Golfing enthusiasts searching for the next best green would do well to head over to Tasmania!
Full of golfing challenges and triumphs, Tasmania has more than 80 courses on offer. Due to the island's small population, you won't find busybody crowds or less-than-pristine greens. Instead, you'll have wide open plays in front of you, or even cliffs and ocean views.
So many reasons to golf in Tasmania
Home to Australia's oldest golf course, Tasmania has a significant soft spot for the sport. In the 1830’s, Scottish migrants to the country were homesick for their treasured game, and so built Ratho in the town of Bothwell, and the course still operates today.
Building on this golfing history, championship 18 hole courses have been built atop the island's best locations, enhanced by a huge variety of scenery be it mountains, beaches and or drops.
Those in search of a quality public course should head to Barnbougle Dunes in the north-east, rated Australia's top public green. It too takes its cues from Scotland and offers plenty of breathtaking views of the ocean over the Bass Strait. It belongs to Great Golf Courses of Australia; there are six Top World 100 courses in Australia – Tasmanian has two of them!
If you're holidaying in Hobart and want to find a challenging course, go no further than the Tasman Club nestled in the tranquil and historic environs of Point Puer, near Port Arthur. The eighth hole is particularly famous for its shots over chasms, vertical sea cliffs and huge ocean swells below, so don't go chasing after your ball!
The Royal Hobart club is another fantastic experience close to the capital. While not as old as Ratho, this club was established in 1896. Enjoy its well-maintained fairways, immaculate presentation and overall beautiful scenery. For the non-golfer it is also a great lunch spot.
Discover more about the Ratho
For an insight into golfing history, Bothwell's Ratho course is a must-visit. Not only is it Australia's oldest course, but is also the oldest to be found outside of Scotland.
When you visit, you'll soon notice the old, farming influence is still very much present. After all, the town only has about 400 residents! The original course has been well-preserved, to the point where sheep still wander the course keeping playing areas short! Never fear – fences keep them out of the square greens.
You'll also note teeing sports are hard up against greens – a feature of old Scottish golf.
It also operates seasonally, with no automatic watering keeping the grasses from drying in summer.
To experience this true feat of golf pioneering, head to Ratho. You won't forget this unique sporting experience and you'll have some great tales to tell come game's end.
Get involved in golfing history
You can also find the Australasian Golfing Museum in Bothwell, the idea of which was sparked by Tasmanian golfer Peter Toogood.
He, as well as the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and Bothwell locals, have brought together a number of significant pieces of golf memorabilia, kept at Bothwell's historic sandstone school house, the site of the museum.
The collection includes golf clubs dating back to the 1800’s and a collection of balls displaying the evolution of the game.
There is also a host of photos, documents, paintings and more that help to trace the development of golf right from the arrival od earliest migrants, to today.
You'll find Bothwell about one hour's drive north of Hobart, or two hours south of Launceston. Also in the town you'll find beautiful old buildings, a public park and a number of shops.
If you're a true golf aficionado, don't delay your trip to Tasmania, a golfer's paradise.