Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Hamilton Island Golf Club, a golf ball manufacturer's best friend.
I was fortunate enough to travel to Hamilton Island recently for a wedding. Don't get me wrong, the wedding was lovely, but the golf, the golf wasn't too bad either!
Here's how the day unfolded.
A 9am tee time meant we had to get to the Hamilton Island Marina for an 8am boat ride across to Dent Island. It is a short 10 minute trip and you're treated like royalty. To say the scenery is stunning would be underselling it and the Hamilton Island staff are brilliant. You're there on holidays and they allow you to unwind and really enjoy it.
Off the boat and into a van that will take you up to the Club House to check in for your round. A bit of time to relax and Google the course layout prior to your round, every part of the Hamilton Island Golf Club experience is top notch.
I was lured into a false sense of security early, first hole is a reasonably short Par 4 down the hill, with a bit of wind behind us I managed to put one right down the middle and went on to make a regulation par. What's so hard about this course?! Even par after 1 hole and thinking I was going to conquer this beast of a course.
From there, it would be fair to say it got a bit more difficult. Sorry, it got a lot more difficult!
Here's the thing about Hamilton Island Golf Club, if you're at all wayward with your drive, you're in the tall stuff. There's no way of finding it. As a guide, I'd lost count, but the number of lost golf balls was around 20. Now I'm a reasonable golfer, I can hit low 80's on most courses, but this was just a different thing altogether.
16th hole @ glorious Hamilton Island
You know what didn't help, the wind. We might have picked the wrong day, at one point I was told the winds got up as high as 59km/hour. It felt like almost every hole we were hitting into the teeth of it, my wind golf was appalling!
Let me now tell you about the condition of the course, it is simply immaculate. You could sleep on the greens, just grab a pillow and you'll be right, they are soft under foot but are quite fast and roll out a long way. The fairways, albeit I didn't find too many, are just as perfect, the whole place is just superb.
I haven't mentioned the views, I am running out of adjectives but they are breathtaking. The 4th hole, a 161m Par 3 down the hill with a back drop you just simply won't believe. It makes for an intimidating tee shot! In fact almost every hole provides a photo opportunity, it is a social media heaven!
As you get toward the back end of the round, holes 15 and 16 make you think you're in the Bahamas, again it is hard golf but it wasn't so much about the golf by that point, this was an experience like no other. It helped I got to play with an excellent group, plenty of laughs, competitive golf (although I lost) and genuine appreciation for the opportunity to play at such a fantastic course.
If you were to just look at the scorecard, the course doesn't look that long, but let me tell you, it packs some serious punch. Throw in some wind and some serious undulations and you're quickly looking at raising the bat for 100 + on the scorecard.
This was the most enjoyable round of golf I have ever played, it justifies the $160/round price tag + the financial loss incurred in terms of lost golf balls. Whenever you're up at sunny Hamilton Island, do yourself a favour.