King Island Treasure

Story by Sam Gole – Discover Golf Magazine

For years golf course architect Graeme Grant scaled Australia’s southern coastlines in search of the right piece of land to build a dramatic links course. Grant found the ideal property on Tasmania’s King Island. Ocean Dunes is on track to open in February next year and promises to become one of the world’s most spectacular coastal courses.

Wild, natural and untouched, Ocean Dunes boasts a spectacular landscape—it’s a dream site for golfing purists. So, there’s little wonder why course designer Graeme Grant, a former Course Superintendent at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne’s sandbelt, was drawn to the 290-acre property located on King Island.

Grant has been in the business of Golf Architecture for nearly 30 years. The redesign of many greens at Kingston Heath and the new Links Lady Bay course are a testament to his knowledge and ability. He is able to blend his work with the likes of Alister MacKenzie and create new courses that can be recognised amongst the finest in the world. His latest work, Ocean Dunes, is headed for international acclaim.

Located on King Island’s rugged West Coast, Ocean Dunes is ideally situated just a 5 minute drive from the Island’s largest settlement, Currie, and King Island airport.

The par 72, 6365-metre track, which enjoys ocean views from all holes is bursting with thrilling features.

Grant’s design utilises the natural features of the links and the spectacular nature of the coastline. It includes large undulating greens to fit in with the rolling landscape. Various tee boxes offer different driving angles to the fairways with forward tees available for windy days. As with all links golf the wind will have a significant impact on play. The variable weather conditions will mean Ocean Dunes will yield different experiences every time it is played. A range of options is provided from the tee that could leave an easy or difficult approach to the green. On occasions, players will encounter a blind shot into the green, typical of links golf. Everywhere there are strategically placed avenues to the hole rewarding players taking those lines.

For even more variety and character, there is a creek or ‘Scottish burn’ running along the 16th and meandering in front of the green. The Southern Ocean is the backdrop to this hole.

Six holes are played along the edge of the craggy coastline including the first four holes, which will provide a memorable impression for visitors.

Ocean Dunes kicks off with a 525-metre par-5 and is followed by a short 279-metre, par-4. At this point players approach back-to-back signature holes. The third hole is a stunning long par-4, which when played into the wind will be tough to reach. The fourth hole is a 131-metre, par-3 and promises to be one of the most photographed holes in the country. It is one of two holes played across the sea. The 203-metre, par-3, tenth hole is the other.
Inland there are valleys between bold dramatic dunes framing holes that required little or no alteration for golf.

Ocean Dunes is already creating a buzz around the traps. When it officially opens, expect a swarm of golfers to track down this pure links course.