Australia is often overlooked and some would say forgotten when it comes to golf. Perhaps it’s the relative isolation from the mainstays of the European and PGA Tours. Perhaps it is just a lesser known quantity or just a bit too far to travel for a short golf trip.
What I can assure you is that the courses in the land down under are second to none. They are worthy of rivalling any of the big US or European courses. This is somewhat reflected by a good showing in the world golf course rankings from a number of the big name tracks fairing well.
We’re talking about Australia, so of course there has to be a Koala bear! 😉
The courses outlined below don’t necessarily represent the top 4 courses in this part of the Southern Hemisphere, however they are from 4 different states, have very different attributes and hopefully highlight the variety and quality on offer.
No matter where you play, more often than not you will have beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife, course architecture from some of the biggest names in golf – and most importantly have a great time.
#GBambassador Jonathan golfing at Barnbougle.
Whilst it may not be a place to come for a long weekend, a trip to sample the wonderful courses in this part of the world should be on everyone’s bucket list. Here are 4 of my choices to get you started. Apologies to Western Australia, but I have not sampled your delights thus far.
In no particular order, let’s get stuck in…
Bonville Golf Resort, New South Wales
The course closest to my heart in Australia. As my home course I am probably somewhat biased, however having been voted the Leading Golf Resort in Australia 4 times and also Australia’s Favourite Golf Course, it seems other people quite like it too.
It is a very different experience to the coastal links courses I grew up on in Scotland. The course is set into the beautiful hillside just outside of Coffs Harbour and is a true golfing experience.
The course is set up to make every shot a challenge, there is no such thing as a flat lie. The vistas are unrivalled. The entirety of the course is framed by wonderful tree line and it is no wonder it is known as the “Augusta of Australia”, given the unmistakable resemblance.
I play this course every week and am yet to have the same experience twice. You will never get tired of the views. On every tee box you stand and marvel at your surroundings, whilst wondering what on earth you are going to do next.
It is a true resort set up, with lodges, a Chef’s Hatted restaurant in Flooded Gums and acres of serene golfing land.
Bonville caters for all levels of golfer, with a variety of tee options, however off the Tiger tees, it is not for the faint of heart, it can be a long way to the fairway, with sometimes small and undulating target zones. Certainly not one to walk either, with 6.5km of rolling hills and wonderful scenery between the holes.
From the first tee, golfers are rewarded for their accuracy; errant tee shots can end up in one of two burns (Yes I’m Scottish so it’s a burn, not a stream) and therefore decisions must be made about club selection. With a wonderful variety of dog-legs, attackable Par 4’s, picturesque Par 3’s (especially the 17th) and enticing Par 5’s, this truly is a wonderful test of golf.
If you make it round Bonville with the ball you started with, engage with our plethora of resident wildlife and have had a chance to take in the unrivalled beauty of the place, trust me, you will want for nothing more. It is something everyone should experience. By the way, did I mention I was a bit biased…?