Barnbougle Golf Links in Tasmania, Australia

Normally I’m not a big links golf fan, but I just came across this video and I have to say this course looks absolutely fantastic. It immediately made it onto my course bucket list.

The website reads: “Tasmania is renowned for its untouched wilderness, pristine coastline, cool climate wines and fresh local produce. The rugged north east coast of Australia’s island state is one of the most ideal places in the world for a links golf course. It’s on this coastal strip, where stark beaches fold into undulating farmlands, that Barnbougle Golf Links has been crafted out of an extraordinary landscape.”

There’s nothing to add… and I like they mentioned good wine too!

Check out their website:

An unforgettable day at Hamilton Island Golf Club

When you follow the Golficiency Instagram account you will know how I adored being in Australia playing some golf course beauties end of last year. When you from time to time keep reading my blog you might have seen the article on Hamilton Island Golf Club and that this is currently my absolute personal number 1 course in the world (of the few that I have played so far).

It’s already 4 months ago now that I was blessed with some hours in the morning, getting shipped over from Hamilton Island to Dent Island (the course has its own island) and enjoyed 18 holes of pure golf porn. It was pretty empty at 7:00 in the morning, I had time to take many pictures and even managed to shoot some short film footage. The result is the following video, expressing the sheer beauty of this land.

Continue reading An unforgettable day at Hamilton Island Golf Club

Following Rory, Scotty and Jason round the course at the 2013 Australian Open in Sydney


What a great month that was in Australia! A lot of sunshine, beaching, sailing, snorkeling, relaxing, hanging loose and experiencing so many new down under sides of things. It was an excellent time I had there and I really can’t wait to come back at some point.

Golf-wise I had some nice moments as well; I missed however the action at the Australian PGA Championship in Gold Coast but instead (or way better) played some Queensland beauties on my own on Hamilton Island and up north in Port Douglas. Unfortunately. I didn’t manage to play a round in Sydney but I did get to do some other cool stuff: during my stay in Australia there were some very interesting tournaments played: the already mentioned Australian PGA Championship in Gold Coast, the Australian Masters in Melbourne and last but not least the Australian Open in Sydney.

My schedule had room for watching a round so in Sydney I took my girlfriend on the event’s Sunday to see the action at Royal Sydney Golf Club in Rose Bay, Sydney. I also tried to watch some golf TV broadcasting during the days before, but apparently the majority of Aussies is mainly interested in cricket rather than in golf these days of the year – although golf is of much more interest than in most other parts of the world. So the sports channels either showed the Ashes (the famous cricket battle between Australia and England) or, very surprisingly, the European Tour’s Dunhill Championship in South Africa. I figured the Aussie tourneys were broadcasted in Pay TV which I unfortunately had no access to.

On the tournament’s Sunday we jumped on a ferry to cross Sydney Harbour, passed the Sydney Opera House in direction to Rose Bay. From this sophisticated neighbourhood it’s just a short walk to the private and exclusive RSGC, which hosted the event quite often already. After a short but expensive shopping frenzy in the merchandise tent we headed towards the course, followed Robert Allenby and some others before we decided to walk on strategically. It was not over-crowded by the time but would most likely be later on when Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott would make their appearance in the last group. And yes it became much more packed around the fairways but it was still possible to get some nice places to see the action.

First we saw the guys on the 5th with a nice elevated green and had good views on the following holes, too. Most amazingly to mention the approach shots on the 8, a par 5, which both reached in two shots. Rory scored an eagle whereas Scotty three-putted. On the next hole both impressively drove the reachable par 4 (275m) and again Scotty carded one putt more than Rory – and gone was his three stroke lead. Bad luck for Adam Scott. In the course of the next holes he lost his cool and you probably have already seen the results – Rory won the Australian Open with one shot over Adam. I really like the Aussie, he’s one of my favourite golf players and I was keeping fingers crossed for him to win this event as this would have made him only the second person winning the three Aussie tournaments in one stretch. Unfortunately he has to try again next year, but hats off for his committment and the strong will to win important tournaments – as he is obviously a very strong player currently.

