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Golf Australia Express : December 2012
DREAM the DREAM the Even the view up to the clubhouse at the top of the 18th—a building designed in the same open, airy manner we found instantly appealing all over Fiji—is fit for a photo album. Wild horses watch passively from the shade of the dense trees lining parts of the course, while at other times local teenagers ride donkeys bareback across the fairway, glancing up long enough to see me making an ass of myself on course. It’s enough to take your thoughts away from your wallet, which by round’s end will almost certainly be bereft of spare change. Dotted around the course are local ball scavengers—some with kids already well-versed in the family trade— who comb the dense bushland every day for the Titleists you and your mates have just ploughed into the greenery. They then bring their white loot to the edge of the course, where they’ve built makeshift huts out of which they’ll sell three of your balls back to you for about $2.50 AUD. Suffice to say, half of the nearby population is probably living on the proceeds of our trip as we speak. But we were only too happy to spend the pittance for the chance to share this rare and virtually unknown golfing jewel that they call their backyard. OTG NATADOLA BAY GOLF COURSE $230 FJD (approx. $120 AUD for 18 holes) including motorised cart and range balls. Intercontinental guests pay $165 FJD (approx. $90 AUD). Virgin Australia, Qantas and Air Pacific have regular flights to Nadi from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Return airfares will set you back approx. $1000. Neighbouring Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa has stay and play packages starting at $1049 twin share for four days, including two rounds at Natadola Bay.