6 Best Golf Courses in Australia

The importance of doing any kind of sport cannot be stressed enough, and you should make it an essential part of your travels as well. For all of you golf enthusiasts out there, here’s a list of the 6 best golf courses in Australia to play up your performance on the road.

Kingston Heath, Melbourne

Belonging to the famous Melbourne Sandbelt, Kingston Heath is one of the world’s most renowned golf clubs and one of the smallest courses too. It has a long history of hosting national championships, as well as international events, such as the 2016 World Cup. The most challenging element of this course are its bunkers, which both stimulate your mind and look incredible. Kingston Heath is a feast for all the senses and it’s constructed to make you push your limits and constantly improve your performance.

source: greatgolfaustralia.com.au

Barnbougle Lost Farm, Tasmania

Located along the coast, Lost Farm is a true paradise for golfers. It features 20 holes that pose a challenge to any golfer, regardless of their level of knowledge and practice. The course tour stretches along the coast and deep towards the Tasmanian hinterland, to provide the ultimate golf challenge, while soaking in the beauty of the nature and landscape. The course also offers professional lessons and practice facilities on the spot, to help you improve your game and achieve the perfect shot.

source: caddiemag.com

Long Reef Golf Club, Sydney

Situated 20 km outside Sydney CBD, this North Shore golf club is the perfect choice for those who want to smoothen their game and enjoy the scenic landscape of the Northern Beaches along the way. British and Australian Open winner Peter Thomson, one of Australia’s best golf players and course designers, stated that Long Reef is “the best site of any golf course in Sydney”, which is a perfect recommendation for everyone who is considering to play golf here. The design of the course stimulates your thoughts and actions, regardless of your golf standard. What separates Long Reef Golf Club from the rest is that it is fully functional in wet weather, so you don’t have to miss out due to the rain.

Source: longreefgolfclub.com.au

Ellerston, New South Wales

This golf course is one of the most exclusive clubs, and it was in the private possession of the late Kerry Packer, Australia’s richest man. It’s located in the Upper Hunter Valley, a rugged area with stunning nature that influences the game with its ravines and gullies. The terrain stimulates your brain and affects your moves, encouraging your best play, while it’s also visually appealing.

Source: gngcd.com

The National (Moonah), Cape Schanck, Victoria

The ‘Moonah’ golf course, a part of the National Golf Club, is a world-class course that provides its attendees with everything they need for a successful and stimulating play. This championship course contains 18 holes and it’s built on sand dunes, so the players can enjoy an amazing view of the sea while practicing their shots. Even though this is a private club, select groups are allowed to play, and they consist of both Australian and international visitors.

Source: nationalgolf.com.au

The Royal Adelaide, Adelaide

Located in South Australia, in the Adelaide suburb of Seaton, this private golf club has been the host of the Australian Open nine times, confirming its status in the world of golf. Despite being a private club, the Royal Adelaide gives opportunities to visitors to have a go on their course and tackle the challenges of the links.

Source: royaladelaidegolf.com.au

There you have it – a list of the top golf courses in Australia, where you can improve your skills and have a lot of fun along the way.

Vacation Escape to Marathon and the Florida Keys

The odds are very good that you’ve never heard of Marathon, Florida. Located in the middle of the Florida Keys (90 miles south of Miami and 45 miles north of Key West), Marathon is actually a collection of seven islands in a 10-mile long community. Marathon is known for its tropical climate and laid back lifestyle and is the boating and family destination of the Florida Keys.

If you are looking for your next beach getaway this is it – desirable beaches, seaside restaurants and a host of water activities including sailing, fishing, boating, wreck and reef diving, and more. And there are galleries, museums, parks, golf, shopping, and theaters for your time on dry land. The Florida Keys are unique and Marathon blends the laid back “Keys” lifestyle with lots of activities for vacationers.

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Photo by Gillian Kniveton via Trover.com

Top Hotel Choices in Marathon, Florida

Like most beach destinations, there’s no shortage of motels and hotels in Marathon. But given how special vacation time is, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your hotel options and select the one that most suits you and your family. Here are some of the best family resorts in Marathon:

–          Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort: Perhaps the best resort in Marathon because of its all-Florida experience. This is a small resort with beach houses, award-winning cuisine and a private sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

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Photo by Ting Teng via Trover.com

–          Hawks Cay Florida Keys Resort: This resort has garnered a number of Oyster Awards including Best Value, Luxury and Kid-Friendly Hotel in the Florida Keys. With its calm beach and family-friendly features, it’s hard to go wrong staying here.