So Rory won the pot in the end, his first title in 2013 which is good for him. His form shows potential again after his big switch to NIKE clubs and the resulted fallback in the world ranking – and I’m sure a very famous female tennis player was kind of partly responsible for the lack of winning skills, too… It was a very nice golf day which was perfected by the fact that we went for a rest to Bondi Beach afterwards and then strolled along the beautiful coastal beach walk from Bondi via Tamarama to Bronte.

Really a very nice piece of land over there… my heart is broken I had to leave Australia in the end.

Continue reading Following Rory, Scotty and Jason round the course at the 2013 Australian Open in Sydney

Tropical golfing with crocodiles at Palmer Sea Reef in Port Douglas

“If you lose your ball in the water, don’t bother looking for it. You could lose a leg, too!”

This warning both excited me and freaked me out at the same time. Crocodiles on a golf course, are you kidding me?! I actually have read something about those incidents in Florida, but experiencing this in person, lining up a putt next to a water pond with big yellow warning signs is indeed different, believe me! Having attended a croco show at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo north of Brisbane just one or two weeks earlier, I was well aware what these creatures are capable of doing. And just to be clear, lying around doing nothing but looking scary is not what I’m talking about.

My girlfriend and I made our way up northbounds to the tropical area of Queensland, Australia. We passed the tropical capital city of Cairns and stayed some nights in famous Port Douglas. After one day of truly amazing snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef it was golf time again!

The Palmer Sea Reef Golf Club (formerly known as the Sea Temple Golf Club) is a tropical beauty. Next to the Sheraton Mirage’s golf course, this is the second 18-hole course in Port Douglas and is supposed to be the nicer one.

John, at the Paradise Links Resort, where we were staying, was very helpful getting me ready with some clubs, a tee time and valued advice. The next morning at 6.45am I teed off on my own and remained alone on the entire course for the whole round.

The course indeed is a beautiful place to play! It has a sort of linksy character to it but enough forest and trees around to be not mistaken you are in the proper tropics. There are multiple rainforests within the compounds of the course and you hear lots of tropical birds and cockatoos welcoming the daylight. On the other hand there are no spectacular views other than mountains, forests and the new golf villas around the holes but you always have the chance to see a real crocodile – isn’t that something?!

Before I started my round, when I bought the usual club logo ball souvenir, the club manager said to me: “Please be careful. We have crocodiles on the holes 9, 11, 12,…” I should have paid more attention because I immediately forgot the holes they have crocos on, which I at some point pretty much regretted beacuse I saw the first warning signs on hole no 2 and I was very sure nobody said something about hole 2… so I figured they could be everywhere!

But anyway, the course is very beautiful as you can tell from the pictures below. It was in great shape and as I said, there were not many people playing there that day – literally nobody else really at that time.

There is water coming into play at impressive 17 holes, although some of the side water hazards were not filled with any water by the time I played there (good, no crocodiles!). The fairways felt like carpets and were lush and green. Due to some heavy rain the nights before, the turf was rather wet and I had to keep on the cart path with my vehicle at all times. That annoyed me and slowed me down quite a bit but it was fair to the course and to all the other players coming behind me, enjoying this tropical masterpiece just like I did at that time.

The course treated me well. Never having played there before, with unknown clubs and not having played much at all in the last months (except the superb round on Hamilton Island) I managed to score some very nice pars and even a birdie. That was a bit surprising because only after at least 9 holes earning confidence again, I was brave enough to tee off with the driver. On the earlier holes I used a 4-iron or the hybrid. I managed well with the driver, had some really nice shots down the fairway and attacked the green more on the second half. By then it was 8am…

On the 15th I made a bad mistake. The 10 and the 15 share one large green, which I realised when I approached the 10. Over the next holes I totally forgot about that fact and unfortunately aligned wrongly on the 15th tee, a par 3. I played a beautiful 5-iron which landed one meter next to the flag, the wrong flag that is… I realised my mistake when I approached with my cart and was not very happy about it. However I managed to get up and down with a par after one very long putt and a just a small tap-in.

On the next hole, the 16th, I had a little audience at the tee box – a family on one of the golf villas terrasses having their breakfast watched me intensively when I teed up the ball and made myself ready for the shot on that par 4. Luckily I managed to play two beautiful shots attacking the green and left the green with another par.

