Golfing in Tasmania
About 20 per cent of Tasmania is Wilderness World Heritage Area. But not all of the green found in the state belongs to ancient forests. Travelers are also packing woods and irons for their adventures to Australia's island state. With sweeping seaside links bordered by surf beaches – the emerald fairways and velvet greens of championship 18-hole courses – spectacular cliff-top holes with wide ocean views – these are just some of the experiences that bring keen golfers from around the world to follow their passion in Tasmania.
Australia's first round of golf was played near Hobart in the 1820s. Tasmanians now are spoiled for fairways and claim more courses per capita than anywhere else in the country. Today, the island has more than 80 golf courses, most run by clubs and a sprinkling of public courses too. No matter which fairway you tee off from, there will be a warm Tasmanian welcome waiting.
Excellent 18-hole courses include the championship courses of Royal Hobart, Tasmania Golf Club, Kingston Beach and Claremont in the south, Launceston Country Club in the north, and Devonport and Ulverstone in the north-west. Tasmania also offers some of the most spectacular golfing backdrops. The magnificent Barnbougle Dunes and Barnbougle Lost Farm at Bridport are both true seaside links courses in the authentic Scottish style and are widely acclaimed as two of the nation's finest golfing experiences as are the more recently opened Cape Wickham and Ocean Dunes, both on King Island.
Find layouts with scenic seaside greens on King Island and the Tasman Peninsula – get it wrong from the spectacular cliff top tee at the Tasman Club's par-3 eighth at Storm Bay, near the Port Arthur convict settlement, and bid adieu to your ball as it disappears into a rock gorge then in to the ocean far below.
At the Tasmania Club in Hobart, tee-off on the challenging third hole, modelled on the famous 18th at Pebble Beach.
The Claremont Golf Course, on a scenic peninsula jutting into the River Derwent, has views of the river and kunanyi / Mt Wellington from all nine holes.
Few courses interface with the ocean quite like Cape Wickham Links and its rare and dramatic mix of coastal holes. Some lean gently towards ocean, others are set atop rocky headland, the eleventh is almost ‘in’ the sea and the eighteenth is directly above the beach at Victoria Cove.
Cape Wickham is a spectacular 18-hole course set on the rugged far-north coast of King Island, Tasmania. The course opened in 2015 and has already been ranked 24th in the World Top 100 Courses, and 3rd in Australia in the Golf Digest. Call into the clubhouse for lunch, for a break after the first nine holes or after completing the course.
Architect Mike DeVries insisted the route was balanced to include a variety of holes, landforms and views. The unique route diverts at the 13th hole, not the 9th, to the clubhouse. The course also features constant directional shifts, with par threes and par fives playing towards all points on the compass and greens positioned away from the ocean to deliberately give the golfer’s senses a rest.
Length: 6150m / Par 72
Ranked: #3 in Australia & #24 in the World by Golf Digest 2018
A ‘stay and play’ coastal links golf course on the rugged west coast of King Island with subtle rolling greens overlooking the Great Southern Ocean.
The course, in the mould of Scotland’s great links, hugs a spectacular coastline with endless ocean vistas and the bump’n’run of undulating fairways make this one of golf’s great venues. When the wind is blowing, experience a challenging course that demands creativity and strategy to plot your way to the hole.
Fortune favours the brave with heroic tee shots leaving simple approaches to the greens. The hotel is only five minutes from the links in the Island's largest township, Currie.
Length: 5476m / Par 72
Ranked: #10 in Australia by Golf Digest 2018
Barnbougle Dunes is a links course unlike anything ever seen in Australia. Meandering over, across, and between towering coastal dunes, breathtaking views and thrilling golf come together in a dramatic setting on Tasmania's north-east coast. Strong enough to test gifted golfers, yet fair enough to be enjoyed by the average player, the 18 holes championship layout rivals the great courses of Britain and Ireland.
Designed by American Golf Architect Tom Doak and Australian Mike Clayton, Barnbougle Dunes facilities include a restaurant and bar.
