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King Island A Golfing Mecca?


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#1 Birdie_Blitz

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

Hi all,

 

I went down to King Island last weekend and played two of the best courses I have played in my life. 

 

Started at Ocean Dunes and was blown away (not just by the wind) by the course. The rugged beauty of the course, the condition of the course and the customer service was all top notch. We walked off the course knowing the raps on Cape Wickham and wondering how it could be that much better than what we just played. (the one thing I would say is that It is a very long walk between green and tee so a cart maybe an option).

 

The next day was Cape Wickham and I must say that it is the most spectacular course I have ever played. I would rate it more spectacular than Pebble Beach or any of the courses in Hawaii (I haven't played Cape Kidnappers to compare). We were constantly looking around at the scenery rather than where we were going. The course was immaculate, weather changed every 10 minutes from rain, wind to sun.

 

I haven't decided if Ocean Dunes and Cape Wickham are great golf courses but they are certainly spectacular the way they have used the coast line and natural contours is fantastic. I am sure in the coming years with development of better clubhouses (basically sheds at moment - think St Andrews Beach) it will really take off with regards to golfing tourism.

 

I would also say the people there were sensational and accommodating, Vortex air who flew us over was great personalised service. To be honest I couldn't fault the trip at all.

 

Also a shout out to Boz, the Vision PTX-blue balls performed fantastic in the wind, less ballooning into the wind and certainly less side spin than other balls people were using.

 

 


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#2 PerryGroves

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:56 PM

BB, I'm not sure I share your "keeness" with regard to Ocean Dunes, I have issues with a number of the holes, especially the up and back holes on the back nine.

 

A few of my mates are down there this week, I declined to go back...............it's a cost/course/trip trade off at the heart of the matter. 

 

In a way King Island is like the the tourist attraction you need to see but after you've seen it you don't need to see it again.



#3 MaxB

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 10:49 AM

Is it really a "mecca" or going to become one?

 

I went there in Feb, and while the courses are out-of-this-worldly I also feel it lacks infrastructure: club-houses, accommodation, an airport capable of accepting larger planes, even decent roads tbh. I also feel that to attract a constant flow of golfers from around the world it would also benefit from developing some other activities outside of these two golf courses?

 

The courses are spectacular, no doubt, but I don;t know if the traffic they are currently seeing is enough to generate the necessary investments above. 

 

When you went: were these courses packed at all? From memory when I went in Feb, each course had maybe 50-60 players out on Sat-Sun.


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#4 Lukos87

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:20 PM

Apparently Ocean Dunes is about to go on the market.

#5 Birdie_Blitz

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:04 AM

BB, I'm not sure I share your "keeness" with regard to Ocean Dunes, I have issues with a number of the holes, especially the up and back holes on the back nine.

 

A few of my mates are down there this week, I declined to go back...............it's a cost/course/trip trade off at the heart of the matter. 

 

In a way King Island is like the the tourist attraction you need to see but after you've seen it you don't need to see it again.

 

Hi PG and MaxB,

 

I agree with that it is a trip once done it will be a while before I go back we do a couple of golf trips a year and the extra coin meant that a few dropped off for this trip.

 

I think everyone is harsh on the infrastructure but you are not looking at a 10 year old course - It is only young down there think Barnbougle Dunes when that started off - you put a bloody good golf course in the middle of nowhere that attracts people - you start to then build infrastructure around it. The accommodation at Cape Wickham is almost ready, next up there is to develop the clubhouse so it sets it self up as you don't need to go back into Currie. You've built the second destination course (Ocean Dunes) how long before you do the health spa etc. ie. Lost Farm.  The infrastructure is all about supply and demand. 

 

We were talking to a council member down there (I think the whole council or mayor is getting over thrown anyway) in the airport about what infrastructure is needed on the island and we brought up those very things club facilities, better road signage, other attractions (cheese tasting down there is pretty good), accommodation (ours was pretty good for a group of golfers in Currie) and dining. It is going from a community where you get a handful of tourists a month to (lets go with MaxBs number) 120 a weekend. Yes they need an investment in infrastructure but that will come.

 

As for the courses I maintain that Cape Wickham is one of the best courses I've played - It probably doesn't provide the avenues of play of somewhere like Barnbougle Dunes as I felt standing on the tee that I must play the hole in a certain way but the vistas certainly make up for that.

 

As for the up and back holes on Ocean Dunes at least it gives you some respite, but looking back there are some quality holes and a good variation to the visual assault of the first nine.

13th Good short par 4 - a chance at the green off the tee, otherwise need to position tee shot well to see the putting surface.

14th little narrow par 3 down the hill - we found almost impossible to hit with the wind

15th Long sweeping par 4 to the double green

16th I agree is not in fitting with the course

17th The blind drive across the corner of the hill makes this hole. Also the long skinny green and swales around the green. 

 

Perhaps 15th and 17th are too similar and go in the same direction but they are still good golf holes.

 

Those holes on another course would be solid golf holes on Ocean Dunes because you are not being assaulted by the view it feels almost like a breather.


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