Blog 199 – Tassie Course Awards

Nomadic_golfer : 2021/22 Tour of Tasmania – Courses

After spending 4 of a planned 5 months touring around the magical island state that is Tasmania, our schedule was cut short by mother nature and mother duties. The devastating floods that hit Northern NSW and SE Qld claimed our daughter’s house and we left Tassie to be with her. While we had an absolute blast touring Tassie, we did leave a couple of major attractions until the last month, and as such missed out on Cradle Mountain and playing golf at Barnbougle. Others on my list that I missed included Devonport GC, Bridport, Scottsdale, Thirlstane, Greens Beach and Deloraine. In future, I will live by the old adage “one in the hand is worth 2 in the bush’.

I’m a glass half-full bloke so we won’t be dwelling on those I missed, rather celebrating the experience I enjoyed playing 45 courses in 4 months. And I’m sure I’ll be back to play Barnbougle, as I still have fond memory of a trip to King Island and its golfing jewels in 2019.

Golf around Tasmania is unique. Unique in the proliferation of 9 hole courses, with the total course count at 16 eighteen-hole courses, approx. 70 nine-hole courses and the eleven-hole Longford course. Access to golf is so easy, courses are rarely packed so rounds are quick, the cost is unbelievably low and the variation of course make-ups and characteristics is immense. Of the 45 courses I played (see the bottom of this page for the full list of 45), 11 of them were 18 hole courses with an average (mean) green fee of $48, and 34 of them were 9 holes with an average fee of just $19.

My memories of Tassie golf will be everlasting, from the North-West with the beautiful seaside vistas of Wynyard & Stanley and the spectacular carved-out Ulverstone, to the remote West, where Rosebery’s natural beauty and surrounds stole my imagination, matched by Tarraleah just a few rounds later, to the history-filled midlands where the iconic Ratho Farm and the equally brilliant but less celebrated Oatlands won me over, on to Hobart, where the stretch adjoining 7 Mile Beach lifted the bar as Tasmania GC and Royal Hobart met lofty expectations and Llanherne was a nice surprise, before Elderslie’s charms amongst the farms got my heart pumping as did Richmond for different reasons, before a few trips further South also saw plenty of golfing entertainment at Geeveston and Dover and the spectacular Cameron’s Chasm at Tasman GC, then up the East Coast where Bill Husband’s Freycinet and Scamander take centre stage, the lovely condition of Bicheno and the old rustic St Marys hold sway, before landing in Launceston where the evenly matched big 4 18-holers are all quality, the petrol-headed Longord adds 11 holes and right near the end, another huge surprise in the Estate at Quamby, where condition, grandeur and a real golfing challenge was the icing on the Tassie cake that left a sweet taste in my mouth.

As I have said before, I’m not going to rank the ‘best’ course to the 45th best course as I’m not sure what that achieves, and as one ‘ranker’ subject to the vagaries of weather, form, course works etc, I’m bound to get it wrong and do some courses an injustice. I will however, name my favourites in a few categories, and in posts to come, will name my Tassie All-Star 18 and my favourite par 3s, 4s and 5s.

Obviously these awards are limited to the 45 courses I played on this trip so they don’t count for anything, but I’m loving reliving these memories while they are still fresh

For my own records, I did give each course a ‘score’ for layout and another score for conditioning upon the completion of each round but my list does not just run down those scores in order; I have placed more weight on the layout and ‘character’ than on condition.

So here are the lists for my Tour of Tasmania 2021/22:

My Favourite Courses – Tasmania GC tops the list

RankFavourite Tasmanian Courses
1Tasmania GC
2Ulverstone GC
3Royal Hobart GC
next in lineCountry Club Tas, Launceston, Quamby Estate

Tasmania and it’s spectacular Barilla Bay site, the unique forest experience in Ulverstone, and the well manicured, strategic design of RH thrusting these 3 onto my dais.

Quamby Estates is my favourite 9-holer

RankFavourite 9-hole Courses
1Quamby Estate GC
2Llanherne GC
3Elderslie GC
next in lineOatlands, Penguin, Pittwater, Wynyard

I’ve already mentioned the Quamby Estate experience, while the rich golfing terrain and condition that defines Llanherne, and the unspoilt farmside layout filled with risk/ reward options at Elderslie get the next 2 gongs here.

Now for my hidden gems. I’ll define these as courses I arrived at with no fanfare and little/ no recommendation and as such low expectations, and drove back to the caravan with a large smile on my face

Tarraleah and Rosebery were the rarest hidden gems

RankHidden Gems
1Tarraleah GC
2Rosebery GC
3Elderslie GC
Oatlands, Smithton, Penguin

I’ve carried on like a pork chop about Rosebery and Tarraleah and those 2 days still rank highest on the ‘enjoyment minus expectation’ calculation. Elderslie is understated and underrated, Oatlands is for the purist, Smithton teases further with 2 ordinary holes to start before the magic opens up as you cross into a heavier wooded and watered zone, and Penguin has quirks and unique stuff everywhere. None of these courses cost more than $20 to play!! Quamby could have got a mention there too as it fits the criteria but it’s featured enough already

There is value everywhere in Tassie – my favourites per price point

Green FeeFavourite per price point
$10Rosebery GC / St Marys GC
$15Oatlands GC
$20Elderslie GC
$25Quamby Estate
$25 – $50Ulverstone GC ($35)

Further Tasmanian content to come in future posts with favourite holes etc

Tasmanian Courses Played 2021/ 22

Bicheno / Burnie / Claremont / Coal Valley / Country Club Tasmania / Dover / Elderslie / Exeter / Freycinet / Geeveston / George Town / Iron Pot / Kingston Beach / Launceston GC / Llanherne /Longford / Mountain Vista / Mowbray / New Norfolk / New Town Bay / North West Bay / Oatlands / Orford / Penguin / Pittwater / Poatina / Port Sorell / Quamby Estate / Ratho Farm / Richmond / Riverside / Rosebery / Royal Hobart / Scamander River / Smithton / St Marys / Stanley / Strahan / Swansea / Tam O’Shanter / Tarraleah / Tasman GC Port Arthur / Tasmania GC / Ulverstone / Wynyard

(alphabetical order)