globe for the best of both worlds: two unique links courses hidden in the dunes along the Northern shore of this island before Australian’s Southern coast. Guilty as charged. The incredible nature mixes very well with a round of spectacular seaside golf and is so worth the effort of getting there.

Tasmanian Road trip from Hobart

We fly into the capital Hobart from Sydney (a two hours flight) and start our road trip along its sandstone houses with Victorian balconies dating back to the early 1800’s. Interesting fact, Tasmania is about the size of The Netherlands and has 250.000 inhabitants. Against 17 million in the Low Countries. You do the math.
We drive straight through the middle via local roads all the way up North, past rainforests, farm fields and small villages.
You could this journey in about three hours but we decide to make it a day tour. Stop for a drink here, stop for a lunch there and make a little detour to see (and smell) the Bridestow Lavender Estate. Where I enjoyed a delicious, huge and deep purple creamy lavender ice cream. Good thing a round of golf of approximately 16.000 steps is planned for the next day.

Barnbougle golf

Since the moment this former potato farm turned into a world-renowned golf in 2004, both links courses are on every imaginable must play list. Is it worth it? Spoiler: oh, yes!
World renowned golf course designer Tom Doak – we played his world famous Cape Kidnappers course last year in New Zealand, changed a once barren long stretch of dunes into two magical links course with the feeling of a Scottish golf gem. Lost Farm and Barnbougle Dunes.
These walk-only courses are shaped around the central clubhouse (best place to enjoy panoramic sunset over the course while eating local salmon) with numerous holes along the white sandy Barnbougle Beach. Since there a two iconic courses and a choice of accommodation on site, this is the perfect stay ‘n play for a couple of days. We understand why Adam Scott’s returns every year with a group of friends.

Barnbougle (bonus) holes

If we walk up to hole no. one of Barnbougle Dunes, the oldest of the two courses, we see kangaroos jump over the fairway into the gorse left and right. To stare from a safe distance to us teeing of. This will be a repetitive scene the coming days.
Course management is always a good idea but here with ever-changing winds an absolute must. Lucky us we only experienced light breeze these days. Some hole on Lost Farm are located high above the dunes which gives away endless views over empty (people, where are you?) white beaches.
Much to our surprise we discovered that there are no less than two extra holes on this course. The small green of hole 14 lies just behind the dune ridge, when the wind is strong and coming from the seaside it will cover the green in sand. It takes the greenkeepers 3 days to clean, reason why after 13 the sign 13 A dooms up. Of course we played them both, 13 A & 14. After the 18th there’s anóther extra hole. The short par 3 18 A will act as final judgement in case of a tie at the 18th. Well, tie or not: nobody skips 18 A.

It is incredible that these courses are just about 15 years old. With the fairways and greens fully integrated into the natural landscape, it resembles the feeling of a Scottish links course from the 19th century. With some light elevation here and there, both courses are comfortable for walking. Especially with the lightweight rickshaw trolleys, for rent for 6 euro. But a much better option is walk along one of the friendly caddies who not only know every corner of the course but share fun stories about history, people and places of Barnbougle area. Oh, beware of searching for your ball with the cord grass. There are poisonous snakes, I saw a gold and black patterned tail just slip away before my feet… |

greenfees from 75 €
During our #60dayscathaypacificaustraliajourney we are guests of Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific has daily flights from Europe to home base Hong Kong, linking to seven (!) Australian destinations.
Business class tickets from Amsterdam to Sydney via Hong Kong start from 3995 € all-in. Sleep while flying flat.

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