After my round, although I was using a cart, I was totally exhausted, was sweating like crazy and couldn’t believe that I finished my round that quick and that well. I walked the short path to our apartment, jumped into the pool, waited for my girlfriend who went jogging on the beach before we had another wonderful day in the Port Douglas area – we went to Mossman Gorge and the Daintree Rainforest National Park that day, highly recommended by the way.

For more information please check out these websites:

This must be paradise: Hamilton Island Golf Club in Queensland, Australia

I was fortunate enough to travel the east coast of Australia recently. Together with my girlfriend we packed all the good and exciting stuff into a trip along the coast from Gold Coast to Port Douglas. One definite highlight was the beautiful village of Noosa (Heads) as part of the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane and another one was the glamorous and sophisticated island resort of Hamilton Island.

Hamilton is one of 74 Whitsunday Islands right by the central section of the Great Barrier Reef, but only one of eight which are inhabited. It is really the rich man’s dreams coming true as you find here multiple luxurious hotel and apartment properties (a rated 6-star establishment amongst them), beach side villas overlooking the turquoise coral sea, beach clubs, a posh marina, yacht club, expensive restaurants and lots of recreations and possibilities to spend the day (and money).

Golfing for sure is one of these possibilities, and as you are a golf nut as well, it is one of the best! On Hamilton Island you generally use golf carts instead of real cars to get around the isle, but for a round of golf you first need a different vehicle: a vessel! That’s because the golf course actually is not even located on Hamilton Island – it has its own – Dent Island, a beautiful and only 10 minutes ferry ride from Hamilton Marina.

But let me start from the beginning: I managed to get a 7:30 tee time and therefore a ferry boarding time of 7:00. Walking towards the golf jetty in the Hamilton Marina, I was greeted by the first golf club staff: “Mr Rose? We have a 7:30 tee time down for you. Welcome onboard! Please take a seat”. 10 minutes later we touched ground on Dent Island and I was picked up by someone who chauffeured me to the club house which is not far but on top of a steep cart path. In the portal of the modern building someone else provided me with a moisty, cold towel as a first refreshment. Another person came up to me and said something like “Good morning Mr Rose. How are you this morning? This is your cart, these are your clubs for today, we have complimentary water for you in this box, complimentary tees are here and this is how the GPS system works…” All in all a perfect service and such a great hospitality! Really fantastic! Without having seen one single golf hole, I immediately loved the place, seriously!

The Hamilton Island Golf Club is probably the only course in the world which is located on its own island. There’s nothing else on this island other than pure golf porn. The club house is rather small and far from opulent but it’s very modern and suits for the golfers’ needs perfectly.

I skipped the driving range, which by the way is a huge lake in which you shoot your balls. Instead I made my way to the putting green and used one of the provided driving nets, just to loosen the muscles a bit and to get used to the swing rhythm again.

Then it was about time to hit the course itself – the place I was so excited about for such a long time! And to cut a long story short: I was not at all disappointed in the end. This piece of land is simply golf heaven. The layout (designed by 5-times Open Champion Peter Thomson) is remarkable and so unique in its setting, I never had the feeling that I ever played a particular similar hole in my life before. Together with the views across the Whitsunday Islands under the blue skies; this course really blew me away. Fortunately the young couple behind me was pretty slow so I had enough time to take some nice pictures. Without them you wouldn’t understand my enthusiasm I reckon.

After the first six or nine holes I was pretty sure this course is somewhere in my Top 3 of the best courses I played so far, but after the complete round there was just one suitable prize to win in my personal ranking – best course ever played!

I shot one birdie and five pars, which is not too shabby after all but I as well lost quite a few balls to the deep rough. Losing balls equals penalty strokes which never look good on a score card, hence I’m not über-excited about my round stroke-wise, but I will never forget this round as the course is a real stunner and earns its place amongst the world’s best golf courses in my opinion.

Please have a look at the pictures I took during my round (click for bigger size)

Now let me emphasise on some of the holes which really stand out.