–          Hyatt Place Marathon Florida Keys: With a historic lighthouse on site, this property is centrally located and walking distance from attractions. It of course features Hyatt amenities and outstanding guest service.

Top Things to do in Marathon, Florida

On the “must do and try” list in Marathon is:

–          Fish Tales Market & Eatery: If you like to eat fish, this is the place. Freshly caught fish of all kinds, homemade soups and perhaps the best Key Lime Pie in the Keys!

–          Pigeon Key Helicopter Tour: Get a bird’s eye view of Marathon, the Florida Keys, and the area’s crystal clear waters and beaches. You’ll also see the historic Sombrero Lighthouse and marine wildlife which may include bull sharks, sea turtles, manatees, tarpon and dolphins.

–          Marathon Diving & Snorkeling: Marathon’s reefs offer coral and fish life plus modern and historical shipwrecks for an incredible underwater experience. There are five different dive areas including the traditional favorite – Sombrero Reef.

–          The Turtle Hospital: Since its opening in 1986, the Turtle Hospital has treated and released over 1500 sea turtles back to the ocean. Guided Educational Experiences are offered to the public seven days a week.

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Photo by Turtles Travel via Trover.com

–          Crane Point Museum and Nature Center:  Crane Point Museum contains historic area artifacts dating back to prehistoric Indians. Crane Point sits on 64 acres of trees and vegetation and has walking trails that will take you on a hike through Florida’s nature and history.

It’s time to get back to Florida and discover Marathon and the Florida Keys!

Golf- Jammin’ in Jamaica

My Article – Reprinted from Golf Scene Magazine Summer 2011 Edition

When Canadians think of a beach vacation, the popular choices are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. All four destinations have golf, but only Jamaica combines a real laid back Caribbean holiday with some of the most spectacular golf courses you will find anywhere in the world.

Jamaica travel choices are plentiful. Air Canada has daily non-stop flights to Montego Bay from Toronto and seasonal non-stop services from other Canadian gateways. The list of Jamaican resorts could fill this entire article but a few of the better choices are Half Moon Resort, Ritz Carlton Resort and the Rose Hall Hilton Resort. There are also seven Sandals Resorts with access to Sandals Golf Club but you’ll need to stay at either the Sandals Royal Plantation or Sandals Grande Riviera to be anywhere near the Sandals Golf Club.

Caddies are mandatory on all courses in Jamaica. If you’ve never played with a caddy a word to the wise – ask the distance to the hole (instead of them telling you which club to play) and follow their putting suggestions – they are always right!

I have had the good fortune to play five of the following top courses in Jamaica:

White Witch This is definitely the most challenging course in Jamaica. Tom Fazio designed this course, which is 6,859 yards. The course was carved out of Rose Hall Plantation and features Caribbean Sea views on 16 of the 18 holes – some of the most spectacular golf course views in the world. Stay and play packages are available if you stay at the Ritz Carlton Resort.

Cinnamon Hill The course, which was designed by Robert vonHagge and is 6,637 yards, features several holes along the ocean coastline, and one can spot plantation relics and great views. It is also located in Rose Hall close to White Witch. The Rose Hall Hilton Resort is right beside the course, and offers golf packages.

Half Moon This course 7,119 yard course is classic Trent Jones, and is situated directly across the street from the Half Moon Resort. Half Moon makes a great vacation.

Tryall This classic old Jamaica course is about 30 minutes west of Montego Bay. Ralph Plummer designed, this course which is 6,772 yards, lush and well groomed but very much a “country club”. Be on your best behaviour – members rule.

Sandals Golf Club Formerly the Upton GC, Sandals purchased the club in 6,502 yards, 1992. Golf Digest four star rating for courses to play while on vacation. A nice course consisting of 6,502 yards and located in Ocho Rios … Green fees are included with your stay at Sandals Resort.

With its unique and laid back culture, great scenery, tropical climate, and world-class golf, Jamaica really has it all if you are a golf enthusiast or want to hit a ball alongside the ocean and just enjoy the views!