Date: October 04, 2016
Author: Martin Blake (Twitter: martinj_blake)

Six great golfing weekends away

Barnbougle Dunes (Tasmania)

In its short history, Barnbougle Dunes and its sister course Lost Farm on the north coast of rugged Tasmania have developed a wonderful reputation. Barnbougle, the original, is pure links in style and nothing can prepare you for the view over Bass Strait as you take the steps to the fifth tee. It was co-designed by Tom Doak and Australia's Michael Clayton and is consistently ranked among the top courses in the world. Lost Farm was built alongside the Dunes as an adjunct but has a character of its own, crafted out of the landscape by Corre and Crenshaw, and is sufficiently different yet just as brilliant. They are connected by the Lodge, a high-end accommodation facility and award-winning restaurant, and there are cabins for the more budget-conscious … not to mention the log fire and good food at the clubhouse.

Hamilton Island (Queensland)

Queensland's Hamilton Island has its own golf course and its own island … literally.  The golf course, designed by Peter Thomson, runs along the ridges and valleys of Dent Island, near the main resort island, and is accessed by boat organised for you. The par-71 course is tough in the winds, especially the so-called 'Valley of Death' 14th hole, but it features some of the best views of the Whitsundays that you could wish for. Overall, it's an experience the keen golfer has to have, especially with the world-class resort nearby on Hamilton Island itself, with its high-end dining experiences and relaxed feel.

Bonville (NSW)

Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane at Coffs Harbour, Bonville golf resort has been a consistent winner of major awards, including four triumphs as Australia's leading golf resort in the World Travel Awards. It is easy to see why. The Golf Course Guide has voted it the most beautiful inland course in Australia multiple times. As a golf-specific resort all your needs are taken care of, and there is ample accommodation and eating facilities including an award-winning restaurant.

Barwon Heads (Victoria)

The rustic charm of Barwon Heads Golf Club on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula just cannot be missed. The club has a long history and the original clubhouse, remains, with all its charm, dating to 1924. Stay and play packages are highly popular here. As for the golf course, it is straight out of Irish or Scottish links, and one of the best in Australia by general consensus. Not to mention that Barwon Head is a gorgeous little seaside village, where the Australian television hit 'Sea Change' was filmed.

The Links, Kennedy Bay (WA)

A trip to Perth is incomplete without a visit to Kennedy Bay, just south of the capital, and its beautiful course beside the Indian Ocean. Built in 2000 by the late Roger Mackay and Micahel Coate, it is another course out of the Scottish genre, featuring fast-running fairways and sandy waste areas as well as 115 pot bunkers. It is about a 40-minute drive south of Perth.

The Sand Belt (SA)

Australia has another sandbelt beside Melbourne's world famous cluster of magnificent courses. In Adelaide, the western side of the city is home to at least four magnificent golf courses. Each of Royal Adelaide, The Grange, Glenelg and Kooyonga has its own character, and they have been rewarded with selection by Golf Australia as the hosts of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open for the next few years, beginning with the hugely-successful 2015 Open at The Grange. This year's instalment is at Royal Adelaide.

While they are private clubs, The Grange for instance has two courses and a phonecall to any of these clubs would be well-rewarded. All are among the top golf facilities in the country and within a stone's throw of the magnificent beaches of St Vincents Gulf around Glenelg.