Australia is one of the countries in the world with the most golf courses per person, many of them concentrated in Tasmania. On this island made of rocks, salt and water, golf is in fact one of the most popular sports along with cricket and sand field hockey. Above all, it is a way to admire incredible glimpses of nature.
Golf course blossoms in the wilderness
Thirty-seven percent of Tasmania’s land area is occupied by wildlife parks and nature reserves, to give you an idea of how incredible it is. Here you can find unique animal species that you won’t see anywhere else in the world except perhaps in a zoo. The vegetation varies from the vast prairie grasslands of the Midlands to eucalyptus forests and rainforests.
A golf course rising in the midst of such beauty, how can it not itself be incredible?
Tasmanian golf courses are concentrated on the coasts, where most of the population centers are. They are thus a wonderful mixture of sea, grass and wild land. The potholes consist of large expanses of grass interspersed with bushes and earth dunes, looking completely natural. In the distance you can admire the view of the ocean and, in some cases, the green slopes down to the rocky beach and water.
As for the climate, you are unlikely to find one more favorable for outdoor sports. In Tasmania, temperatures are quite mild, with highs of 20°C in summer and 13°C in winter. Barring rain, you can play golf pretty much all year round.
Tasmania, cradle of Scottish golf in the world
In the 1800s, Australia and the annexed Tasmania were penal colonies, which mainly “housed” criminals of English and Scottish origin. As seen elsewhere, there are very few ways to convince a Scotsman not to play golf: pandemics, forced labor, world wars. Being transferred to an open-air prison on the other side of the world was never one of them.
The Bothwell area had been settled mainly by Scottish farming and entrepreneurial families, each with their own piece of land to cultivate. At least five of these had decided to turn some of their plot into a golf course. Golf club members in the area would play all five courses in turn, following a schedule set by the committee.
Ratho Farm is the only one of these still in existence, making it the oldest golf course in Australia. According to some, it may even be the oldest golf course ever, among those created outside Scotland. Despite its humble beginnings, it has come a long way from the farmer’s home it once was.
Golf, nature and luxury
Ratho Farm offers suites that are far removed from the rooms of its first residents, but it is nonetheless a reality with a rustic flavor. If you are also looking for a hint of luxury, we recommend Barnbougle Dunes and Barnbougle Lost Farm.
Barnbougle fields are considered not only among the most beautiful fields in Australia, but in the entire world. Both are distinguished by spectacular earth and sand dunes that intersperse undulating greens and overlook the coast. The salt-scented ocean wind only makes it more atmospheric and also more challenging.
Compared to Ratho Farm, Barnbougle also offers stays suitable for those who enjoy country living but with a little extra glamour. Lost Farm’s suites are imprinted with just that, as are the spa services. We talk about more “down to earth” environments than those in Dubai, for example, but still perfect if you are looking for relaxation, comfort and lots of golf.