The course claims to be Australia’s most beautiful golf course and our answer to Augusta National.
After a rap like that, I was almost sure to be disappointed in Bonville Golf Resort. I wasn’t. Some claim the layout is not that fantastic but with a spectacular looking hole laid out before you on every tee it’s easy to forget.
Situated about 10 minutes south of Coffs Harbour, it’s a tease upon entering the resort.
You know you’ve arrived but the course is not visible until you get around the other side of the club house. In fact, very little of the course is visible from anywhere, which is much of it’s charm.
The first hole you can see from the clubhouse typifies the course. Huge gums preside over the fairway and will swallow errant shots. If your ball goes past them don’t even bother looking for it. There’s no way you’ll find it and there’s plenty of interesting, dangerous wildlife that calls Bonville golf course home.
Long drives between each hole means a cart is compulsory (12 km of cart path). It’s a nice way to catch your breath after the last double bogey. While not ideal, some of the drives between holes are gorgeous in themselves. You can’t help but relax and enjoy the surroundings no matter what standard of golf you’ve brought on the day.
I hesitate to highlight any particular hole as I’m sure to miss a few, but the 1st is a great start. You’ll need a smart drive (maybe just an iron) to negotiate the water which seems to creep in at all the important points.
The par 3, 3rd is simply gorgeous and the 7th became a favourite.
The par 5, 10th is not overly long but you have to be careful with each shot and it’s a brave person (not necessarily a long hitting one) who will have a go at it in two.
Some golfers talk up the 17th but I wasn’t overly excited about it but the 18th is a real test to see if you have enough concentration and control to get one more on the fairway.
On the resort side of things, a top class restaurant sits in the clubhouse but the weekend Aussie Golfer was there the bar closed early. If you’re staying on course for a couple of nights that may be a tad disappointing. A great lagoon pool and tennis courts means the days can be filled with things other than golf.
It’s not the best course in Australia but its right up there with one of the most unforgettable you’ll play and maybe its as close as some of us will get to playing something like Augusta.
Just don’t be surprised if you shoot a score like you would on Augusta too.