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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 231
F OR many of us social golfers, the most appealing aspect of this game is the remarkable number of superb destinations it can take us. Hamilton Island Golf Club is a case in point. Situated at Dent Island, a short ferry ride from Hamilton Island in the heart of Queensland’s breathtaking Whitsundays, this 18-hole par 71 trek through indigenous shrub and open tropical scenery is every bit as indelible as it sounds. Designed by Mother Nature with a little help from Ross Perrett and five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, this is truly a layout equal parts beauty and beast. Beauty being the spectacular views over the Coral Sea and surrounding Whitsunday Islands. Beast due to the course’s inherent difficulty as balls are swallowed in dense bush bordering fairways, as well as a host of blind tee and approach shots that will have you scratching your head in bemusement. Don’t let anyone suggest this is an easy course. It is anything but, even when winds – that at times can be cyclonic – have subsided to merely a zephyr. The opening hole at the Hamilton Island golf course offers a glimpse of what to expect on the front nine – a distinctly different set of holes to those on the way back in. The opener is a seemingly gentle 369-metre par 4, yet its undulation is more severe than it appears, its bunkers longer and deeper than they look, and its elevated green difficult to read – even with glasses on. While visually enticing, the first hole reveals at the outset this course is not going to be a pushover. And so, you’ll weave your way through a collection of sheltered holes with a mix of short- yet-tricky par 4s, two incongruent par 3s you’re sure to talk about post-round, and back-to-back par 5s that challenge accuracy and patience.
GA Express 230
GA Express 232