The amount of excitement around golf in Australia is palatable. This country loves its golf and recognizes it is one of the few places left in the world which has the land, vision and drive to create new links courses which have an opportunity to become legends in the game.
In addition to the new build on Kangaroo Island, which will perfectly augment a trip to courses in South Australia like Royal Adelaide and The Grange (not to mention wine tasting in the Barossa Valley) we could not be more excited about 7 Mile Beach. Located to the East of Hobart, this new course stands to be a perfect match with a trip to Tasmania to play Barnbougle... and have a potential few days of sightseeing/ sailing/ guides walks in between.
In a recent article, published in Golf Course Architecture, Michael Clayton provided an update on the course's design and ongoing construction. It's a great article, which also provides an insight into Clayton's philosophy for golf course design.
A summary for the new build at 7 Mile Beach is the following:
The Location: For those who have not been to Tasmania, it's the large island that sits just off the South of the Australian mainland. I equate the island to the "feel" of the South Island, New Zealand with each have their own character. While both are certainly rugged and beautiful, Tassie feels more progressive.
It can be wild but also cultured, historic and relaxing all in a day. In the middle of the winter there are crazy festivals to celebrate the solstice. In the summer, one only needs to walk a couple of blocks to have fresh seafood served essentially straight off the back of the boat. Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and, although the term is thrown around a lot, is really like stepping back into the 1940s? 1950s? It's clean. The city is tight and efficient.
It's friendly. Independent. There is an immediate pride in the people who live in Tasmania, as evidenced by simply looking at one of its town squares at different times of the day- people of all ages will congregate... teens, business people and elderly all share a community.
The Land: 7 Mile Beach is located to the East of the city and around an inlet. It's where Hobart's airport was placed, and where untouched beach land for many years was used for riding horses along the shore. The site prior to construction was inundated with Radiata pine trees, which were introduced into Australia in the 1930s and grown in timber plantations. Although this non-native tree needed to be removed in order to bring the land back to its original state, and fit for links golf, the tree connects the build with another great course: Pebble Beach. Radiata are originally from a small area near Monterey, California.
Where the Build Stands: From the article linked above the course is coming along well. Holes 13, 14, 17 and 18 are finished. The most interesting comments are Clayton's decisions for Hole 6.
It sounds like the 6th will be a par-4 with a secret tee box which would make it a par-5 for those who would like to test their length. However, the most fantastic part is that almost every shot on the course has a view of the water.
Clayton explains that the approach to the first hole and the drive from the tips on the 2nd are the only two shots which will not view the water. Incredible!