The Takeaway: While many give Dunes the nod as the best course at Barnbougle, my vote goes to Lost Farm. With greater variety in the hole designs, a superior routing for a windy location, and top notch creativity, Coore and Crenshaw’s Lost Farm is a world class course and Tasmania’s finest track. Grade A
Designer: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2010
Cost: $109 AUD - $155 AUD (Pull cart is $10 AUD) Click for current rates
Phone Number: 61 3 6356 0094
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Barnbougle (Lost Farm)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 425 Waterhouse Rd, Bridport, Tasmania 7262
Accolades: Ranked 6th in Australia by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: The second course to debut at Barnbougle, the Coore & Crenshaw designed Lost Farm track is a brilliant addition to Tasmania's northern coast. Coming from Idaho, I consider myself a bit of a potato aficionado and I can't help but appreciate that a spud farmer is the one behind the famed Barnbougle property. Richard Sattler purchased 15,000 acres of potato farming and cattle grazing land in 1989 and 15 years later converted a portion of the property nearest the sea to a world class golf course. The proximity to the sea, majesty of the dunes, and homage to links design are what combine to make Barnbougle such a special place. Mike Keiser inspired Sattler to create the resort, and like Keiser's resorts in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Canada, it is the second course on the property that trumps its older brother as the superior track. C&C used greater variety in the routing, hole designs, and employed more creativity with Lost Farm than is found at Dunes, and the overall topography is a bit more engaging. The course features 20 holes with two extra par threes (holes 13a and 18a) being offered. 13a was designed by Mike Keiser because he lacked fondness of the uphill 17th that Bill Coore refused to back down from. Sattler decided both holes should be built and insisted on a final par three at the end of the round where bets could be settled. The result is a par 78 layout, but the slope and rating are based on 18 holes with 13a and 18a being left out. Like the Dunes that came before it, Lost Farm embraces the Australian way by implementing excellent short par fours and greens that will test the best short games. The courses at Barnbougle are walking only, so be sure to bring the appropriate shoes to enjoy this walk along the sea. Ultimately, Barnbougle is a special seaside property in a remote location that, like Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links, is good enough to bring people in from all over the world to experience.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 4th Hole – 136 Yard Par 3 – The Dunes course has the short 7th and Lost Farm counters with this bite size one-shotter, but scores should be better here as the green is much more forgiving. Located at the western point of the property, the 4th hole features an idyllic setting with the Great Forester River creating the background as it terminates into the Bass Strait which is on the player's right. While the Dunes' 4th hole features edges that run off the putting surface, this hole has the opposite effect with mostly inviting edges that will encourage balls back towards the center of the green and set up a nice birdie opportunity. The large bunker between the tee and green only comes into play on the poorest of fatted shots, so take dead aim at the flag and take a stroke back from Old Man Par on this beautiful signature hole.
Best Par 3: 15th Hole – 195 Yards – Playing downhill along the beach with waves rolling in from the Bass Strait, the setting for the 15th is inspiring to tee it up on. The green is set in the valley between two large dunes with the clubhouse perched on the left dune and asks players to hit a towering shot that lands softly on the green or to chase a low runner through the chute onto the putting surface. An aerial shot up the left side that flies at least 150 yards will clear the bunker and can catch the downslope that is anxious to help scoot your ball onto the green and yield a birdie opportunity as long as you stay clear of the greenside bunker further left. The front right portion of the green sweeps away towards the Bass Strait but the rest of the edges run toward the middle of the green so there is a better chance of holding this green in regulation than others of this length you may be used to.
Best Par 4: 14th Hole – 288 Yards – Don't tell my wife, but I had an instant love affair with this hole. Carved between the dunes that frame each side of this driveable par four, plenty of room is offered to the left for players that want to play conservatively off the tee while giving themselves a bit more difficult approach shot with the front edge of the green sloping back towards the player from that angle. The daring line off the tee goes directly over the two fairway bunkers on the right side tucked between the fairway and the thick foliage covered dune. Proper execution here delivers a generous opening to the green with fairway undulations that will promote chasing your ball onto the green, however if you veer slightly right then your ball will quickly be swallowed by the deep grass and bushes consuming that area. With an elevated tee delivering mesmerizing views of the Bass Strait directly ahead, the beauty of the setting matches the wizardry of the design.
Best Par 5: 8th Hole – 606 Yards – Tipping out over 600 yards, this becomes a three-shot hole for most mortals unless you have a tailwind that can work with the firm conditions to give you plenty of extra yardage. Under normal conditions the expansive bunker on the left half of the fairway is a great line as it will take a 350 yard drive to chase your ball into the sand. Whether your ball comes to rest on the higher right side of the fairway or the lower left side, you will have the green light to be as aggressive as you want to be with your second shot with little to worry about until you reach the complex greensite. A nasty little bunker with a tall face protects the front left corner of the green while the right side boasts a steep face that repels most any shot that doesn't clear the peak on the fly. The back left of the green is quick to filter balls to the bunker flanking that portion of the putting surface which leaves the middle-to-back of the right area of the green as the only safe place to get aggressive with your approach. Pin position is everything on this challenge greensite so be wise in how you attack it.
Birdie Time: 3rd Hole – 277 Yard Par 4 – In all reality, the first four holes all afford good opportunities to go under par on but none are quite as ripe for the picking as the 3rd. Tipping out at just 277 yards, some players can rip a 3-wood at this green and chase it onto the putting surface from the higher ground on the right half of the fairway. If you want to layup then hit a 200 yard shot at the large center bunker and watch your ball come up short and then tumble to the left as the fairway pushes balls that direction. From there you have an easy pitch into a bowled green that will yield a very makeable birdie putt as long as you get on the correct tier of this putting surface that is split into two distinct halves; front and back. A large dune runs the length of the right side and creates a more intimate setting for this hole before embarking on the signature 4th hole. If you don't enjoy playing holes like this you are no friend of mine.
Bogey Beware: 5th Hole – 484 Yard Par 4 – Hopefully you threw a birdie or two on your card during the generous four hole opening stretch, because Coore and Crenshaw start getting their revenge back with this challenging two-shotter. A blind tee shot awaits with two different portions of fence, each with different construction styles, perched near the top of the large dune ahead and marking the line players should take depending on which tee box they are hitting from. You have to trust your line because bailing out to the left will likely result in chasing your ball into the junk on the left side and getting overly aggressive on the right could send your ball tailing off into the Great Forester River. If you can safely find the fairway then an uphill approach shot awaits where the majority of players will underestimate the energy needed to reach the putting surface and will see their ball filtered to the chipping area short and right of the green. The sloping green doesn't leave many straight putts so once do find the putting surface you still have plenty of challenge waiting for you. This is a tough, tough hole but also one of the absolute best at Lost Farm.