Barnbougle Owner Looks to Bandon Dunes for Inspiration

The highly-regarded Barnbougle Dunes complex in Tasmania's northeast end has begun work on a long-awaited second course, to be known as Barnbougle Lost Farm. Almost $12 million is expected to be invested in the facility over the next two years. The project involves a new layout designed by golf course architect Bill Coore, an eco lodge with up to 80 rooms, a new clubhouse and a restaurant.

Elizabeth Sattler, marketing manager for the course and daughter of Barnbougle owner Richard Sattler, said work has begun on the course and was expected to be completed by spring 2010. "It's a really exciting time," she told Australia's Golf Business News. "The course has proved so popular here and it's been such a good thing for the community. We hope and expect the second course to build on that success and be an equally positive development for this part of Tasmania."

The expansion will be financed by the existing owners and a $4.5 million commercial loan from the Tasmanian government under the rural and regional development category.

Opened in 2004 to international acclaim, the original Barnbougle Dunes course was designed by American Tom Doak and Australia's Michael Clayton. One of the nation's few true links courses, it has attracted worldwide attention and is loosely modeled on the highly successful Bandon Dunes development in Oregon, where both Coore and Doak have also designed courses.

Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser has an interest in Barnbougle Dunes and has been one of the driving forces behind getting the development where it is today. "Mike has become a really close family friend and is a regular visitor here," Elizabeth said. "He's been a huge help to us with developing the site, especially given his experience building Bandon Dunes.

"That is such a wonderful place and if we could end up with a development something like that here we'd have something to be very proud of."

Coore is best known for his design work in partnership with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, but will handle the Lost Farm course on his own. Some of his previous work includes the Sandhills course in Nebraska and Kapalua in Hawaii.

Work began on Lost Farm at the end of May and, depending on its success, a third course may be considered in the future. "We've got 13,000 acres of land here so there is no shortage of space to build a third course in the future if it's warranted," said Elizabeth.

"We're not really thinking about it at the moment, but it's feasible if the time ever comes. We want to get the second course up and running first before we start thinking about building any more."

The above story originally appeared in Australia's Golf Business News and was written by Rod Morri.