Scarred by a visit some 25 years ago, I promised never to return to play golf in Tasmania.
The 1987 Australian Amateur Championship was contested at Royal Hobart and Tasmania Golf Clubs and for some obscure reason the event was contested in the middle of winter. It was cold and wet, while the wind was strong enough to blow the proverbial dog off the chain, whipping in directly from the South Pole.
You might guess I played poorly, had a miserable time and vowed to leave Tasmania to the Tasmanians for ever more.
The years, however, softened me and with a couple of exciting new golf developments attracting headlines and praise from those who have played them, I was enticed to return.
After three outstanding days of golf, coupled with unbelievable hospitality shown by the locals, now I’m sorry it took me so long to come back.
From the magnificent Country Club Tasmania in Launceston, a facility that also features a well-groomed championship golf course and a boutique casino amongst other special features, to the highly rated Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm, my three-day tour has me wanting to book my next visit – and it’s certain it won’t take another 25 years for that to happen.
Barnbougle Dunes was everything I expected, and more. The scenery was breathtaking, while the golf course is justifiably rated amongst the best in all of Australia.While the fairways are generous in width, it is unforgiving and uncompromising for those who venture away from the short grass, with the coastal breezes adding to the challenge and making Barnbougle more than a handful. My playing partner, who will remain anonymous, went through more than a dozen balls, so the tip is to leave the ego at home, bring plenty of game, as well as a bag full of golf balls just in case.
Just down the road from big brother Barnbougle, Lost Farm is perched on some of the most picturesque real estate in the world. Similar in its landscape, the Lost Farm layout is spectacular and also not to be missed by the golfer visiting the north of the Apple Isle.
Both courses should definitely be on the bucket list of any self-respecting golfing tragic. To get there, fly to Launceston and take the hour ride north, or alternatively fly direct in to Bridport airport just five minutes away.
My personal suggestion would be to include a stopover at the Country Club Tasmania, Launceston’s Premier Hotel, on any trip to northern Tassie.
A quick commute from the airport, Country Club Tasmania offers luxurious accommodation and the reasonably priced, yet extremely comfortable, villa accommodation which is suitable for the family or the golfing group looking for an affordable yet comfortable stay.
The Country Club offers a number of restaurant options ranging from a quick café snack at The Watergarden, to the sumptuous buffet of The Links, the fine dining of the award winning Terrace Restaurant. Across the road at the Country Club Villas is the family-friendly pizzeria and Italian restaurant.
Guests can relax in one of three bars and opt for some excitement and tackle the temptations of the on-site boutique casino.
All guests, whether in the villas or the Country Club rooms have access to the full selection of the many recreational facilities and activities, including the championship 18-hole, par 71 golf course, health club with pool, spa and sauna, squash and tennis courts, horse riding and trout fishing.
For those with a game at Barnbougle as their primary golfing objective, the Country Club course is challenging in a different way and presents the perfect warm up to the demands of Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm.
Country Club Tasmania can tailor a stay and play package, also working in a visit to Barnbougle and Lost Farm if required, to suit any individual or group. To find out more or to book, call 1-800 030 211, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website at www.countryclubtasmania.com.au.
Footnote: Check out our full review of Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm – including our hole-by hole photo gallery – at insidegolf.com.au