Designer: Tom Doak & Michael Clayton (2004)
Length: 6148/ Par 71
Ranked: #4 in Australia and #11 in the World by Golf Digest 2018
BARNBOUGLE LOST FARM
Barnbougle Lost Farm is on the opposite bank of the Forester River. It has been described by Bill Coore "as good, if not better" than the site of the first course. This second course is also open for public access. There is course-side accommodation – a lodge-style retreat of approximately 60 rooms, as well as an on-site health spa.
Both links were developed by Barnbougle Dunes and The Lost Farm owner Richard Sattler with strong support from close friend and business associate Mike Keiser. Keiser is a Chicago businessman and owner of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.
Lost Farm features 20 holes all of which are playable during any given round, while the layout of holes at Lost Farm also offers a more diverse routing with fairways that roll along both the coast and inland.
Par: 78 (20 holes)
Par: 72 (18 holes)
Length: 6503 m / 6263 m
Ranked: #6 in Australia & #26 in the World by Golf Digest 2018
AUSTRALIA'S OLDEST GOLF COURSE
The Ratho Farm Golf Links at Bothwell on Tasmania's central highlands was first enjoyed by the pioneering Reid family who emigrated from Scotland in 1822. Ratho Farm is Australia's oldest golf course and the oldest outside of Scotland.
Several quirky features of the original holes are 'hazards' such as hedges, vegetable gardens, rock walls, irrigation canals and sheep yards.
Visitors can play a round with traditional hickory clubs and enjoy the timeless appeal of great short holes.
LUXURY, GOLF AND HERITAGE AT QUAMBY
Quamby, near Launceston in the state's north, is one of Tasmania's most prestigious and historically important properties. Built between 1828 and 1838, Quamby was for several years the home of the Premier of Tasmania but now is a suitably grand luxury lodge.
The groomed 9-hole course is lined with English ash, elms, hornbeams and oak trees, some more than 100 years old. The fairways have magnificent views to the Ben Lomond Ranges in the east and the Great Western Tiers to the south. Other considerable assets include the nine lakes, cascades, creeks and three challenging Scottish-style bunkers. The beautifully groomed bunkers are from specially refined Scottsdale sands and are a major feature of the course. The 8th hole (576 m/630 yards) is the longest par 5 in Tasmania.
The original manager's office and home, circa 1850, are now the club house. This Georgian-style building is complemented by an adjoining bar for golfers and guests. Clubs and buggies are available for hire and caddies available on request.
There are 17 rooms at this luxury lodge. Standard and deluxe accommodation packages are available.
Par: 76 (9 holes)
Length: 6847 m
COUNTRY CLUB TASMANIA
Country Club Tasmania near Launceston has an 18-hole golf course, designed in 1982 by renowned golf course architect Mike Wolveridge and British Open champion Peter Thomson. Challenging fairways, water hazards and fast greens feature on this meticulously maintained course. Coaching is available from a resident pro. There is a fully-stocked pro-shop with equipment and motorised carts available for hire and purchase. The course is open seven days a week.
There is a selection of first-class course-side accommodation; from beautifully appointed manor suites, deluxe rooms to self- contained 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas. Country Club Tasmania's Terrace Restaurant is one of the finest in the state.
Designers: Mike Wolveridge and British Open champion Peter Thomson
Par: 72 (18 holes)
Length: 6065 m
The Royal Hobart Golf Course is a country 18-hole course near Hobart in southern Tasmania. Located at Seven Mile Beach, the course is 20 minutes south-east of Hobart (18 kilometres).
The Royal Hobart Golf Course is very tight driving course demanding care from tees and accurate approaches to well-bunkered greens. Heavily timbered, the layout is championship quality with dips, hollows and bunkers surrounding many of the immaculately manicured greens. There are excellent practice facilities here - club, trolley and buggy hire, and a driving range. You can also consult the course's golf professional and relax in the clubhouse.
The Royal Hobart Golf Course hosted the 1971 Australian Open won by Jack Nicklaus.
Length: 6,131 m
Australian Course Rating: 72