Golf lovers listen up, put Tasmania on the map for your next golfing holiday. No matter where you are in Tasmania there is bound to be a golf course not too far away. In fact Tasmania has the highest number of golf courses per capita, there are about 77 across the State, including the No1 Australian public Golf Course, Barnbougle, near Bridport in the State’s North. (I’m waiting for our next visit to do a story on that Course). Follow the Golf Tasmania link for a full list.
It is only within the last year that I have really started to get hooked on the game. Mr Iced Vovo is a good golfer, (he has a trophy cabinet to prove it) whilst I, well I’ve still got my training wheels well and truly on! Although I’m pleased to report that the last couple of games have seen definite signs of improvement. (Let’s be frank it was crunch time and if there wasn’t any sign of me getting the ball in the air soon I was going to do an almighty tanty and throw the clubs away – and if anyone tells you if you’ve played other stick games before, like hockey, you should be right – tell them bollocks!)
So, with the sun shining, and my enthusiasm still in tact, Mr Iced Vovo and I recently packed up the car with our golf gear and headed for the Central Highlands town of Bothwell, home to Ratho, Australia’s oldest golf course.
With a $15 green fee for either 9 or 18 holes and a yearly social membership of a mere $90 this Course is both fun and value for money. You also can’t put a price on the historical aspect. To find out more about the history of this club click this Ratho link.
As you can see from the pictures this golf course is like no other, still a working farm, golfers have to be careful of sheep, sheep poo and sheep fences as you navigate your ball towards each hole. You will find all greens are fenced off to protect them from animal damage. Luckily, you get to have another shot if your ball hits the fence (and it did quite often!) Remember to bring some food and drinks with you as the Ratho Club house is not open everyday.
After your game spend some time exploring Bothwell there are lots of wonderful heritage buildings to look at about the town, along with a golf museum. The museum houses a variety of memorabilia dating back as far as 1880, and was started in 1996 by Peter Toogood, an Australian Amateur Golf Champion. Another cute touch to the town are the tartan street signs giving a nod to the Scottish ancestors.
There are also a number of top quality gourmet accommodation facilities including Highland House part of the estate of Award winning Whiskey, Nant Distillery. Nant Distillery is a picturesque property about 3kms out of Bothwell offering Whiskey tastings ($5pp), A Distillery Tour ($15pp), Whiskey matching masterclass ($65pp), as well as a number of accommodation, dinner and clay shooting packages.
Whether golfing or going for a Sunday drive Bothwell is well worth a visit.