It seems that one of the best ways to help clients and industry colleagues maximize their business time is to spend a day on the links for experienced and even inexperienced golfers (see, How to Plan Corporate Golf Events). That’s because a round of golf — one of the world’s oldest sports — can take up to a half a day, allowing plenty of time for a foursome and others to expand relationships and learn more about each others’ priorities.
Actually, it’s now estimated that 80 million golfers worldwide play on close to 40,000 planets, according to Golf’s 2020 Vision: The HCBC Report. And much of the future’s growth is coming from Asia — specifically China and India with a particular focus and growth among women players. (Asia’s expanding middle class has a lot to do with this success.)
When you think of golf destinations, places such as Pebble Beach, CA, Augusta, GA, and St. Andrews, Scotland come to mind.
Golf is also popular in Australia, Asia’s close neighbor. You may not realize it, but three courses in Australia made the top 20 list of world’s 100 greatest golf courses by Golf Digest this year. They included:
- Royal Melbourne G.C. in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (#9)
- Barnbougle Dunes in Bridport, Tasmania (#11)
- Kingston Heath G.C. in Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia (#20)
Australia is certainly a long haul destination to most Americans and Europeans, but its golf courses may be a strong draw for Asian and international visitors from around the world. And Business Events Australia, the business tourism arm of the Tourism Australia, shared some of their highlights as to why delegates will enjoy the sport in the land down under:
Entertain delegates with exceptional golf and world-class wines
If food and wine is on the agenda then the first stop is South Australia – the ‘wine capital of Australia’. Delegates can play a professional round of golf at Royal Adelaide, which ranks in the top 100 golf courses in the world by Golf Magazine (USA), combined with an afternoon of wine tasting. South Australia is home to 17 wine regions including the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra, along with over 200 cellar doors including world famous labels like Penfolds Magill Estate Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek and Peter Lehman, all within an hour’s drive from the Royal Adelaide.
VIP treatment – a golf course on its very own island
If the brief has requested something exclusive and you want delegates to feel like rock stars, the only championship golf course in Australia on its own private island needs to be included in the itinerary. Hamilton Island offers The Great Barrier Reef, luxury sailing and five-star accommodation. Incentive groups can stay on the exclusive island in the award-winning qualia, the Beach Club or Reef View Hotel and take the five-minute launch transfer across to Dent Island to the spectacular Peter Thomson-designed Hamilton Island Golf Club.
Mix business with pleasure – golf clubs that cater for large corporate events
There are a range of golf clubs in close proximity to Australia’s capital cities that cater for large corporate events. The Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane offers a stunning clubhouse overlooking the course and has a restaurant seating for up to 120 guests, and full bar facilities. The club prides itself on the quality of its chefs, with a seasonal menu serving up dishes including Queensland king prawns, seared tuna wrapped in toasted nori, and crisp skin duck breast. If you want delegates to be blown away by breathtaking landscapes, then the New South Wales Golf Club in Sydney is the ideal choice. The golf course is bounded by water on three sides and has a club with a main bar and outdoor verandah that makes the most of the million dollar views, and a banquet room for a maximum of 90 guests.
Tee off in Australia’s dessert for a majestic golf experience
Rated among the world’s top 10 desert courses is the Alice Springs Golf Club, set in the foothills of the majestic MacDonnell Ranges is an experience not for the faint hearted. The club was designed by Australian golf legend Peter Thomson and his business partner Michael Wolveridge in the 1980s. Since opening it has become a “must do” for golf enthusiasts of all abilities visiting Central Australia and the nearby Uluru (Ayers Rock). The course is bordered by the 1200-seat Alice Springs Convention Centre and the adjoining four-and-a-half star Lasseters Hotel Casino, which offers 140 accommodation rooms and 13 elegantly appointed suites. The casino recently opened a brand new 180-seat restaurant called Tali, an Indigenous word meaning “sand dunes”, which also offers two private dining rooms. Not a bad way to end a day on the greens in Alice Springs.
Play two of the world’s top 25 courses – in one location
Imagine your delegates boarding a private chartered flight from Melbourne or Sydney and landing directly on one of the world’s top ranked golf courses. If this is your type of golf experience then Barnbougle Links Golf Resort should be at the top of your list. The resort is the only destination in the world to have two golf courses ranked in the top 25 golf courses by Golf Digest Magazine (USA). Located on the North East Coast of Tasmania lies not one but two golf courses carved from the natural contours of the coastal land and designed to emulate the true links courses of Scotland and Ireland. Delegates can be entertained on and off the course with the resort’s incredible food and beverage offering sourced locally from around Tasmania and exquisite day spa facility. The resort can cater up to 70 delegates and also offers incentives that show off the humble surroundings of Tasmania’s cool climate vineyards, untouched beaches and sleepy seaside communities.
Melbourne’s ‘Sandbelt’ Courses
Your delegates can experience the roots of golf in Australia within 30 minutes of Melbourne CBD. Home to Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Victoria and Metropolitan Golf Clubs, the 8 sandbelt courses have hosted an array of major tournaments and are collectively known as one of the best golfing strips of land in the world. The ‘sandbelt’ is famous for its turf with a rich vein of sandy loam sub soil providing the rare opportunity to construct exceptional green complexes, bunkers and fairways. There are eight courses to choose from including Royal Melbourne, which is ranked in the top 10 courses of world golf and all conveniently located within a short distance of each other.
Great Golf Courses of Australia can assist with gaining access to Australia’s top courses via its reservation referral system.