Tasmanian golf course prepares to get going down under

An Australian golf construction company plans to build what it calls a “world-class” course on one of the wind-swept islands in Tasmania.

Turnpoint Group plans to erect the to-be-named, 18-hole track on King Island, a desolate 1,800-person island down under that sits midway between Tasmania’s main island and the southern coast of Victoria.

Turnpoint Group owns 208 acres along the island's northern coast near Cape Wickham and plans to complement the course with a small lodge that offers five-star, executive-standard accommodations.

“I’ve built golf courses all over the world, and none will come close to the course we have planned at Cape Wickham,” Andrew Purchase, the managing director of Turnpoint, recently told the King Island Courier.

Despite the sky-high ambitions for the course, Turnpoint’s layout will undoubtedly be compared to Tasmania’s already existing and renowned golf course: Barnbougle Dunes in Bridport, which was co-designed by Tom Doak and Michael Clayton. Both courses offer sandy, coastal sites that lure golfers — and their key economic impact on Tasmania — from around the world.

“What attracted us to it was how powerful the land is. It’s very dramatic,” Purchase told the Advocate. “We think it’s got world-class golf course written all over it.”

The job of turning the property into one of the world’s great links layouts falls to Ross Perrett, a principal of South Melbourne-based Thomson Perrett. Perrett and his now mostly-retired partner, Peter Thomson, have been working together for about 25 years on golf course designs in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and other nations. Turnpoint previously gave shape to one of Thomson Perrett’s designs at Black Bull Golf Course in Yarrawonga, Victoria.

Turnpoint has built at least a half dozen other golf courses, including Kooindah Waters Golf Club in Wyong, New South Wales; the Els Club in Dubai; and Natadola Bay Golf Course in Natadola Beach, Fiji.

The company doesn’t expect to move a lot of earth to create its course on King Island. It filed development plans with local officials in September, and Purchase has said construction would commence as soon as the project is approved.

The course will be the second on the island. The existing course, a nine-hole coastal track at King Island Golf Club, is said to be “almost un-par-able in a strong norwester,” according to a review on iseekgolf.com.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.


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