Continue reading This must be paradise: Hamilton Island Golf Club in Queensland, Australia

Hitting the Gold Coast two days late. Bad timing!

Today I found out that guys like Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler are currently in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia to play the Australian PGA Championship at the Royal Pines Resort later this week. The tournament ends on Sunday 10th and now guess who will get there not earlier than Tuesday – two days late for the show? Correct, I will be in Singapore till Monday morning. Still a 10-hour flight away from sunny Queensland.

Too bad, but it probably wouldn’t have fitted into our schedule anyway. But just the thought that I’m in Gold Coast, Queensland on the other side of the world and some of the coolest golf dudes out there are just half a mile away for the Australian PGA Championship from where I’m lying on the beach or do some serious surfing – pretty cool.

I’m thinking why not playing the Royal Pines course on Wednesday after the tournament then… nah, my girlfriend would kill me I guess! :) Too much golf in mind… #guilty

Check the details of the tournament here:

Another Australian delight on my route: Noosa Springs Golf Club

In just a couple of days I’ll leave England for an exciting trip to Singapore and Australia. The 2-weeks route along the Queensland coast is firmly booked but there should be enough time for some nice rounds of golf between sunbathing, surfing, sailing and snorkeling… and wining & dining!

These 2 golf courses are definitely on my list:

But there is another one that I’m interested in. My girlfriend and I are staying in the beautiful town of Noosa for some days and as it is not only famous for the beach and the lively Hastings Street it offers a fantastic golf course as well:

Continue reading Another Australian delight on my route: Noosa Springs Golf Club

Looking forward to Australia: Palmer Sea Reef Golf Club

The second intended round in Australia is not supposed to be less spectacular than the first. The Palmer Sea Reef Golf Club is located in chic and classy Port Douglas, north of Cairns, Queensland, right between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Our accommodation for the days in Port Douglas is the Paradise Links Resort and literally built around the course.

It’s an 18-hole beauty and supposed to be one of the most stunning courses in Queensland, Australia. Looking at the pictures I have no doubt that’s really the case.

Be assured I’ll bring my camera and take my own unforgettable shots and videos which I will share here as well later this year. And make sure to follow me on Instagram!

If you are an experienced Australia traveller, golf player and connoisseur, please leave some feedback below which courses I shouldn’t miss on the east coast. I know Gold Coast has loads to offer and even in Sydney, our last stop, there are so many lovely courses that I could imagine to play. However, in Sydney the schedule is even tighter and the courses are more private and unaccessible anyway. Courses like Royal Sydney, Terrey Hills, New South Wales or The Australian belong on every golfer’s bucket list in my opinion. They are on mine at least…

Looking forward to Australia: Hamilton Island Golf Club

In not even a month I’ll have a nice long break from work, which I can’t wait for to be honest. Early November, my girlfriend and I will make our way south-eastwards big time. After some days in Singapore we’ll head down south to the fifth continent, lovely Australia. For 3 weeks we’ll make our way along the subtropical east-coast from Gold Coast in the south to Port Douglas in the north, followed by another 5 days in beautiful Sydney.

The east coast of Australia is a magnificent place to be and November should be the perfect time to travel. Australia with its long British history is very fond of playing golf, hence you find a perfect golf course infrastructure there – from public courses to high class private member country clubs.

Alone the city of Gold Coast, our first stop just outside of Brisbane, offers more than 40 golf courses! But Australia is big and we’re on a tight schedule. The first round is planned in the Whitsundays – in one word: a paradise. Staying some days on Hamilton Island for sailing, snorkeling and relaxing, I’ll play the Hamilton Island Golf Club, which is actually not on Hamilton Island but on Dent Island, a 10min boat ride off Hamilton. Hamilton itself is an exclusive resort with world class 5-star accommodation. The golf course is put on its own island – I guess that’s pretty unique.

The Whitsundays are located at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and the golf course on Dent Island offers spectacular views accross the Coral Sea. It’s probably the most magnificent course in Australia.

I was told it’s not an easy course and built for the thinking golfer. Not having played for a while, being a bit rusty, I guess I leave the big stick in the bag and play short but save. In any way, I can’t wait for it. If you are interested, check out the website of the island and the golf club: