Wednesday, October 5, 2011

australia Sand Bagged

Is it possible to build a golf course on sandy coastal property in Tasmania without making comparisons to Barnbougle Dunes?

That’s the question Neil Crafter and Paul Mogford, the principals of Crafter + Mogford Golf Strategies, will face as they design a new nine for Bicheno Golf Club, on the island’s east coast. Five of the new holes are likely to resemble those from the existing links at Barnbougle Dunes, as they’ll be located on similarly sandy oceanfront property. The waterfront holes will be connected to the club’s 60-year-old nine-hole track with some heathland-style holes.

The addition is being funded by the community-owned club, which is located in the town of Bicheno, and by Peter Johnstone, who aims to build 60 houses on property adjacent to the original nine.

Crafter and Mogford base their design philosophy on principles outlined by Alister MacKenzie. Either alone or together, they’ve designed Fleurieu Golf Club in Mount Compass, South Australia; Hornbill Golf & Jungle Club on the island of Borneo, in East Malaysia; Astana Golf Course in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia; and Guangzhou South China Golf Club in Zhen Longtown, Guangdong Province, China.

The Adelaide-based firm also has offices in Melbourne and Perth, along with an international presence in India and Phoenix, Arizona. The office in Phoenix is managed by Jane Crafter, Neil’s sister, a former LPGA pro who now serves as a commentator for the Golf Channel.

As far as those inevitable comparisons to Barnbougle Dunes go, my question is this: Will they be a blessing or a curse?

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